Sunday, December 4, 2011

100 Verses - Week 13

Week 13. This week we continue in our portion titled "Assurance: Inner Peace and Security." It's the time of year when the word "Peace" is easily and frequently found. It's on tiny ornaments on the Christmas tree, it's on the stamps of Christmas cards, it's on the cover of the Christmas cards inside those envelopes, "Peace, peace, peace." The word is everywhere, but the sense of it can be very difficult to find.

As people look to the traditions of holidays, and they spy a shortage in their bank account for the "disposable income" for gifts, many of us don't feel a lot of peace. Spend twenty minutes at Wal-Mart or a mall, and you'll be hard pressed to find peace pushing through the intensity and chaos of the Christmas shoppers, that's assuming you get past the peace-stealing process of parking the car. The world proclaims peace, but it doesn't offer much, not even at Christmas. Which is why our first verse this week is so beautiful to me.

Verse 1:

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.
John 14:27

What a beautiful truth. The peace Christ has for us is not temporary or easily affected the way the peace of the world is. It is deep and abiding. Robert J. Morgan encourages us to remember this verse and in times are hard to close your eyes and hear Jesus Himself whisper it to your heart. His peace is precious, and it is His gift to you.

The second verse from 100 Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart this week is one of my all time favorites! It's one I have recited to myself and prayed over others a thousand times. Have you ever looked at something to hard that everything else around it sort of distorts and fades from your view? That's what this verse makes me think of.

You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You,
for it is trusting in You.

Isaiah 26:3

The version I have memorized says "the mind that is fixed on You." When our minds are fixed, focused on the Lord, it overpowers whatever other "stuff" is trying to demand our focus. It makes the appearance of the Lord so keen, that we cannot see anything else, and no worry, fear or anxious thought can draw away our eyes from the Truth.

Every year at Christmas we pull out our stocking hangers. It's five letters, they spell out "P-E-A-C-E." Last year, my husband Neal suggested that we not put them away with all the other Christmas decorations after the holidays. So we didn't. And for the entire year "Peace" has stood on our mantle. I think it's an appropriate metaphor for the Christian life. Jesus may be "the Reason for the Season," but for us, He is celebrated in our home every day, 365 days a year. And because of that, His peace, His true peace is ours every day.

To the 100 Verse Challenge participants, thank you! Thank you for being here and learning God's word with us so faithfully. Be sure to RSVP to the Second Leg of the Challenge that starts on January 1st. I hope this Challenge has been as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me!

If you're new here, or just finally deciding you want to participate you can catch the last couple weeks of the Challenge by RSVP'ing here. (But that link will only get you through the next few weeks, RSVP to the 2nd leg as well.) Or just join the "100 Verses in a Year Group" on Facebook.

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