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Saying Goodbye

This week has been difficult as we say goodbye to our family and friends. We leave in a couple of days to go live in Mexico. Many tears have been shed. An old song from Michael W. Smith comes to mind:

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

To all of our ‘friends’ some old, some new. We love you all and we know that this is not ‘goodbye’. It is ‘see you later!”

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Candle of Peace?

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22

My husband and I were shopping at a big department store when something interesting caught my eye. Right in front of me was a candle display. Now it being Christmas time, the manufacturer was trying to speak to the masses so that people would buy their candles with catchy candle names. One candle was named, “Peace.” Another candle, “Joy,” another one named, “Comfort.”

The more I thought about these candles, the more saddened I became. The world is trying to seek peace, joy, and comfort; but it won’t come in the form of a candle. Or for that matter, a car, or even a house.

The Bible says in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.” Our peace only comes from the Father, who gives it to us. This world cannot offer peace. Actually, it offers the exact opposite – turmoil and chaos.

The more we abide in Christ, the more we take on the fruit of the spirit and people recognize Christ in us. The candle manufacturer got a portion of their marketing ploy correct. It is a light, but not from a candle. It is Christ’s light living in us that changes us, thus causing the fruit of the spirit to pour out of us for all to see. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.”

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me, will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) While this world looks to find peace, joy, and comfort, a Savior was born in a lowly manger whose purpose was to come and take away the sin of the world and offer love. Out of love flows peace, joy, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Isaiah 9:6 proclaims, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince. of Peace.

Thank you Lord for giving Your one and only Son for us. Help me to remember that when strife comes in my life, I can be still and know that your gentle arms are surrounding me, holding me, comforting me and giving me peace that only comes from You. Amen.a-nativity