The Peace of God

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January 9

The Peace of God ~~ Kenneth L. Samuel

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And he peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember that I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that you will believe when they do happen. John 14:27-29 (NLT)

There is always a certain peace to be found in the presence of those we love and cherish. There is a warmth and satisfaction in a loved one’s presence that the word cannot adequately express. We love people so much that we determine to keep them with us always, and we assume that if they love us they would never want to depart from us.

We are not comfortable with the love of someone who has to leave us temporarily in order to come back to us eternally. Still, perhaps the greatest expression of our love for someone is our willingness to let the person go.

PRAYER: God, give us the faith to let go of our temporal securities as we reach toward eternal assurance. In the transitions fo those who are dearly departed, help us to find abiding love. Amen.

 

God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 10-11.

Not Once-Upon-A-Time, but Once-and-For-All

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January 7

Not Once-Upon-A-Time, but Once-and-For-All ~~ Martin B. Copenhaver

I for this life only  we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. From 1 Corinthians 15:19-28

As the Apostle Paul reflected, on the death and resurrection of Jesus, it became clear that this was not a once-upon-a-time story. Rather, he recognized that this was a once-and-for-all reality with implications that stretch farther than the eye can see and are larger than he mind can grasp fully. Jesus’ resurrection is such a transformative event that it is as if the world now rotates on a different axis.

Paul understood from the start that the resurrection was not simply about what happened to Jesus; it is about what happens to all who trust in Jesus, and about what can happen to all who claim his story as their own. The resurrection is not simply the assurance that Jesus was victorious over death; it is also a promise that we can share in that victory with him. The resurrection does not mean only that Jesus was triumphant over evil; it also assures us that evil will not be ultimately triumphant in our own lives.

Jesus is the “first fruits,” the initial harvest, of God’s grace. But that is not the end of it. Not by a long shot. The resurrection of Jesus ushers in and reveals a promise offered to all. Saint Jean Vianney said of Easter: “Today one grave is open, and from it ahs rise a sun which will never be obscured, which will never set, a sun which bestows new life.”

PRAYER: God, we thank you that the resurrection of Jesus is not merely a story to be heard, but also a reality in which we can share. Amen.

God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 8-9.