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Apr 24 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

April 24, 2022



Welcome and opening prayer — Nancy Lopez

Good morning, Welcome to RefleXion            May the Lord be with you!

I have a question:  Is light something we actually see, or do we see because there is light?   Physical seeing or awareness is made possible because of our natural eyes and light.  Spiritual awareness is made possible by spiritual eyes and spiritual light.

I’m intrigued by Jesus post-resurrection appearances and how they didn’t recognize Him, and then they did.  On the first day, that Easter Sunday, He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other women, to Peter, to two of His followers on the road to Emmaus, and then to 10 apostles (and that was all on the 1st day!).  Eight days later He appeared to Thomas and then later to seven disciples who had gone back to fishing. 

Starting with the women who went to the tomb that first morning, scripture says they went “as the day began to dawn.”  With the seven disciples who had gone back to fishing, the passage begins, “At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach.”

We often use the phrase “It just dawned on me,” right?  Dawn doesn’t suddenly appear–it kind of sneaks up on you. The dawn is a gradual changing of light (when does the dawn begin and end?), and the gospel stories seem to mimic that slow awareness – a hint with the women, brighter still to Mary, a glimmer enough to reorient reality on the road to Emmaus and with the breaking of the bread, more darkness pushed back with the apostles gathered.

It takes a while to learn how to live in this new light, and maybe that is exactly what He was teaching them. Echoing C.S. Lewis, it is not just that we see the light, it is that we are learning to see everything by that light. It takes a while, given our habits shaped by darkness, but, hopefully, we are learning to be more spiritually aware.

Just as every day promises the dawn, let us look for light and see by the light and consider ourselves as those becoming more and more aware of the dawn.  Let’s not be discouraged; let’s just continue in our spiritual awareness practices until we can say, “Oh, I see that now!”

Our opening prayer today is taken from Psalm 57:

Our hearts are confident in you, O God. No wonder we can sing your praises even when darkness seems to abound.   Wake up our hearts! Wake up our music! We will wake the dawn with song. We thank you, Lord and sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.  Amen

Today’s talk — chuck smith, jr.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:15-16

Intro: Whenever you come to instructions in the Bible,

Remind yourself, “I don’t have to do this alone”
– God made us to become these new persons that we are
• and we have to do some of the repairs and maintenance
• however, he doesn’t expect us to do even that part on our own
◦ we can trust Jesus – his burden is light and his yoke is easy
– we’ve learned what to take off (old self with its vices)
• and what to put on (new self and its virtues)
• Paul now tells us what we are to take in

The “peace of Christ” is not an “idea” or empty cliche

There are many churches that preserve the historic tradition of Christian worship
– each week, believers turn to each other shake hands or hug
and say, “The peace of Christ be with you,” and the other person says, “ and also with you”
• this blessing does not come from a priest, pastor, or worship leader
• but it is a spark of divine grace shared between the people present
– imagine how this would change our lives,
• if, as Paul says, the peace of Christ ruled in our hearts

In Mark’s gospel, we learn Jesus and disciples were so busy they had no time to eat
– one evening, to get away from the crowds, Jesus climbed into a boat
• while heading across the “lake,” a windstorm suddenly slammed the surface of the water
◦ waves were breaking over the hull – and the boat was taking on more water than they could bail
• and during all of this, Jesus was in stern, sound asleep
◦ in a hopeless panic, they woke Jesus and screamed over roaring wind,
Teacher, don’t you care that we’re all about to die out here?!
◦ waking up, Jesus stood, looked at them, looked at storm,
and he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”
– then he said to the disciples, Why are you so afraid? Where’s your faith?
• what I hear is:
“You didn’t have to wake me up or try to shame me with your ‘Don’t you care?’ I never left the boat. I’ve been here the whole time. Did you see how I can say to waves, ‘Peace!’ and to the wind ‘Hush!’ and they obey me? But when I speak peace to you, you get even more afraid!”
• after the resurrection, when Jesus first appeared to the disciples,
◦ his first words were, “Peace be with you” – but had to say it twice
◦ when something big is coming, how many times does he have to repeat the same words to me?

What does it mean that this peace is “of” Christ?

It comes to us from heaven
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Php. 1:2)
– it is also the peace that Jesus’ presence brought to people
• the assurance of the words he spoke to troubled hearts
• and it was the peace he taught to his followers
– it is also the peace that Jesus himself knew and always had
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (Jn. 14:27)
• in the gospels, do we ever see Jesus in a mad rush?
◦ does he ever succumb to the pressure of others?
◦ is he ever agitated? uptight? about to fall apart?
◦ no – in fact, Jesus is the “Prince of peace”
• his voice is always calm and reassuring
don’t be afraiddon’t be anxiousyour sins are forgiven
◦ come to me with your heavy load
◦ the Father loves you – you are valuable to him; he cares

At what point do we experience the peace of Christ?
– at the point where whatever peace we have within ourselves gives out
• we don’t need his peace when we’re physically and mentally healthy and all is well
◦ when there’s no war, or pandemic, or crime, or stress
◦ but when our bodies are failing and our world is falling apart, we can receive the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding (Php 4:7)
• Paul doesn’t say, “Pray for peace”
(I don’t think that’s a wrong prayer, but it’s not what he tells us to do here)
◦ the peace of Christ has already been given to us – it’s already here
◦ he says, Let it rule in your heart

“Rule” translates a word that means to judge, to decide a case
– it was used of umpires who made “the call” in sporting events
• Paul tells us, “In all your stress, let peace make the call”
– I have had moments of overwhelming peace in crisis
• but more and more I’m discovering peace in normal circumstances
◦ times when I would usually stress out or feel anger
• I have never been able to soothe myself with happy thoughts
◦ what I experience now is real

Paul has in mind a specific role for this peace

He talks about our “calling” – our vocation or mission
– it has to do with oneness and with a body (the “church”; Col. 1:24)
• Paul was very concerned that Christians would get along
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility . . . that he might create in himself one new [person] in place of the two, so making peace . . . . So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Eph. 2:14-19)
– this is more than learning to accept each other as we are
• it is taking an active role in reconciling differences
• it is living out the Beatitude of Jesus,
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God (Mt. 5:9)
◦ blessed are those who build bridges rather than barriers

Paul throws in an extra little item: And be thankful

All I’ll say about this, is that to become thankful, we have to practice giving thanks
– there is evidence that thanking God frequently,
• and doing it intentionally and sincerely enough to feel it,
◦ changes the neural activity in our brains
• people experience more gratitude, more peace, more joy
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thes. 5:16-18)

What else are we to take in? “the word of Christ”

I believe this includes the message about Jesus as well as Jesus’ teaching
– more than one passage tells us that it does us no good to dabble in the word
• the very first word of the very first psalm is blessed – Who is blessed? The person whose
delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night
(Psa. 1:2)
◦ that is what it takes take in the word of Christ
• and we do not only give the word a home in our hearts,
◦ but it lives in us “richly”
◦ it comes to us with an abundance
– what comes to mind is Jesus’ story of the four soils
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Mt. 13:8)
(a bountiful yield by any farming standard)
• good soil is free from the problems in other soils that prevented or killed the life of the plant
• last week, woman in one of our Lexio Divina meetings shared something with us,
◦ that she has been in the Scriptures all her life
“But reading it in this slow way, I see things I’ve never noticed before. And sometimes I wonder, Why is this in here? What does it mean?”
◦ when the word enters us like that, and we have to chew on it for awhile, it is making its home in us

What follows this rich indwelling is a wholesome outpouring
teaching and admonishing (counseling) in all wisdom
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple
(Psa. 119:130)
– early on, believers discovered singing was as important as preaching
• that message and music work together
• the easiest way to memorize scripture is to sing Bible verses
◦ today it is easy to have music with us always–at home, in the car, and on walks

Conclusion: The peace Paul advocates and the word that dwells in us,

Are real and energizing and desirable for one reason,
– because they are “of Christ” – behind the word, peace, there is Jesus himself
Too many Christians are taking the words of Jesus and waging war with them
Paul isn’t saying, “Let’s live in peace and have good Bible studies”
He is reminding us, “We have Jesus! Let’s enjoy what he is to us and what he gives us”
We don’t need religion, or ninety percent of either the religious books being published,
or Christian media (radio, television, YouTube, etc.)
The whole challenge of faith is about finding our way to Jesus
He is everything – and in him we have everything


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  1. Kate Garvey / May 8 2022

    Greetings from Wisconsin. I’m sure missing the community and look forward to being back in the fall. This teaching was really helpful. It reminded me I can have the lord’s peace regardless of difficulty, confusion and times when I feel like I fall short or don’t measure up to the woman I strive to be. Thanks for this teaching. And for all who ensure podcasts are available.

  2. Chuck Smith, Jr. / May 8 2022

    It is good to hear from you Kate. And it is wonderful to hear that you’re finding the mercy and grace of Jesus to be in his peace regardless of the negativity that naturally comes to all of us. May his blessings continue to come to you.

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