Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

Peace Brings Joy

Proverbs 12:19-20 Counselors of peace have joy." Romans 14:17 tells us, "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." In yesterday's reading we learned that Jesus is the kingdom of God. He is all righteousness, all peace and all joy, and we can enter into the kingdom when we ask Jesus to come into our hearts and take over our lives. I do not know a person on earth who does not desire to be right with God and his fellowman, to have peace and to experience joy. Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God, and sometimes we forget this is our message also. In addition to preaching the kingdom, we also now can tell of the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who now sits in heaven making intercession for us. The gospel should contain all of these facts.

Jesus preached the kingdom of God, and our first appeal to people as we share the gospel is to introduce them to the kingdom and then to the King. When we ask a person if he wants to be right with God and others, to have peace and to experience joy every day of his life, you will definitely get his attention. We live in a very troubled world, and the possibility of experiencing joy and peace daily appeals to us. The fruit of righteousness is peace, and the manifestation of peace is always joy.

This proverb tells us that the counselors of peace have joy. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matt. 5:9). Most children under the age of six are joyful. They love to play and laugh. Jesus also said, "Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of God." (See Matthew 8:3.) A little child is totally dependent upon his parents, and God desires for us to be totally dependent upon Him. A little child also trusts his parents. God wants our complete trust. Could it be that if we totally trusted God with everything we face in this life and were dependent upon Him at all times, we also would experience joy every day of our lives?

To be a counselor of peace one has to be dependent upon God, because only God can impart lasting peace to the soul. The counselor of peace is able to receive from God whatever the one counseled needs, and then he is able to transmit those things to the one he counsels. In reality Jesus Christ, who is the kingdom of God in its fullness, is all a person ever needs. Jesus said, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27). Jesus has already given us His peace, but some people need to know how to receive it. The first requirement to receiving His peace is to enter into His kingdom by becoming a little child. Once we have taken this step, then it is even possible that we may become a counselor of peace. Today you may meet someone who desperately needs peace in his life. I recently had a dream in which I was witnessing to a very anxious and troubled woman. I told her what she needed was Jesus. Isn't that what we all need? He is truly all we need, and we must make the decision to choose the one thing that is needed.

READ: Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20; Luke 11:37-12:7; Psalm 78:1-25; Proverbs 12:19-20

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