2 In Bible Bits/ Character Challenges

World Peace: The Solution (from a Christian’s Perspective)

“…the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart…Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind.” 

Hey Friends! 🙂

You know something? It’s funny how “life” (aka God) works!  I logged into my Facebook account after taking a short break, and I found out that it’s “International Day of Peace”.

Just today and the past few days I have been yearning and praying for a special peace from The Lord regarding some things, and this verse kept coming to mind:

“thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee” -Isaiah 26:3

What does that mean? We could dig so much deeper into this, but I’ll share a brief thought.

When our mind is “stayed on God” — when we behold God — we behold His amazing LOVE, MERCY, FAITHFULNESS, GRACE, and so much more…all of which we utterly do not deserve AT ALL :/. Yet in so many ways, He outpours it all upon the righteous and unrighteous — upon those who love and those who reject Him as He continues seeking to win their hearts. What an amazing, long-suffering & merciful God!

When we see the beautiful, pure and unfailing attributes of our God with a humble, undivided heart, we cannot help but love and trust Him, and that gives peace…sweet, sweet peace. When I’m not experiencing peace of soul, I know who I need to behold & trust much much more. I need more of Him and less of me. He must increase and I must decrease.

Love, Trust & Surrender. Amazing life-blessing, enriching and powerful things that would do us so well, but that us humans struggle with so much because of our sinful, selfish ways! But praise God that there is a remedy for our hearts of stone.

Friends…our world is FULL of problems.  I just take a look at the latest news, and I feel like I almost can’t bear it anymore.  How will this sick, divided world come to know and have peace?  Rallies? Protests? Debates? Fundraisers? Research?

I’d like to propose to you the theory that the issue is the sin sick hearts of humanity.  And that the only answer is one Man.

I mean…because with all the differences of opinion in this world, we need understanding, love and respect to fill the hearts of all to truly be able to “co-exist” peacefully.  Because we can debate and protest as much as we want, but as long as there are people who don’t care about the feelings and rights of others, or who think that they have the right to dominate over and control other humans, problems and lack of peace will always exist.  How can our naturally selfish hearts (I mean, come on, we see the natural inclination to selfishness and misbehavior even in toddlers who know right from wrong! Fighting over who will do what first, who gets the biggest slice of cake, etc…) be changed to the point that all seek the best for each other instead of for self?  That’s where “this Man” comes into the picture.

Do you know what (and who) I have found as a Bible believing Christian?  That the only answer to our problems that root in our selfish hearts — the only way to know true peace with our Creator, each other and ourselves —  is Jesus Christ.  He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). The answer is in knowing Him, loving Him, and surrendering to Him who gave all for us, that in turn we might know what it is to love and make peace with God and one another, and that we might also gain the strength to do so.  It has been said that “The gospel is a wonderful simplifier of life’s problems.”The Ministry of Healing, pg. 363

Let me state my case briefly.  From what I know (and I certainly don’t claim to know it all, so please correct me if I am wrong), of all religions/belief systems, the religion of the Holy Bible (Old and New Testament) — Christianity — is the only one where the Creator of mankind, took on mankind’s human form, with a nature with inclination toward falling in sin, and lived an extremely hard life, gave all of their being to help all of humanity day and night every day, and then suffered and died at the hands of their own creation — and so willingly!

I know of no other being, than Jesus Christ, who was of the highest divinity, was humanity’s Creator, and yet gave up that divinity and most beautiful atmosphere where they received worship and adoration for being such a loving and holy Creator…where angels constantly ministered to them crying “holy, holy, holy”…  to “belittle themselves”/come to earth in a lower, less powerful form than their own; to live a life in this sinful world experiencing hatred, cruelty, pain, hunger, thirst, sadness, etc. (which they didn’t deserve, had never experienced and didn’t have to); all while striving to be our example by each day striving and succeeding in living a sinless, selfless, spotless life though the fallen human nature which they took on was inclined to sin and though there were also endless temptations to give in; and then died a most cruel death, became separated from their divine counterpart in the process (which they had never experienced in their existence), and paid the price for the sins of those whom they made and who had chosen the enemy of their Creator rather than their loving Creator, that their creation could have a chance to be reformed in the sinless image they were made in and reunited forever with the One they chose to reject.

(Sidenote: Why allow sin in the first place? How amazing it is that God gives us the option to follow Him…otherwise He would be a dictator. True love always involves risk. And this happened when Lucifer (now Satan) chose to glory in the honor, beauty and position the God gave him, and wanted more — and wanted all the praise God Himself had.  Thus rebellion began in heaven and sin began.  Love doesn’t force anyone to love back, and God is love. I’ll touch more on the topic of the origin of sin in the future!)

That was a mouthful?? , I know, but stay with me!  The only way to have peace is for those in the equation to have understanding, sympathetic, loving and selfless hearts. Hearts that seek to do good and the best for others, instead of seeking the best for themselves.  Hearts that are willing to work together with others, and hearts that want light, truth and justice to win.  Hearts that are willing to suffer that love might prevail.  I only know of One whose life always; in word, action and thought; showed this pure self-sacrificing love.  Who never spoke an impatient or hurtful word, even to those who provoked His tender spirit; who never lashed back in defense at those who falsely accused Him of so much; who sought to win the hearts of those who sought to literally throw him over a cliff; who cried that Our Heavenly Father would forgive those that spit on Him, mocked Him, questioned His divinity, and drove nails through His hands and feet.  And all of this even after He had given countless evidences of His divine origin and love.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

-1 Peter 21-25

I’m so sure that all of us, have felt anger and even hatred toward those who have hurt us so badly.  Now I am not naturally a violent person.  But to be a little transparent and to share an example of my own natural lack of selfless love which I’m sure you may be able to relate to in some way, I’ll share this. I remember recently feeling like literally punching the person who molested me as a child, and who hurt my family in so many ways.  I felt a sense of relief and pain release when I imagined that.  I was so shocked at myself!  I had never felt that way about the person before! I had actually felt bad for the person and always prayed for them! I thought I had forgiven the person and really selflessly loved them as a fellow fallen human being as I strived to see them through God’s eyes, but one day, anger just welled up inside of me, from whence I’m not sure (I guess from my natural selfish heart), and I envisioned myself hurting them; wishing they could feel what pain and confusion they put me (and my family) through for so long.  The Holy Spirit quickly rebuked me and redirected to me to how Christ loves even me when I hurt Him and those whom He loves, and I praise God that He gave me the victory over that random thought that shockingly came to mind a couple of times after years of having addressing the situation. But God is even still remolding my selfish heart in other ways.  As He reveals to me my selfishness, sometimes I wonder just how much “self” can exist in one’s heart! Mercy! Can you relate?  And the thing is, I can only see how selfish I am, the more I behold Jesus and His example.

Or maybe you can relate to this.  Wanting to be cold to the person that hurt you…not wanting to talk nicely and cordially to them so that they could feel the pain they caused you. Even if just a little bit…just to “get back” at them and “teach them a lesson”.  Or perhaps cutting them off completely when reconciliation could be made if you would just humble yourself so that things could be made right.  Or what about wanting to have the final word in an argument because you “know” you are “right”.  Not wanting to allow anyone to “get away” with what they did to you, without feeling some sort of pain themselves. Or purposefully going out of your way to cut someone off on the road because they cut you off (though it honestly could’ve been a mistake) — risking lives because of your pride and anger at what they did to you. All of this we’ve felt, though we ourselves have caused pain to others too, yet we feel the right to cause pain to someone because they hurt us. I could go on.

And just to note, I’m not speaking about wanting justice for justice’s sake. I believe that we should have to pay the consequences for our actions.  But I believe we should desire justice for justice’s and righteousness’ sake and not merely because we were hurt and therefore simply for that reason, someone else should hurt too as though we were the sinless and holy Jesus who gave up all for the world Himself, and deserves only good!  Because in all honesty, none of us are righteous, and have all behaved wrongly in some way that hurt someone else.  None of us really deserve everything good — so who are we to think someone should suffer because of how they dealt with us — the selfish sinners that we are too!

We all know that at some point in our lives, we all have displayed or experienced the desire to lift up ourselves or the desire to hurt someone else or put them down, for whatever the reason.  But Jesus….Jesus never desired anything evil towards those who hurt Him and those that He loved dearly on earth.  He never sought self-praise but simply sought to uplift holiness & love; and God is love.  He is the answer to our problems.  And He still doesn’t seek these things that our selfish hearts seek.  Instead He continually seeks to win our hearts by showing us grace upon grace and mercy and forgiveness times a “bajillion”!  Oh how we are so different from Jesus!

Even after we have hurt His heart  when we choose to worship other things as our “gods” over Him (breaking the first 4 commandments), and choose to hurt our fellow men for our own gain, instead of lifting them up in a holy atmosphere (breaking the last 6 commandments) — even after we have continually crucified Jesus afresh…He still desires the best for us and never desires evil upon us.  See Jeremiah 29:11!

“…there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.” -Luke 23:33-35

Oh to be like this Jesus! Surely, by following His example, we will know what it means and how to selflessly love.  And note that knowing of His example isn’t enough; we must follow in His steps; but we can’t do it in our own strength.  We have to let Him make that change in our lives. He offers us His transforming power and grace.  Will you surrender your will to His?  Will you accept Him as your personal Saviour?

 And then we must point others to Christ as their personal Saviour.  Only as their hearts are won by God’s amazing love for them, will their hearts be transformed and their hearts be led to seek to share that same selfless love with others.  And the same for us.  Then, and only then more peace will abound.  Peace comes from love, and true selfless love only comes from God.

Well what about when those who don’t choose God will be destroyed at the end?  What about those God punished in the past because they didn’t choose Him and His way? Was that Him trying to “get back” at them and hurt them as they hurt Him? Is that selfless love?  A couple of Sabbath’s ago at church a beautiful message was shared that I hope to share with you all here soon.  It revealed that the things God seeks to destroy and hates is sin – not the sinner.  That’s why He entreats us to part with sin, because it separates us from Him and it must be destroyed so that we will no longer be separated from Him who loves us so much and so that pain can be forever ended — so that no one will ever have to be hurt by sin and it’s woeful effects again.

But those who want to be rid of sin, must choose Christ and let Him do that work in them by His grace, and those who want to live in sin, must choose that, so that everything is fair.  As God gives every opportunity for us to choose between light and darkness, we must do so; we must choose.  God doesn’t force.  He tells us that the time is coming and has come for us to choose whom we will serve before this final destruction of sin and all who choose to foster it’s growth.  And might I add that by not choosing light – by not choosing Jesus, by default we choose the darkness of sin! May we choose Jesus and only Him!

Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” -Joshua 24:14,15

So yes, there are punishments for those who choose sin and darkness in the end, but it’s not because God wants revenge or to hurt those who hurt Him by choosing sin, but it’s the sin that He is out to destroy.  If we cling to it even though He has offered a way out, He has no choice then to end it along with us, because our hearts are housing and growing this evil “thing”…sin.  Sin resides in hearts…not in thin air!  And it must end, don’t you agree? Wars. Disasters. Fights. Disease. Broken homes. Abused children. Trafficked women. Degraded men.  The list goes on. And the root of it all is sin – the transgression/breaking of God’s law (the 10 commandments – 1 John 3:4).  And the root of sin is selfishness.

God sent His Son Jesus to live as a man on earth, that we might have an example of what it means to live a life in peace with our Heavenly Father and the Kingdom of Heaven, with each other, and even “with our selves” (if you will), and to know that surely it is possible for man to live a holy, selfless life that is surrendered to loving God and loving our fellow man.  God’s grace is more than able to make us new creatures!  Heaven is an atmosphere where everyone serves each other. No one seeks for themselves. And you know what? Because of that, everyone’s needs are met and no one is lacking fulness of joy!  Oh that we…that I…might learn this lesson of selfless service and love.  If we don’t learn that here, how will be fit for heaven? We can’t bring our selfish hearts to the kingdom friends. We wouldn’t even love it there – our self-centered hearts would be so miserable!

Today, as we dwell upon the beautiful idea of worldwide peace,  I challenge us to seek peace with God, peace with our neighbors and peace with our selves – meaning that we know who we are (sinners who can daily surrender to Jesus Christ and be saved from selfishness, sin and it’s consequences, and transformed by grace), where we are coming from (being lost in darkness, selfishness and sin), and know where we are headed in Christ (becoming new creatures transformed and renewed and totally made whole in the selfless image of our God), and therefore are comforted by that as we unite our will with God’s by His grace. Because peace abroad, can truly only be gained by a peace that starts within with our Maker and Saviour.

Oh how I have been wanting to share this thought for the longest.  All the news reports. The protests. The anger. The hurt.  The tension.  The only answer to the problems of selfish humanity, is to uplift Jesus Christ and to be born again in Him, that He might teach us what love really is.  For peace can only abide where love abides.  And God is truly love friends.

And you know what? The sad truth and reality is that not everyone will seek to put others before themselves and not everyone will accept Jesus as their personal Saviour.  And we can’t force them to.  Oh yes! May we do our best to help as many as will accept our God to come to know the love and peace that comes from Him, but may we also not seek for perfect peace on this earth, but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Remember that we are living in a world where two forces are contending for our souls — good and evil.  Remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but evil powers – against Satan and His dark angels, and the selfishness that resides in our hearts (Ephesians 6:12).

 This battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s! Soon and very soon, this earth will be made new. Soon and very soon, we will be in a place where there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying.  Neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things will be passed away. Truly God will make all things new. See the beauty of this peace giving message in Revelation chapter 21 ❤️.

And for those seeking to help our world to have more peace by revealing Christ to others, please read the precious gem below that The Lord blessed me with in the book This Desire of Ages for some sweet guidance.  Do we fight and demand that God is uplifted? Do we protest and fight for the Christian standard in our governments, schools and laws? Even if it is right?  Check it out at the end of this post.  I’m so sure that you will be extremely blessed!!

Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace.

Could it really even be more simple?

“Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” -Isaiah 27:5

God bless you all, and may we all come to know this sweet peace that can only come from above!

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Precious Gem:

“The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. The gospel of the grace of God, with its spirit of self-abnegation, can never be in harmony with the spirit of the world. The two principles are antagonistic. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. 

But today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them the expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36. He would not accept the earthly throne. 

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,–extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart. 

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.

{The Desire of Ages, pg. 509.}

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  • Reply
    October 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I was so fulfilled with the nourishment of this beautiful written article. This is one of the best blogs I had read. It blessed me so much as I read your testimony and your encouragement to seek God alone and the promise of His peace. Thank you Vonee ! God Bless you !

    • Reply
      Vonée H.
      November 2, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Aw, praise The Lord Marsha! I am so glad that you were blessed! May God bless you too 🙂

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