Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
On the negative side of the emotional ledger we humans are continually struggling with fear, anger, guilt and shame. Jesus offers a positive counter experience to each of these toxic emotions.
Peace that counteracts the fear! * Joy that counteracts the guilt! * Love that counteracts the anger! * Grace that counteracts the shame! These are the four things only Jesus can give you that no one else can! And what is even more amazing is that we are hearing these same experiences shared among those who are fighting the toughest battles. They are fighting the experiences of betrayal, divorce, death of a loved one, fighting the ongoing treatment of cancer, international peace negotiations, and financial disasters. They are fighting in the military, families being torn apart. They are surviving the wearisome conflicts of others, along with a variety of addictions.
Today, let’s discuss the experience of linking up to Jesus for peace. Peace is not just absence of conflict or a cessation of the battles waging in us and around us. It’s a sense of inner calm that all is going to be all right. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. Shalom stands for anything whole, full and abundant. It’s the most amazing sense of inner peace on the planet. When Jesus first sent his disciples out, he sent them to go into villages and give the blessing of peace to those who were interested.“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” (Matthew 10)
At the last gathering of Jesus’ disciples before his death, Jesus said,“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.”(John 14)
After his death and resurrection, Jesus appears to his disciples and set them up for a special mission. Jesus says, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20) As soon as Jesus said this he empowers them to go into the world and bring peace to everyone they meet. Jesus brought peace to everyone he met. Now he is sending out all of his followers to do the same-to be peacemakers-agents of reconciliation wherever they go.
Through Jesus peace is available to anyone who wants it. This is the kind of peace that you just can’t get on your own. It’s all part of the gospel of the Kingdom. You must link up with Jesus as your best friend in order to have this peace.
This peace of Jesus counteracts fear! If you want this peace, you must link up with Jesus personally. Listen to what Jesus says about this peace being uniquely in him: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:33) There is nothing in this world that can give you this kind of peace.