DayBreaks for 8/23/16 – How Do You Define Peace?

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DayBreaks for 8/23/16 – How Do You Define Peace?

The Olympics are over. They are to be a peaceful celebration…a chance to act towards one another in a more civilized way. But, what is peace? How much peace do you have in your life? Do we even know what peace is all about?

“Peace” comes from the Latin, pax. To the Romans, it meant a stoppage of hostilities between the conqueror and the vanquished, with the conqueror dictating terms to the defeated. Pax, even in Rome, was temporary because it depended on who was in a position fo strength. One day it might be one group, the next day someone else.

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, mean much, much more. It has a rich meaning: wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity. It carries the idea not or transitoriness, but of permanence.

To Christian, shalom is the state of those who are assured of their present and future salvation in Christ. It gives contentment to those who have it – no matter their earthly lot or circumstance.

Note these differences between pax and shalom:

One person can dictate peace (pax); shalom is a mutual agreement.

Pax is temporary; shalom is a permanent covenant.

Pax is the absence of commotion; shalom the presence of serenity and wholeness.

I think that this is true: sometimes we are more than ready to just settle for détente. And when we aim so low, we miss what is best.

Don’t settle for anything less than shalom – not with relatives, friends, neighbors, employers…but most of all, not with God.

Where do we find shalom? Isaiah 9 tells us Jesus is the Prince of Peace…and of the greatness of his governance and peace there will be no end!

How is his peace different? Isaiah 53 tells us that ..the punishment that brought us SHALOM was on him and by his wounds we are healed.

It seems a bit strange to say this, perhaps, but without war there can be no shalom. Isaiah says to: the punishment that brought peace was laid on him. The full war came raging down on Jesus as the spiritual weapons of mass destruction pummeled Him…because of our sin. The war of God on sin was waged on the cross of Christ. Justice was served. War over!

Shalom came on that day by mutual agreement of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is what we have been freely given. If you want shalom, you can find it in the Prince of Peace. It will enable you to fear nothing from God – and to be content with your earthly lot – whatever that lot may be.

PRAYER: Prince of Peace, fill us with your shalom! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 2/09/15 – As the World Comes Unravelled

DayBreaks for 02/09/15 – As the World Becomes Unraveled

Last week was a hard week.  As Christians, we are people who claim to live by faith, with hope, knowing that Jesus is Sovereign – not only is He Sovereign, He is a caring shepherd, not someone who doesn’t care.

And that knowledge is what makes it a bit harder to be people of hope when we saw something this past week that I think none of us could have anticipated: a captive being placed in a cage, doused with gasoline, and lit aflame.  That didn’t happen to me, but I had some moments of doubt and did some second guessing – just like I’d thrown an interception on the one yard line.  At times I know he loves me relentlessly…but at other times my emotions race to the edge of a cliff somewhere, my anxieties spike and I wonder how he could.  Feelings don’t always gibe with facts, or vice versa.

There is a wonderful word: shalom.  Put simply, it means the peace of God that brings about flourishing, restoration and joy.  It is what God desires for His creation but especially for His children.  Clearly, shalom has not arrived in full force yet.  For whatever reason, God has not mandated shalom throughout the universe.  Shalom, like the curtain in the temple, has been ripped and torn.  While we have peace with God through the cross of Christ, the world and creation as a whole is not experiencing anything like shalom. 

What, then, are we to think and do about this?  Part of His plan, as crazy as it may seem to us, is that we are to participate in bringing that peace to earth…not fully, not perfectly, but in tiny, incremental ways.

How?  As we turn our eyes on Him, as we let Him change us in the inner person bit by tiny bit, we mend.  Not only has shalom been ripped, we have all been ripped and torn asunder.  When someone mends an article of clothing, it is not like it was when it was brand new, but it is once again useful.  The mending takes time, patience, thread, a needle and a good eye.  Certainly, we are secondary in the mending process – His is the prime work.  We cannot make anything brand new, while He is the One who will one day “make all things new.”   We won’t just be made mended on that day, but will be made new.  And so will all things…hope will no longer be necessary, nor blind faith.  Hope will give way to certainty, faith will yield to sight. And shalom will come to pass.

PRAYER: God, I pray that You will continue Your unique work of mending me, and in so doing, help me to do what little I can to mend this unraveling world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations! Your support would be deeply appreciated!