MY FRIEND – MY PEACE – MY LORD
AUTHOR – BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 – BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT Shakespir
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Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration
1 – MY FRIEND
2 – MY PEACE
3 – MY LORD
Joshua 1 – 5: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As it was with Moses, so it will be with you; I will never leave or forsake you”.
My goodness, what a promise to immerse our lives in! It’s interesting how we start our journey with Jesus struggling with all our might to hold on to the things He has declared over our lives. It’s not that we dis-believe nor want to dis-believe His word, but this thing called our “quivering flesh” tends to get far more attention than we’d like in those early days.
Well, over time we press on and eventually accumulate a portfolio of experiences that verify, not only our Lord’s faithfulness but equally important, His sovereignty over all things that cause His words to transition from hope to faith to fact.
Throughout this awkward and at times arduous sojourn of revelation and insight we are upheld by His amazing grace and very much encouraged by the tangible sense of His un-changing love. Each and every step of the way we are being drawn closer to His magnificent heart.
A heart that once fully exposed, finds us overwhelmed by its divine quality to transcend our insufficiencies with its all-sufficiency . A heart that comforts us. A heart that heals us. A heart that changes us. A heart that speaks to our hearts with these all-enveloping words: “You will never find a friend like me. You will never find a love like mine. I am closer than a brother and will never leave or forsake you. Unlike others who make similar claims, I emphatically proved mine”.
John 15 -13: “Greater love has no one than this: To lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.
My goodness, friends of God through the cross is our secured by Him status. Completely unearned nor will ever be earned by us and given as a gift. A gift from a friend like no other indeed!
We as humans use time frames for many legitimate reasons. How long have you? ( fill in the blank ).
Let’s flip the questions: How long has Jesus loved us? How long has Jesus been our friend?
The Bible is clear: From the beginning of creation His cross was pre-destined. Enacted two thousand years ago but initiated in the beginning. Imagine all He would have had to navigate around regarding us to maintain His love for us over those multiple millions of years. Do we even dare to question His grace, love and immeasurable devotion for us?
1st John 4 – 19: “We love because He first loved us”.
Had He not, we neither could or would! We didn’t come up with a “good idea” on a given day. He gave us His good idea and we embraced it. I’ve been asked this question many times: When did you find the Lord? The answer? I didn’t, He found me. When I wasn’t looking for Him, He so lovingly was looking for me! Inconceivable and yet true! My goodness: What a friend!
John 14 – 27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful”.
Isaiah 26 – 3: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You”.
The peace spoken of in our scripture references has a qualifier. My trust! While it’s obvious to me that I don’t create peace, it’s equally obvious that I do ignite it. Sounds strange when I think about it: The super-natural being entrusted to the natural for its activation!
Just as it is with faith, peace is a gift. Jesus said: “My peace I give you”, so the substance itself has already been gifted to us. Then, is it just a matter of me saying all the memorized right things at all the appropriate right times with a stiff upper lip, holding on for dear life?
No, it’s me trusting the right and most worthy Person all of the time with a history of reference points to support my trust. I can’t speak for others and their lives, but I personally have no right nor justification to dis-trust Jesus!
A very good friend and brother along with his lovely wife gave me a beautiful gift a few years ago at Christmas of the famous picture: “The Good Shepherd And The Lost Sheep’’. It depicts the sheep resting on its Shepherd’s shoulders heading back to the fold. If you look closely, the Shepherd has a look of satisfaction having found His sheep while the sheep just looks thankful for being found.
I look at that picture every day and see myself in it. You see I’m the sheep, not hypothetically but realistically. To further highlight the quality of my Shepherd’s love for me: I wasn’t asking to be found, thinking I had forfeited the right to do so, but He came and found me anyway! This is the “Magnificent One” who is asking to be trusted. This is the One I will trust forever!
With my mind “stayed on Him” I find perfect peace not of the circumstantial variety but rather the peace that passes my understanding. A peace that transcends circumstances. A peace that daily allows me to hear His voice saying: If I came and found you Bill, trust Me I can keep you.
Our peace is not found in the understanding of all things but rather in intimately knowing and trusting the One who does.
His faithfulness and love is without challenge. His sovereignty is equally so! Jesus is above all things and is intimidated by nothing or no one! Our trust in Him is heavenly validated by His name. The name above every other name! A wonderful name. A beautiful name. A powerful name!
When does Jesus become the Lord of our lives? I think most of us would freely admit, that His Lordship didn’t instantly happen on day one of our journey with Him. Our beginnings usually have included a lot of humbling, stumbling, and bumbling attached. All undergirded by God’s magnificent grace and understanding.
When looking back two thousand years ago on the early church the same was true with our brethren of days gone by, so it’s not uncommon. These ones we speak so highly of now had their moments. Peter would be an excellent example. One minute, “I would die for You’’ and the next minute, “I don’t even know you”. That’s quite the swing in a short time!
You see at the heart of the matter it wasn’t Jesus who Peter didn’t know. It was Peter who didn’t know Peter. When he said “I would die for You” he didn’t believe for a second that he was capable of denying Jesus. To him the thought was ludicrous. In front of a little girl while warming himself by a fire, Peter met the real Peter and was devastated by the introduction. All the vibrato displayed earlier on that evening at the last supper had vanished in a moment.
Fast forward to post-resurrection: Peter has an encounter with the now resurrected Jesus on the shoreline. It’s not the same Peter as before. It’s a far more humble version of the man. It’s Peter the acknowledged failure with nothing to offer Jesus but his emptiness. It was then and only then that Jesus becomes his Lord. It was Peter’s emptiness that served as the forerunner to his surrendering of control to Jesus.
Oh how I can relate! It would seem, without putting time frames on the experience, that Jesus becomes the Lord of our lives when we stop being the lord of our lives. Thankfully for some, that seems to be an easy transition but for the Peters and Bills of this world, not so much!
I loved Him with all my heart but wanted shared supremacy. I wanted a say in my life and for some strange reason, felt deserving of it. Then like Peter, I found out the hard way just what I was capable of. My lofty opinion came crashing down in a hurry, as Jesus took a half step back to let me meet me. I like Peter was left with nothing but emptiness which Jesus celebrated by filling me with His fullness! He is now well entrenched as my Lord and thanks be to God for His grace, mercy, patience and protection throughout!
Peter went from being a braggart and a coward to being the first voice of the early church, but first he had to get over himself. The really good news: Peter’s life strongly suggests, this Jesus who is our friend, our peace and our Lord is also seriously invested in our comebacks following our setbacks!
OTHER FREE EBOOKS BY BILL TAYLOR
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK ONE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK TWO
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK THREE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FOUR
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FIVE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK SIX
THE ROSE AND THE THORN
WILLING HEARTS – NO LIMITS
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
THE SECOND CROSS
BULLS IN CHINA SHOPS
FAITH IS A JOURNEY
THE HEART IS SACRED
REJOICE – IT’S A NEW DAY!
BLESSED & CONTENT