Pursuing Peace.

If you don't read it how can you have faith.

Jesus left love guide all he did, he was the perfect reflection of our heavenly father because he imitated what he saw his father do. We are told in the bible we are to imitate Jesus and how he walked. Jesus pursued peace.

(1 Timothy 1:5) Really the objective of this mandate is love out of a clean heart and out of a good conscience and out of faith without hypocrisy.

(James 3:17) But the wisdom from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, not making partial distinctions, not hypocritical

(John 5:19) 19 Therefore, in answer, Jesus went on to say to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

(John 5:30) I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; just as I hear, I judge; and the judgment that I render is righteous, because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Even though Jesus knew he would be king in heaven he did not become high minded. He taught the apostles to be the same way. He is the great teacher and we are to imitate him.

(Romans 12:3-16) 3 For through the undeserved kindness given to me I tell everyone there among YOU not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think; but to think so as to have a sound mind, each one as God has distributed to him a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have in one body many members, but the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, although many, are one body in union with Christ, but members belonging individually to one another. 6 Since, then, we have gifts differing according to the undeserved kindness given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the faith proportioned [to us]; 7 or a ministry, [let us be] at this ministry; or he that teaches, [let him be] at his teaching; 8 or he that exhorts, [let him be] at his exhortation; he that distributes, [let him do it] with liberality; he that presides, [let him do it] in real earnest; he that shows mercy, [let him do it] with cheerfulness. 9 Let [YOUR] love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked, cling to what is good. 10 In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead. 11 Do not loiter at YOUR business. Be aglow with the spirit. Slave for Jehovah. 12 Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer. 13 Share with the holy ones according to their needs. Follow the course of hospitality. 14 Keep on blessing those who persecute; be blessing and do not be cursing. 15 Rejoice with people who rejoice; weep with people who weep. 16 Be minded the same way toward others as to yourselves; do not be minding lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become discreet in YOUR own eyes.

If we become over confident it can cause us to fall short. We have many examples of those in the bible who thought to much of themselves and would either try and put themselves in a position they were not ready for and Jehovah had not assigned them this caused them to stumble and often times they caused others to fall short. Ko’rah was an example we were given of the bible of what can happen if we become over confident and let arrogance creep in. It didn’t only cost him his life but it cost the lives of many others.

(Proverbs 16:18) Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

(Numbers 16:1-3) 16 And Ko′rah the son of Iz′har, the son of Ko′hath, the son of Le′vi, proceeded to get up, together with Da′than and A·bi′ram the sons of E·li′ab, and On the son of Pe′leth, the sons of Reu′ben. 2 And they proceeded to rise up before Moses, they and two hundred and fifty men of the sons of Israel, chieftains of the assembly, summoned ones of the meeting, men of fame. 3 So they congregated themselves against Moses and Aaron and said to them: “That is enough of YOU, because the whole assembly are all of them holy and Jehovah is in their midst. Why, then, should YOU lift yourselves up above the congregation of Jehovah?”

(Numbers 16:31-35) 31 And it came about that as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them began to be split apart. 32 And the earth proceeded to open its mouth and to swallow up them and their households and all humankind that belonged to Ko′rah and all the goods. 33 So down they went, and all who belonged to them, alive into She′ol, and the earth went covering them over, so that they perished from the midst of the congregation. 34 And all the Israelites who were round about them fled at the screaming of them, for they began to say: “We are afraid that the earth may swallow us up!” 35 And a fire came out from Jehovah and proceeded to consume the two hundred and fifty men offering the incense. . .

Jesus set the perfect example. Though he was to be our king in heaven he still remained humble towards others and set the example of how we should be. We should not view ourselves as more then someone else or as superior. Servants wash the feet of others and were viewed as being less then others. This did not stop Jesus from washing the feet of the apostles. Jesus was well aware of each of the apostles short comings, this did not prevent him from being humble towards them and treating them with respect. He could have easily tore them apart by looking at their short comings and constantly pointing them out. He did not he would give them parables or remind them of God’s word. He did not constantly attack and accuse them. He saw what they were becoming not what they are. He knew the things they would eventually do because he could read their hearts. We cannot read peoples hearts so we should not be judging them and trying to find their sins but we should be encouraging them and using God’s word to guide them and build them up spiritually. We should also set the example for others showing them the way by imitating Jesus humility.

(John 13:1-17) 13 Now, because he knew before the festival of the passover that his hour had come for him to move out of this world to the Father, Jesus, having loved his own that were in the world, loved them to the end. 2 So, while the evening meal was going on, the Devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Is·car′i·ot, the son of Simon, to betray him, 3 he, knowing that the Father had given all things into [his] hands and that he came forth from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the evening meal and laid aside his outer garments. And, taking a towel, he girded himself. 5 After that he put water into a basin and started to wash the feet of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel with which he was girded. 6 And so he came to Simon Peter. He said to him: “Lord, are you washing my feet?” 7 In answer Jesus said to him: “What I am doing you do not understand at present, but you will understand after these things.” 8 Peter said to him: “You will certainly never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him: “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him: “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him: “He that has bathed does not need to have more than his feet washed, but is wholly clean. And YOU men are clean, but not all.” 11 He knew, indeed, the man betraying him. This is why he said: “Not all of YOU are clean.” 12 When, now, he had washed their feet and had put his outer garments on and laid himself down at the table again, he said to them: “Do YOU know what I have done to YOU? 13 YOU address me, ‘Teacher,’ and, ‘Lord,’ and YOU speak rightly, for I am such. 14 Therefore, if I, although Lord and Teacher, washed YOUR feet, YOU also ought to wash the feet of one another. 15 For I set the pattern for YOU, that, just as I did to YOU, YOU should do also. 16 Most truly I say to YOU, A slave is not greater than his master, nor is one that is sent forth greater than the one that sent him. 17 If YOU know these things, happy YOU are if YOU do them. . .

So to avoid thinking more of ourselves then we should we need to view others as superior and not focus constantly on our own interest but to take interest in others and on how we could help them. Egotism is when we have an undue sense of self importance. Many in the bible when they became rulers fell short because they left the authority go to their heads and started thinking more of themselves then they should have. Some even took it to the point they wanted people to worship them.

(Philippians 2:1-4) 2 If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any sharing of spirit, if any tender affections and compassions, 2 make my joy full in that YOU are of the same mind and have the same love, being joined together in soul, holding the one thought in mind, 3 doing nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with lowliness of mind considering that the others are superior to YOU, 4 keeping an eye, not in personal interest upon just YOUR own matters, but also in personal interest upon those of the others. . .

(Galatians 5:26-6:1) 26 Let us not become egotistical, stirring up competition with one another, envying one another. 6 Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he is aware of it, YOU who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness, as you each keep an eye on yourself.

We all fall short and have imperfections we have to work on. If we start viewing ourselves as being more righteous we could become blind to our own imperfections and believe we cannot fall. We have the example of Peter when he became over confident in his spirituality. We know Peter ovecame this because he went on to make many disciples.

(James 3:2-4) 2 For we all stumble many times. If anyone does not stumble in word, this one is a perfect man, able to bridle also [his] whole body. 3 If we put bridles in the mouths of horses for them to obey us, we manage also their whole body. 4 Look! Even boats, although they are so big and are driven by hard winds, are steered by a very small rudder to where the inclination of the man at the helm wishes.

(Luke 22:33, 34) 33 Then he said to him: “Lord, I am ready to go with you both into prison and into death.” 34 But he said: “I tell you, Peter, A cock will not crow today until you have three times denied knowing me.”

(Luke 22:55-60) . . .When they lit a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter was sitting in among them. 56 But a certain servant girl saw him sitting by the bright fire and looked him over and said: “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying: “I do not know him, woman.” 58 And after a short time another person seeing him said: “You also are one of them.” But Peter said: “Man, I am not.” 59 And after about an hour intervened a certain other [man] began insisting strongly: “For a certainty this [man] also was with him; for, in fact, he is a Gal·i·le′an!” 60 But Peter said: “Man, I do not know what you are saying.” And instantly, while he was yet speaking, a cock crowed. . .

If we are constantly looking for what is wrong in others we start judging them. How we judge is how we will be judged so if we nit pick at people we are viewing ourselves as being better then them and we are judging them.

(Matthew 7:1-3) 7 “Stop judging that YOU may not be judged; 2 for with what judgment YOU are judging, YOU will be judged; and with the measure that YOU are measuring out, they will measure out to YOU. 3 Why, then, do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the rafter in your own eye?

We know we will be under constant attack. We know if we are truly following Jesus footsteps we will be treated as he was. We must imitate him and not attack others and bring ourselves to their levels but set the example by remaining humble. By maintaining our integrity and humility we prove who we are to God and we give God glory.

(Matthew 5:11-16) 11 “Happy are YOU when people reproach YOU and persecute YOU and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against YOU for my sake. 12 Rejoice and leap for joy, since YOUR reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to YOU. 13 “YOU are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its strength, how will its saltness be restored? It is no longer usable for anything but to be thrown outside to be trampled on by men. 14 “YOU are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when situated upon a mountain. 15 People light a lamp and set it, not under the measuring basket, but upon the lampstand, and it shines upon all those in the house. 16 Likewise let YOUR light shine before men, that they may see YOUR fine works and give glory to YOUR Father who is in the heavens.

(1 Peter 2:11, 12) . . .. 12 Maintain YOUR conduct fine among the nations, that, in the thing in which they are speaking against YOU as evildoers, they may as a result of YOUR fine works of which they are eyewitnesses glorify God in the day for [his] inspection. . .

We want to practice what we teach so we do not smear God’s good name. If we teach others about God yet we are unreasonable and contentious what kind of message are we really sending?

(Romans 2:17-24) 17 If, now, you are a Jew in name and are resting upon law and taking pride in God, 18 and you know his will and approve of things that are excellent because you are orally instructed out of the Law; 19 and you are persuaded that you are a guide of the blind, a light for those in darkness, 20 a corrector of the unreasonable ones, a teacher of babes, and having the framework of the knowledge and of the truth in the Law— 21 do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching “Do not steal,” do you steal? 22 You, the one saying “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You, the one expressing abhorrence of the idols, do you rob temples? 23 You, who take pride in law, do you by your transgressing of the Law dishonor God? 24 For “the name of God is being blasphemed on account of YOU people among the nations”; just as it is written.

We are to be reasonable and peaceable with all and we are to speak injuriously of no one.

(Titus 3:2) to speak injuriously of no one, not to be belligerent, to be reasonable, exhibiting all mildness toward all men.

(James 3:17) But the wisdom from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, not making partial distinctions, not hypocritical.

We are to seek and pursue peace. So all we do we should do in a way to promote peace. We are not only required to purse peace we are to make peace.

(James 3:17, 18) . . .. 18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness has its seed sown under peaceful conditions for those who are making peace. . .

(Matthew 5:9) “Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called ‘sons of God.’

(1 Peter 3:11) but let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Even if someone is not yet in the truth, our example may some day draw them to the truth. If it does not we have shown God how much we value peace and we have proven ourselves to God. We have to keep in mind we are all imperfect and others also have to deal with our imperfections just as much as we do theirs.

(Ephesians 4:1-6) 4 I, therefore, the prisoner in [the] Lord, entreat YOU to walk worthily of the calling with which YOU were called, 2 with complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suffering, putting up with one another in love, 3 earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. 4 One body there is, and one spirit, even as YOU were called in the one hope to which YOU were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 4 Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If we are struggling with this we need to ask God to send the spirit to help us.

(Luke 11:9-13) . . .. 10 For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened. 11 Indeed, which father is there among YOU who, if his son asks for a fish, will perhaps hand him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion? 13 Therefore, if YOU, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to YOUR children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”

(Galatians 5:22-24) 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus impaled the flesh together with its passions and desires. . .

As mentioned earlier by imitating Christ it give us peace of mind. We do not become overwhelmed with things and do not put ourselves on Christ thrown which we are not qualified to do. He rightfully earned the thrown and there is not better king. By judging other we are putting ourselves in a position we do not rightfully have. Just as people spoke abusively of Christ we also must follow his example and patiently endure it.

(Matthew 27:38-44) . . .. 39 So the passersby began speaking abusively of him, wagging their heads 40 and saying: “O you would-be thrower-down of the temple and builder of it in three days, save yourself! If you are a son of God, come down off the torture stake!” 41 In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes and older men began making fun of him and saying: 42 “Others he saved; himself he cannot save! He is King of Israel; let him now come down off the torture stake and we will believe on him. 43 He has put his trust in God; let Him now rescue him if He wants him, for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” 44 In the same way even the robbers that were impaled together with him began reproaching him. . .

(Hebrews 12:1-3) 12 So, then, because we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also put off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus. For the joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Indeed, consider closely the one who has endured such contrary talk by sinners against their own interests, that YOU may not get tired and give out in YOUR souls. . .

We need to follow Jesus example and pray for them.

(Luke 23:33, 34) . . .And when they got to the place called Skull, there they impaled him and the evildoers, one on his right and one on his left. 34 [[But Jesus was saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”]]. . .

Stephen followed Jesus example. This resulted in Paul who did some awful things towards the disciples of Christ to eventually become a leader as a teacher of the truth.

(Acts 7:58-60) 58 And after throwing him outside the city, they began casting stones at him. And the witnesses laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. 59 And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: “Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.” And after saying this he fell asleep [in death].

In doing so we give no one a valid reason to speak abusively or ill of us.

(1 Timothy 4:12) 12 Let no man ever look down on your youth. On the contrary, become an example to the faithful ones in speaking, in conduct, in love, in faith, in chasteness. . .

(Titus 2:15) Keep on speaking these things and exhorting and reproving with full authority to command. Let no man ever despise you.

We know judgment is very near, when it starts we will no longer be able to teach. We need to seize the opportunity while we can.

(2 Timothy 4:1-3) 4 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and [art of] teaching. 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching. . .

Though we are to be peaceable with all we are still to be cautious who we associate with.

(2 John 8-11) 8 Look out for yourselves, that YOU do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that YOU may obtain a full reward. 9 Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him. 11 For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works. . .

We need to practice these things and build our faith keeping in mind what is about to occurs is a sign this system has ended and the new is near. It may be a fearful time but our God will be there for us. We have to keep in mind it is not us they are attacking when we are doing God’s will but it is against God that they fight.

(Matthew 10:16-23) 16 “Look! I am sending YOU forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves. 17 Be on YOUR guard against men; for they will deliver YOU up to local courts, and they will scourge YOU in their synagogues. 18 Why, YOU will be haled before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations. 19 However, when they deliver YOU up, do not become anxious about how or what YOU are to speak; for what YOU are to speak will be given YOU in that hour; 20 for the ones speaking are not just YOU, but it is the spirit of YOUR Father that speaks by YOU. 21 Further, brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and will have them put to death. 22 And YOU will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my name; but he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. 23 When they persecute YOU in one city, flee to another; for truly I say to YOU, YOU will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives. . .

The news of the heavenly kingdom has been preached throughout the earth so we know the end is near.

(Matthew 24:14) 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come. . .

Those who endure to the end will see the new system and it will be will worth it because it will be a kingdom that will not be done away with.

(Revelation 21:1-4) 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. . .

We need to be patient more now then ever before and do our best to remain blameless.

(James 5:8) . . .YOU too exercise patience; make YOUR hearts firm, because the presence of the Lord has drawn close. . .

(1 Thessalonians 3:11-13) 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way prosperously to YOU. 12 Moreover, may the Lord cause YOU to increase, yes, make YOU abound, in love to one another and to all, even as we also do to YOU; 13 to the end that he may make YOUR hearts firm, unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the presence of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. . .

We know salvation is near and our king will be given the command very soon. While we wait the bible tells us let our reasonableness be known to all.

(Philippians 4:4, 5) 4 Always rejoice in [the] Lord. Once more I will say, Rejoice! 5 Let YOUR reasonableness become known to all men. The Lord is near. . .

We have to keep in mind Jesus did not always answer when questioned. He knew who was behind the questions and what the motives were for the questions and that no matter how he answered they would lie and use his words against him. So if we are in a similar situations it may be better not to give an answer.

(Matthew 27:11-14) 11 Jesus now stood before the governor; and the governor put the question to him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied: “You yourself say [it].” 12 But, while he was being accused by the chief priests and older men, he made no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him: “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” 14 Yet he did not answer him, no, not a word, so that the governor wondered very much. . .

Jesus was righteous and did not sin but suffered as a sinner for our sins. This should make us appreciate the ransom sacrifice even more and drive us that much more to imitate him. In doing so he provided the only ransom that could be accepted by God. Sin came into the world through one man perfect man so it had to be removed by a perfect man.

(Isaiah 53:5-9) . . .But he was being pierced for our transgression; he was being crushed for our errors. The chastisement meant for our peace was upon him, and because of his wounds there has been a healing for us. 6 Like sheep we have all of us wandered about; it was each one to his own way that we have turned; and Jehovah himself has caused the error of us all to meet up with that one. 7 He was hard pressed, and he was letting himself be afflicted; yet he would not open his mouth. He was being brought just like a sheep to the slaughtering; and like a ewe that before her shearers has become mute, he also would not open his mouth. 8 Because of restraint and of judgment he was taken away; and who will concern himself even with [the details of] his generation? For he was severed from the land of the living ones. Because of the transgression of my people he had the stroke. 9 And he will make his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death, despite the fact that he had done no violence and there was no deception in his mouth. . .

(1 Peter 2:21-25) 21 In fact, to this [course] YOU were called, because even Christ suffered for YOU, leaving YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely. 22 He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. 23 When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins in his own body upon the stake, in order that we might be done with sins and live to righteousness. And “by his stripes YOU were healed.” 25 For YOU were like sheep, going astray; but now YOU have returned to the shepherd and overseer of YOUR souls. . .

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