You may be asking at this point, “What does this have to do with peace?” The answer to this question is actually the key to understanding this verse. Jesus gives us something that the world can not offer. This is because the way the world defines peace and the way Jesus defines it are very different.
The world defines peace as the absence of conflict. “Live and let live”, “Can’t we all just get along”, “Do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else” and ultimately the relativist point of view of truth – that “your truth” and “my truth” are equally valid. This distortion on reality based upon relative point of view is a self-defeating argument. If you say this point of view is the truth then you can only come to the conclusion that there is no truth or even more, that there is no absolute truth.
How can we know that Jesus’ statement is the truth? He said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one come to the father except by me.” We can know that as we get to know Jesus. When we do as He asked and put all of our care upon Him He gives us something that this world can not offer; a “peace that passes all understanding”.
So, as I said, in times of challenges to the relative and short lived peace that this world has to offer, we have a choice to make; we can try to measure truth by shifting definitions or cling to the truth Himself – “The way the truth and the life” that leads to the father, the creator of the universe itself.
Our creator desires that we would know Him personally. That is why He sent His only begotten son to offer us reconciliation with God. We can know the author and finisher of our faith, the bedrock of truth that is always the same. In the storms and challenges of this life we can cling to a loving father that gives us peace beyond human understanding. This peace with God Himself can never be taken away unless we choose not to accept it.
Traveling to Japan:
We have arrived! After a couple hours of driving to LA International Airport (thanks Rich Henderson), getting our luggage and ourselves checked in (thanks Lord) and three long hours driving from Narita to Ome (thanks Jonathan Wilson), we arrived in our destination a little weary but unscathed.
Although this is surely only the beginning, our adjustments have been interesting and many. Little things like sorting the various types of garbage for specific days, banking by machine, using language that for now could be from another planet, but is the means by which we will reach a beautiful part of God’s creation that He has called us to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, what is it like here at Grace Christian Fellowship? We were greeted with open arms. The Japanese (also the American and Latino) people here are so friendly and helpful. So many have come to us and shared how they have been praying a long time for us to come. I have had a couple of different people come to me already for prayer and council. It has been a blessing to hear their hearts and to seek God with them for their lives.
Belinda and I are both teaching GCF International school, which has classes four days a week. Each morning before classes begin we have a time for chapel with worship, a short time of Bible study and prayer. All the staff join in this time in preparation to start each day. It’s so precious to see these little ones praising God and reading His word.
I am encouraged by the mid week Bible study and Friday night prayer. This is a fellowship that loves to study God’s word and to pray. I am also encouraged to hear and see how the Spanish ministry is growing here at GCF. The services are now through presentation and translation provided in Japanese, English and Spanish. This is quite a phenomenon in Japan. We are seeking the Lord as to how we can most effectively minister to all the wonderful cultures He is brining to GCF.
As I said, the challenges serving God here in Japan are many but we serve a God who loves us personally. Through Christ all things are possible. We can learn Japanese, to drive on the left (smile) and to minister to people of a different culture yet designed by the same creator as ourselves. Yes, we can through Christ have the confidence that if we seek Him with all our hearts He is there for us every step of the way. In that relationship we know a peace that passes the world’s understanding.
- We want to thank everyone who in the days… hours… yes even the final minutes of our departure who we so gracious with us to help handle the last minute details.
- Thank you to those who helped us with the apartment move.
- Special thanks to Becky, Bonnie, Cyndi, Judy for your help!
- Thank you to Rich Henderson who drove us to the airport and hung out until we got everything checked in.
- Thank you Pastor Jonathan for driving us from Narita to Ome.
- Our heart felt thanks to the Struvens for allowing us to stay in their home the week before we left for Japan.
- Thank you, Lord, for Jason Lemons who is allowing us to house sit while he is deployed to Iraq.
- Thank you all for your prayers and kindness through a bit of a stressful time as we transitioned through the moving process.
- God has been so faithful in the little things and the big things as well. We know from our experience of the last months that He is in control, that we can depend upon Him and that He will continue to supply and guide as we serve Him here in Japan.
After a week of getting settled in our greatest focus has been to lift up three families in prayer.
- Sherwood and Sara who are missionaries here at GCF went back to the states just before we arrived to have their first baby. The doctors identified some complications and after an induced labor and then a C-section mother and baby are recovering but need our prayers.
- Josh and Jun Shaver just gave birth to a premature baby who was flown to Hawaii with complications.
- The Bollinger family who pastor the Japanese church at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa have a child with an enlarged heart. Pray that little Rachel will not need a transplant.
- We are praying for strength for the parents and healing for these dear children.
- Pray for Jason Lemons as he will be in hostile territory during his deployment to Iraq.
- This has been a radical move for the McBade family. Please pray that we can adjust quickly, learn Japanese and remain established firmly in our Lord as we desire to server Him in Japan.
"We praise God for you continually making mention of you in our prayers."