On Christmas Day over 100 families in Jimsebosh, township lost their homes. In a matter of minutes the fire consumed everything but their lives. A day of celebration turned into heartache and despair. These people who suffer daily trying to find food and a job just to survive now have to start over with nothing, so hard to understand.
Yet, a few weeks later we were invited to attend a thanksgiving service that Love in Action ministries put together for these families. The worship was amazing, tears were flowing generously throughout the room, and by the end of the service many of these who lost everything found a new home through Jesus Christ.
All this made me think of the passage we have been looking at the past few weeks from Philippians 4:4-9, and what is our true home. Maybe the best description of what our true home is like is found in verse 7:
“The peace of God that transcends all understanding which guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
The word for “guard” is a military term, referring to fortification or protection from an on coming enemy. It is God’s peace living within us overwhelming our heart with His presence no matter what external battles and trials we may encounter.
In the book of Acts 16 Paul and Silas worshiped in prison because of the peace of God dwelling deep within them. This type of peace is not found in stuff or the idols of the world we chase after. And yet we continue to search frantically within the depths of our souls for this peace. Only when we embrace heaven’s true and lasting peace found in a relationship with Jesus will our souls be satisfied.
This section of Scripture ends with these final thoughts from Paul to the church:
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Vs. 9.
Paul is saying live as I modeled to you and shared with you and then you will know the peace of the Father and Son making their home in you through the Holy Spirit. Paul could make such a bold statement because the Peace of God made His home in Paul’s heart. He could write these words from a prison cell where he would soon die because of the powerful peace of God living in him. There was no fear of death because the perfect peace living in him gave him hope of the eternal home of peace soon to come.
I know people who have absolutely everything this world claims will give you peace and yet they are miserable because they are living apart from the peace of God. It is only living in absolute dependence on the life, death, resurrection and reign of King Jesus that will encounter perfect peace that passes all understanding.
If you recall the last two blogs I shared how heaven’s peace comes as we fix our minds on the truth, which is the saving work of Jesus Christ and that we continue to worship in Him through praise and prayer in every situation.
This is exactly what happened at the service at Jimsebosh. Jesus was exalted, the cross was preached, and the Father’s peace found a home in the hearts of His beloved children for all eternity. No fire, no scheme of man or the enemy will ever be able to take their eternal home of peace from them.
So as you enter into this new year with all the unknowns and uncertainties may you find the shalom of God filling your hearts home.
“Rejoice in the Lord always …do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to god. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”