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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Live In Peace

Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)

A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23 (NLT)

The Hebrew shalom means more than simply "peace." The Brown-Driver-Briggs dictionary defines shalom with words such as "completeness, soundness, health, prosperity, contentment; friendship of human relationships; friendship with God, especially in covenant relationship."

Psalm 23 does not include the word shalom in the Hebrew text, nor the word "peace" in English translations. Yet does any other passage of Scripture so adequately capture the essence of shalom? At the Psalm's very center lie the words, "I will fear no evil, for You are with me."

The Hebrew for "with" ('immad) can be amplified to, "You are close beside me, You are in company with me, You make Your presence known to me." Amid dark valleys, anxiety, or chaos, shalom is found in the company of God. Where His presence is known, we live in peace.

Our Father in heaven, the world presses in so urgently. It is difficult to find the time and place to truly be still and know that You are God, know You as exalted in the earth, know Your peace. Please draw us irresistibly into Your company, to know Your presence.

"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 afraid." — Jesus

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Copyright 2008, Anne Lang Bundy

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