My Peace I Give to You

In the Upper Room Discourse, our Lord said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). “My peace” is astounding. His life was filled with labor, sorrow, and opposition. The cross ever loomed before him. The evil one tried to destroy him as soon as he was born. This set the whole tenor of his life. His public ministry had barely commenced when Satan directly assailed him with subtle temptations designed to overthrow him.

No Excuses

After man’s Fall, his first words to God were excuses. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent. On it went; still it goes. Name a behavioral decision or sin, and someone with a degree will slap a label on it. Gluttony and drunkenness? No, food disorder and alcoholism. Cutting back to live within personal or national means? No, that would be austerity measures, and we must keep the money machines going and consumer confidence high. The more guilt man feels the more excuses he makes. Excuses are guilt’s cracked shield before the Holy God.

Follow Me

Down through the centuries his call comes. One of his first recorded commands: “Follow me” (Matt. 4:19). To men hesitating, held back by worldly concerns: “Follow me” (Matt. 8:22). To men who would become first his disciples, then his apostles: “Follow me” (Matt. 9:9). To all: “Follow me” (Matt. 16:24). To the rich young man, whom Jesus loved and must have eventually answered the call: “Sell all you have; and come, follow me” (Mark 10:21). To Philip, creating faith in him: “Follow me” (John 1:43). To the Greeks who sought him out in Jerusalem: “Follow me” (John 12:26).

Christ Transforming

In times of perceived decay or crisis, men crave the new. If something is new, it must be better. If the old had worked, we would not need the new. Thus, we have various emergent-isms, the “new Calvinism” (which is really not new and not really Calvinism), and new ways of worship. Novelty’s parade will not, however, reduce the weight of the disciple’s cross, make unbelieving men any friendlier to the gospel, or better enable us to overcome sin. New spirituality is like a new model year for automobiles.

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