Peace in Jesus


Peace and rest in JesusIf I were to poll 100 people about what they most need in their lives, I don’t think peace would be in their top responses. But if I suggested peace as an answer, I think everyone would nod and agree it’s a huge need.

Peace seems so unfamiliar to people today that I think few consider it. Peace is like that wonderful, gifted, older second cousin you saw 25 years ago at a reunion. In the family, yes, but nebulously distant. Not someone you think about except when someone else reminds you of that side of the family, and then a positive memory or three comes back. Yes, now I remember. Really nice person. Would be good to see again.

What we don’t realize is how essential it is never to lose track of peace—until peace is telling in its absence. Can’t put our finger on what is out of whack, but something is not right.

More often than not, that “not right” is missing peace.

Without Jesus, there is no peace. In the silent moments of our days, the disquiet enters, and we do what we must to mute it. A million mute buttons exist, and us forever pressing the nearest one. Because the disquiet shouts to us its lack of peace. Screams that something is wrong, is off, is askew, or is missing.

Jesus, come, and be near us now.

Jesus, still our frenzy.

Jesus, quiet our distress.

Jesus, let us rest in You.

Jesus, be our peace.


I don’t know what your situation is, but I can tell you this: You could use more peace in your life. May Jesus be that peace. May you rediscover a depth of trust in Him that helps you enter rest and find renewal and refreshing for your soul.

Sports Rise, Church Fall?


Sports as religion?Over at Al Mohler’s site, he adds to the talking point that sports, notably the Super Bowl, are the new American religion. Over at, several “unhelpful” review comments for my negative review of the Christian book Transformed got me wondering about doing versus being.

What they do they have in common?

A few weeks ago, I read an article about the sameness of today’s movies. The author argued that all films today seem the same because we Americans no longer have an approved set of themes that define us as Americans. If we make a movie about the greatness of America, people who don’t think America is great will not go to see it. We can’t do a movie about religion’s steadying influence on the American Way of Life because a lot of people aren’t religious. We can’t talk about the sanctity of family because that means too many different things to different people.

About the only script we can agree upon is that oppression is bad. And in America 2014, oppression is seen as little more than bad people preventing us from doing what we want to do. It doesn’t get blander than that.

Enter the Super Bowl.

For a prescribed number of hours, Americans can agree on one event that promises a football game, some entertaining commercials, and a mid-game spectacle. A free, package deal that is harmless enough and gives us an excuse to socialize and eat too much. And unlike Thanksgiving, we can pick and choose with whom we hang out.

From this, some claim that sports are our new religion.


Instead, sports—well, the Super Bowl at least—are America’s last touch stone.

Religion stopped being a touch stone when we became aware of too many religions. Sure, we in America sort of kind of chose Christianity, but now we’re swimming in 20,000 brands of Christianity, and who can choose the right one? They all seem a little factious, too, with one claiming to be better than another.

Plus, they are all so demanding.

Which brings us my Amazon review.

The main thought in the book Transformed by Caesar Kalinowski is What if Christianity were more about being and less about doing?

What person today doesn’t want Christianity to be more about being and less about doing?

Well, pretty much everyone, because I think people feel maxed out. They can spare one Sunday evening a year, but don’t ask them to spare every Sunday morning and a whole lot of other days and evenings along with them. One more thing on the schedule? God help us!

Maybe we are run rugged. Maybe we are lazy.

In a way, it doesn’t matter, because whatever the truth is, the perception is that if one more person asks us to do one more thing, we’re going to go postal.

Kalinowski’s book doesn’t help. That promise of just being able to be gets turned into “change all your traditional church activities into  missional community activities.” Swap overscheduled for a cool, hip, quasi-religious word, intentional. Feel more Christian yet?

Well, no.

What happened to the promise of just being?

That’s a good question, but it’s not one Christian leaders are answering. Give more money, attend more conferences, be more available, help more people, and do more stuff for the Kingdom. In the end, for whatever reason, the response from the guy with bags under his eyes is no. So people turn on the tube and watch the Big Game instead. It doesn’t ask much from them. Then, when the hoopla is over sometime around 10 p.m. or so, folks head home to bed and get ready for the next day at work. See you next year.

I don’t think church leaders get this. So nothing changes.

I don’t think there’s enough being in the American Church. We’re not teaching people how to abide in Christ. We’re teaching them the Christian life consists of a bunch of disconnected activities and to-do list items, and people are saying no. Why wouldn’t they?

It’s not that the Super Bowl is America’s new religion. It’s just that it’s easy. Meanwhile, the Church keeps loading up overloaded people with more things to do. Meanwhile, Jesus goes missing amid all the hubbub.

The Just Shall Live by Faith


Saturday a bit more than a week ago, I was out driving on the highway near my home when the Lord spoke this to my spirit:

The just shall live by faith.

It’s a sure word, so sure in fact that it’s said four times in the Scriptures: Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. I believe God would have us remember this point!

The just are those who have placed their faith in Christ and have been made right with God. I think the phrase is less a command and more a statement of fact. People who have been given the power to become the children of God are the ones who live by faith.

Some believe that the financial meltdown now afflicting our country is the start of a great tribulation. I don’t know; it may be.

What I do know is this: The just shall live by faith.

The one who trusts money will see that money fail.

The one who trusts in cunning will see that cunning fail.

The one who trusts in elaborate disaster plans will see those plans fail.

The one who trusts in friends will see those friends fail.

The one who trusts in the ability to control life will see that control fail.

The one who trusts in self will see self fail.

Who will survive when all the foundations are rocked? The one who trusts God and God alone for all provision, all wisdom, and all security.

The just shall live by faith.

The world will scream at genuine Christians, claiming they are fools. The worldly will say, “Look, you have lost everything.” Put your faith in JesusAnd we will respond, “We have Christ, therefore we have all that matters.”

Many Christians will be overtaken by fear in the days ahead. They will fear because their confidence is in their own resources, not in the Lord. The one who knows Christ cannot be shaken.

The idols we have made of our jobs, our homes, our material goods, and our investments have been assaulted. If we do not recognize this time of shaking for what it is, we will not be found ready.

But the just, who live by faith, will find a most unusual word spoken to them: “Peace.” I can hear God speaking it even now. “Peace.”

The world cannot hear that word, nor will they accept it. Their rejection comes because they are not just and they have no faith except in what moth and rust destroy.

God will raise up those Christians who are at rest. Some may even have felt an otherwordly peace descend upon their hearts in recent days. I think those will be the people who will be able to stand as lighthouses for Christ in the midst of the storm.

Though the world around us may go to pieces, God will preserve those who trust Him no matter what is going on outside the four walls of the local church.

The just shall live by faith.