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What's in a Name Part Twelve

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted April 1, 2015

RELIGION – Our world is at war and it seems to get worse daily. Think of all the global conflicts that are going on right now and have the potential to ignite in something powerfully explosive. The Middle East, Russia, ISIS, Muslim Extremists, the list goes on and on. Then just think of the conflict in your own life. Who are you mad at right now? What broken relationships litter your past? Will there be joy in your home tonight? Are you talking to your spouse or your kids?

What about church, all has to be peaceful and well there right? Keep a good amount of sinners in the same room and conflict is sure to come! Or watch your kids play a ballgame and note the competitive ire that manifests itself among parents, players, and coaches.  It seems war and conflicts are all around us!

But there is one relationship that can be settled and at peace in this world: the one between you and Christ. Our name for God this week is Yahweh Shalom. This week’s name comes from the story of Gideon in Judges 6-8. You see if anyone needed peace, Gideon did. He so feared the Midianite raiders plundering Israel that he hid in a winepress to thresh wheat. He was afraid that God had abandoned His people. Gideon wondered if the Lord could still be trusted to be their protector. Then when he realized he had spoken directly with God, Gideon feared he would die because he had actually seen Yahweh.

Please note that God revealed Himself to this fearful man. He quieted Gideon’s fears and appointed him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Reassured, Gideon built an altar and called it Yahweh Shalom, “The LORD is Peace” (Judg. 6:24). The knowledge that he was at peace with God gave Gideon the freedom to accomplish what God had called him to do.

Peace is also a trait of God Himself. John MacArthur notes that “Peace is the very essence of His nature, one of His attributes. God is at all times at perfect peace, without any discord within Himself. He is never under stress, worried, anxious, fearful, unsure, or threatened. He is always perfectly calm, tranquil, and content. There are no surprises for His omniscience, no changes for His immutability, no threats to His sovereignty, no doubts to cloud His wisdom, no sin to stain His holiness. Even His wrath is clear, controlled, calm, and confident.” (1 and 2 Thessalonians, Moody, 2002, p. 313.)

Then a thousand years later, God again spoke peace to fearful men. Jesus said, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives…Do not let your heart be troubled” (John 14:27). This peace of Jesus only comes through the Cross.

Politicians may promise peace, but Jesus is the only One who brings real peace because He is peace. True peace is more than the absence of hostility or fear. True peace is the gift God gives when He reconciles us to Him through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Jesus offers peace from God (Romans 1:7) to all who are the recipients of His grace. He makes peace with God (Romans 5:1) for those who surrender to Him in faith. And He brings the peace of God (Philippians 4:7) to those who walk with Him. Matthew Henry asks the question “What peace can they have who are not at peace with God?”

Take time and mediate on Colossians 1:15-20 “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

I am praying you find Yahweh Shalom and His Crucified and Resurrected Son Jesus this Holy Week! Pastor Phillip

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

Two more things: One, Just a reminder that on Easter, Antioch Baptist Church we will only have an 8 a.m. service followed by breakfast. Please come out early if you don’t have a church home.

Two: Please be in prayer for me as I travel to Asia to teach. I leave Monday and I am so thankful that you all made it possible for me!

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