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March 26 | John 14:23-31

DAILY READING


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REFLECTION


No Peace or Know Peace

by Mary Alice McGinnis


When we first see someone, we might say, “How are you?” When we are leaving, we might say, “Have a good day!” Or when we are trying to comfort someone, we might say, “Everything is going to be alright!”


In Jewish culture, they often bid their friends “Peace be with you” or “Shalom” when saying hello or goodbye.


So often we use greetings or clichés without giving them much thought because they are just a part of our casual day-to-day language. No matter what culture, these greetings or clichés can at times feel empty, flippant, and hollow when we are hurting.


In Jesus’ time with His disciples in the Upper Room, He spends considerable time telling them what was about to transpire, just days before being arrested, suffering injustice, unimaginable cruelty, and finally be subjected to crucifixion.


What fears do you think were racing through the disciples’ minds as Jesus spoke to them about these things? Let’s consider a few.


The fear of failure and insignificance. If Jesus was going to be killed, what was the point of all they had done for the past three years? Have you heard the voice of this fear in your life? “What was the point? Why did I work so hard to only have it all stripped away? All I’ve worked for now seems meaningless.”


The fear of being left, abandoned and alone. Jesus told them that He was “going away.” According to many studies, the fear of loneliness and abandonment is the most deep seated, underlying fear most of us experience. Where is the fear of loneliness lurking in the shadows in your life?


The fear of lack, not having enough. They feared being “orphaned” (see John 14:18) with no one to protect and care for them. With Jesus gone, who would lead them? Who would teach them? Who would provide for them?


Where have you seen this fear raise its ugly head in your life? Amid an illness or the loss of a loved one? With the threats of financial stress, or rising threats of political instability and unrest? When relationships are strained or come to an end?


Their fears were REAL! Jesus was going to leave them, He was going to suffer and die, they were going to have to find new direction and meaning in their lives.


They were experiencing NO PEACE! In the middle of these impending circumstance, Jesus was inviting them to something different.


“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.”


Unlike our casual greetings or our pet clichés, the PEACE Jesus promised was NOT empty or impotent like the peace we search for in this world. As the supreme Prince of Peace, He was willing and able to meet them in the center of their circumstances, fears, and anxieties.



Jesus was inviting them to KNOW PEACE, the kind of Shalom that can confidently KNOW that "ALL IS WELL" even in the middle of a raging waterfall.


In Jesus, their purpose was not coming to an end, but was only beginning. Their acts of obedience would not be a way to prove themselves or measure up. Instead, it would be motivated by their LOVE for Jesus.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”


In what ways is Jesus’ love for you filling you with a passionate following of His ways?


Loving God and loving people is never wasted.




In Jesus, though He was going away, He would NOT abandon His disciples nor leave them alone, as vulnerable, unprotected orphans. He was sending an Advocate. This Advocate, His Holy Spirit, would never leave them FOREVER. The Holy Spirit would teach them, lead them, protect them and provide for them.


Even though you cannot physically see Jesus with you right now, His powerful Holy Spirit - your Advocate – IS WITH YOU and IN YOU. This is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead on Easter morning. How does knowing this Advocate is with you and in you bring you peace today?

 

PRAYER PRACTICE


Cup Prayer – Pour your heart out to God today. Begin with your hands folded together like an upside-down cup. Pour out before God all your fears, anxieties, sin, guilt, and shame. Tell Him what troubles you. Take time to be specific.


When you feel like you’ve poured out your heart, flip your hands over, folding them like an open cup, ready to receive from God. Sit in silence, asking God simply to fill you with His Spirit - your Advocate.


Ask Him for His peace, as your Advocate intercedes for you. If your mind runs back to sin, shame, anxiety, or concerns of the day, flip your hands back over and pour it out to the Lord. Listen as God shares His heart back to you today.





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robin.lorms
2022年3月26日

Good morning, Mary Alice.

I just finished my "hands cupped" prayer for a few heart issues in my life. I feel the Peace of Jesus knowing He transcends all worldly cares and fears. He is the Prince of Peace and has left us with another Counselor. This is comforting as we confront daily challenges to our peace and well being. I know so many suffering from depression and anxiety. Many do not know Jesus and have no peace. He is their only hope and my prayer is that God would get them in a place where they have no where to turn but Jesus.

God bless you for your willingness to provide such insightful reflections to the Body of Christ…


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