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R.I.P.

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I think one of my biggest discoveries early on in life was that no matter how nice I was to some people they would never be nice to me. It sounds elementary, but I had this belief that somehow I could help everyone I met and that I could somehow change the most miserable of miserable people. I could never understand why I couldn’t break through that shell and why some people just wouldn’t be nice – even a little. In time I came to learn that miserable people are that way because they never believed in Santa Claus. (I had to say it!) Unfortunately it went deeper than old Saint Nick. It would sort of make sense to say that people who can’t be nice are that way simply because they don’t have Jesus…but we all know that’s not the case either! We’ve all met our fair share of Christians who aren’t anywhere near nice. However, over the years I’ve come to the realization that most unkind miserable people, both Christian or not, have one thing in common – they have no peace.
 
"Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9
 
It’s in our God given nature to want to create peaceful conditions. Peace in our homes. Peace on the job. Peace in our relationships. Peace in our hearts. Jesus taught that peacemakers shall be called the sons of God – meaning peace is part of the family business. Creating conditions of peace is something we strive for, something that follows us and something that we work towards. Jesus wanted us to live in peace so much that He died for it. (Is 53:5) That lets me know that sometimes peace can be hard won. That in order to create peace we may have to fight or contend for it. So whatever it takes, it’s something that we will inevitably work and contend for in all situations, all relationships and in all endeavors. Why? It’s the family business. It’s what we do. Did you know the Bible says that contention in the home will eventually drive you crazy? Statistics say that having no peace in your finances is the number one killer of marriages and the number one stress leading to heart disease. That would explain why those who create conditions of peace are blessed. However, in order to create those conditions of peace, you yourself have to rest in peace.

Speaking of resting in peace, there once was a lady who in her elderly years decided to marry 4 different husbands. The first was a billionaire. The second a well known Hollywood producer. Her third husband was the owner of a large life insurance company and her fourth, well he was a mortician. After she married her fourth husband, she knew she was set when she herself died. A friend of the elderly lady asked why she chose 4 husbands. Her answer was simple. She had one for the money. Two for the show. Three to get ready and four to go! (I wrote this late at night)

The most important part of being a peacemaker is that we ourselves must first rest in peace. No, not the R.I.P. on the tombstone, but the R.I.P. in our heart. Paul said that until we can ‘cease from our works’ we will not be able to enter into His rest which means that there is a rest for the people of God. Not the ‘don’t work on Sunday (Sabbath)’ thing, but rather a rest for our entire being. It’s the kind of rest that produces a confidence and assurance that God’s got us regardless of what we have happening around us. It involves casting our cares upon the Lord. Forgiving those who have hurt us. Being confident that God who started this good work in our hearts will actually see us through. It’s knowing and believing that no matter how the situation appears to be, our God is able to do something for us that’s way beyond what we could begin to imagine. It’s a rest that comes because we want to do things God’s way. When rest happens, peace begins to happen. We begin to rest in the fact that the things God has said about us are really true. Then peace creates the condition for God to operate in. So take a deep breath! It’s okay to not have your whole life figured out. Good news! You don’t have to figure God out either. Get some rest. You’ll find His peace begin to put your heart and mind at ease. When that happens, you can go be a peacemaker for someone else. Welcome to the family biz.
 
R.I.P.
Pastor Shian

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