Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 30, 2016

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household." Matthew 10:34-36

This is one of the more troubling statements Jesus during His earthly teaching. It sounds contradictory for One Who was called the "Prince of Peace". What is going on here?

Obviously, the first thing required here to define peace from God's lexicon because His is the one that counts. Peace means "being made right with God and coming into a spiritual relationship with Him."

When the sinless, righteous and holy Son of God shows up in a fallen, sinful and thoroughly corrupt world you can expect some tension to develop.

When a searchlight of absolute truth is shined into the utter darkness of a confused and deceived world there will be vicious attacks launched against the light.

What happens when you are proven wrong about something you believe? Your immediate response is defensiveness isn't it? You are confronted with two choices. Either you can change you beliefs and conform to the truth or you can seek to discredit the truth.

What happens if you choose to face the truth, repent and change what you believe? Once you change how you believe your behavior suddenly begins to change. When your belief and behavior change it will change the dynamics of your relationship with your spouse or you children or your employer or your co-workers. When that happens the other person is confronted with a need to change and tension comes into the relationship. When Jesus brought peace to your life He also brought a sword.

OK, now multiply that by several billions of people and relationships and you begin to see the scope of what Jesus is saying. 

So, the Prince of Peace came to earth as God in the flesh to make peace with God a possibility. But He also came knowing He would have to disturb the status quo in order to bring real lasting change. Only lasting change can bring lasting peace.

The status quo doesn't die without a fight. Peace doesn't come without a price.

June 28, 2016

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34

What is righteousness?

We established that righteousness is what God says it is!

But in addition, righteousness is Who God is!

Righteousness is not a code or a creed or concepts, righteousness is a PERSON!

The Founders understood that and it was their understanding of righteousness that formed the foundation for this great experiment that became the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth, the United States of America!

You could very properly rephrase this verse, "God exalts a nation, but ignoring God is a reproach to any people."

Our Founders understood that since God was the Righteous Creator, He was the right One to bestow rights on citizens of a nation. And since a Righteous Creator is the source of our individual rights then doesn't it follow that those rights would be preserved by righteous living?

"How do I live righteously?" you ask.

Righteousness is the result of living in a faith relationship with the Righteous God from Whom the rights originate.

So, again you could accurately say, "Right relationship with a Righteous God exalts a nation, but evil is a reproach to any people."

Righteous people make the best citizens of whichever nation they belong to. Their righteousness exalts or elevates that nation because it unleashed the presence, the principles and the power of God into that land.

Do you know the righteousness of God?

Are you living in a faith relationship with Him?