Receiving His Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV)

Jesus spoke these words to His troubled and anxious apostles on Thursday night before He was crucified on Friday, and they were clearly bothered at the things He had been telling them about His impending death. In a world that achieved peace by the sword (the pax romana of the Roman Empire, the “Roman Peace”), Jesus brought peace of a completely different kind. He brought reconciliation between a holy God and sinful humanity which in turn creates peace between people and peace within hearts.

From political tension in Washington to violent civil war in Libya, our world certainly needs the Lord’s peace today.

But of course Jesus intended something more personal than ideological transformation. He wants us to have peace internally and relationally.

Some of you may be at odds with someone today, perhaps your husband or wife — an emotional distance, or even bitterness, that has been building over time. Maybe you and your son or daughter exchanged some tense words before school this morning. For others of you it may be simply that you feel a sense of turmoil within you and cannot quite identify its source. And it could be that you feel a disconnect between you and God.

Wherever you are emotionally this morning, meditate on the Lord’s gift of peace today. As you pray over John 14:27, ask the Lord to remove the anxiety and strife from your heart and give you the peace He promised. Don’t ask Him to transform someone else and make him or her easier to get along with; instead, ask Him to work on your heart and your disposition.

I’d like to leave you with the Lord’s blessing of peace in Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

In Christ,

Chuck

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Here are a few other translations that might help you as you reflect on the Lord’s words today:

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJV)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (NASB)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (NRSV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (TNIV)

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. (HCSB)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (KJV)

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (NLT)

I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. (The Message)

Be still

Each morning this week I will send out a reminder and brief thought about the passage of meditation for that day. If you weren’t at Hoover yesterday, I preached on the Spiritual Discipline of Meditation and asked everyone in the congregation to meditate on a different passage of Scripture each day.

For today, the passage is Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Most of us like control, and we become tense and anxious when things are beyond our control. We worry about the choices our children are making or will make, and we fret over next year’s elections. We’re concerned about the path of the next big storm and the solvency of Social Security. What’s happening to our economy? What about the federal deficit? We’re stressed over the results of last week’s MRI. What’s on your heart today?

I hope it’s helpful for you to focus on the fact that whatever is troubling you, God is in control, even through all of the uncertainty. He is God today and tomorrow and forever. He wants you to trust Him.

Psalm 46 is one of the most beautiful psalms in the psaltery. Focus your thoughts today on verse 10, but you would be blessed by reading the entire psalm.

May God bless you today as you meditate on His word.

In Christ,

Chuck

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Here are a few alternate translations:

‎‎New King James: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

King James: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

New American Standard: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

New Revised Standard: “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

Today’s New International: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Message (a paraphrase): “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”