A Blueprint For Peace
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Practical Christian living requires all of us to try our level best to take the high road at all times, regardless of the challenges or adversity we face. Sure we fail sometimes, but we simply need to get back up and strive to get back on track. By so doing, with Jesus' help, we are able to put aside any negative feelings we may have about ourselves or others, take a deep breath, and move forward in peace and harmony. Sounds easy enough, but is it really possible to loose the chains of anger, hatred, and/or un-forgiveness we hold towards others as we step onto higher ground, handing Jesus the reigns to take control in every circumstance?
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The road to peace is not a random path.
For Christians, the road to peace is not a random path, but one steeped in prayer. One of the greatest prayers for living a blessed life is found in the Prayer of St. Francis, also known as the Prayer of Peace. In a way, it is a template, a blueprint for peace for Christians that addresses how to live a Godly life. It starts out, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace," and goes on in detail to describe just how to accomplish that ambitious spiritual goal in the simplest terms:
Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.Where there is hatred, let me sow love;Where there is injury, pardon;Where there is doubt, faith;Where there is despair, hope;Where there is darkness, light;Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,Grant that I may not so much seekTo be consoled as to console;To be understood, as to understand;To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
It has been said that "It is a luxury to be understood." For believing Christians, living a blessed life is more about seeking to encourage, console and understand others, rather than being consoled or seeking to be understood. Surely a tall order for many of us as we wrestle with our humanness. For through prayer, and with Jesus' help, all things are possible with God. And with Jesus at the helm, and with Him as the wind beneath our wings, we can leave behind all negativity and selfishness and step into the Light of His love. With Jesus as our Lighthouse, our Savior, He will lift us up, bring light into our lives, and allow us to bring His warm and shining light into the lives of those around us.
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As Christians, it is not accurate or enough to say we can hop every hurdle on our own. And sometimes we fail at our attempts to live a good Christian life. At times, we fall short, but by the grace of God, we are forgiven and are able to try again, to start anew. Sometimes we need Jesus to go before us and to heal, comfort, protect, and even save us from our own devices and others. We need Him to alleviate our burdens and to equip us with every good thing to meet the situations and relationships that we face in our daily life.
We need to invite Jesus in and ask Him to fight our battles with us, and even for us at times, especially when we feel that all is lost. We need to learn to speak life into every situation. For it is a true blessing when we discover and embrace the fact that Jesus really is "The Way, The Truth and The Life" (John 14:6)--Our Strength and our Shield, our Refuge in times of trouble. Jesus really is who He and His Disciples say He is in the Bible. That realization may be the first step in growing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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