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Devotion 42


The Lord bless thee and keep you;

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

That's my prayer for you as I round out this first cycle of "Heartbeats." Although I may send off a one now and then in the next couple of months, I still run on a school calendar!

Activities for the summer include other projects and at least one move, depending on the completion of the townhouse in Forest and the sale of our property here at the lake. We'd like to be able to accomplish both without having to move twice and put furniture in storage. Not likely, I know.

Popular these days is the subject of blessings. We are encouraged to bless those we care about. And so I end this cycle with benedictions, which are, in fact, blessings.

The one from Numbers was the spoken by Moses to Aaron and his sons.

One of my favorites is Jude 24-25: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

"To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen."

Jude was on a roll with this one as added layer upon layer of praise to God that reflect His blessings on us: He can keep me from falling; He will present me faultless before throne of God. But Jude doesn't stop there. He will present me, not cowering and sniveling before God, but with exceeding joy!

And how about the one in II Thessalonians 3: 16, 18: "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen."

In one of many passages of in Scripture we are told to seek peace: In Psalm 34:14, David said to " peace and pursue it." Pursue it," he wrote. That means get my mind, soul and body in gear and go after it.

What a summer project: to seek peace! I have sought it forever it seems, and in recent years I have experienced an expanding sense of peace. What a relief!

The key is to understand that not only does God tell us to seek peace, he also wants us to have it. It's not something He's trying to hold like a carrot before a horse — always just out of reach. He knows we want it; He knows we need it. He knows He has it in abundance for us. We are the ones who haven't locked in on it for whatever the reasons we give ourselves.

May I suggest some things for to us to think about in these next couple of months?

What we have, what we accomplish, or the recognition we achieve can't give us peace — not for long anyway. In fact, obsession with any of them robs us of peace because we're looking in the wrong place.

Another thief of peace, I believe, is our unrealistic or unfulfilled expectations of other people. We want what they can not give or they fail us when we need them most. But peace doesn't come from the outside; we can never capture it through a relationship with any other person than Christ. I can't even count on Jim to be my source of peace.

The bottom line that we don't live in peace, I believe, is this: We don't trust God Himself enough. We don't trust what He says enough. We don't even trust His track record in our own lives enough.

In these next weeks — even when we seek peace and fail to find it – let's test our trust tank. Are we on empty, half-empty or full?

Christ promised it; I know that. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives give I unto you. Let not you heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid," he told his disciples in John 14:27.

We need to get with the program. We need to trust the one who loved us enough to die for us, who sent the Holy Spirit Himself to work with us in this life to achieve that illusive goal: peace.

For Further Consideration

I Peter 3;8-12

Psalm 34:1-8

John 14

Uncharted Shores

Look at all you possess today;

What would take if called away,

Not on a jaunt or a pleasure ride

But into the silence where God abides?

Look at all that belongs to you;

What would take if your life were through?

What would you choose, if you had to die,

That would give you peace for that last deep sigh?

What precious possession would lead your way

Through the deepening mists on that lonely day?

What could unveil the secrets there

That only the Lord reveals in prayer?

Study your treasures earnestly.

What will of any value be

When alone you drift to uncharted shores,

Toward death or life forevermore?

There is only one treasure has worth, my friend,

To see you through at your journey's end.

Salvation for you through redemptive grace

Is the compass that points to the unknown place.

It's the key that unlocks the heavenly gates

Where loved ones in Christ and the Saviour await.

Cast aside the world: it's glitter; its worth

To walk in peace through this journey on earth.

As the Spirit quickens for works divine,

You lay up treasures for heaven's time.

Then like a dream that is finally true,

The Lord will be waiting to welcome you:

To tread the waters that flow between

These earthly shores and shores unseen.

Dorothy Ruth Harris Teel


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