Some of the sweetest words in the English language are mother, home and heaven. One of those other words that people really take a lot of comfort in is peace. When you talk about the word peace, it’s found some 150 times just in the Old Testament alone; I read it was found 80 times in the New Testament. In fact, it’s found in every NT book except the book of 1 John. When you think about peace, it’s something that we long for. We want it in our relationships, we want it in every aspect of our lives. In fact, we pray to almighty God that we can live in a world where there will be no war, where the ravages of war will end and we’ll just have peace.
When you look up the Greek word peace, Vines says ‘harmonious relationships between men, between nations. Freedom from molestation, order in the state, quietness in the churches, the sense of rest and contentment, the harmonized relationship between God and man accomplished through the gospel ’.
It’s not uncommon as we live in the world for people to give various titles or descriptions of places. Some people will call a beautiful place the Promised Land, someone else will say well, that’s really the land of rest.…
The house church movement or house church doctrine has been around for quite some time and I want to stress that it’s not an effort of a congregation just starting in someone’s home. It’s not that type of movement. It is also not something that a congregation says we need to start a congregation over here in this area and so they send some Christians out and they just start meeting in their home. That’s not the purpose of it.
The house church movement is individuals who have decided that the way that Christians meet now is too traditional. It’s not spiritual enough. It’s entrenched in too much orthodoxy. So what they have done is they split out and they cause division in the churches they are in and usually they just begin meeting in a home, not together. They try to keep it to a few number, maybe five to ten individuals is all they want.
It’s not uncommon in our society for people to praise those individuals who are considered to be bold. They pat them on the back and tell them how good and great they are because most times people are apprehensive in life and the bold person is one that earns great respect from others. When you talk about Christians being bold, the Greek word itself is really tied into courage. Vines says boldness means “to be confident, bold, courageous. To be of good courage, the absence of fear in speaking”. Webster’s definition said ‘brave, showing a readiness to take risk, face danger, daring, fearless, confident.” One could say, according to these definitions, being bold is an attitude of mind, it’s a disposition of mind, to have the mentality that when you have that confidence and boldness, you basically will tackle anything. That’s why the world praises people who they consider to be bold.
We talk about what exactly Christians can accomplish when they’re bold. In Acts 4:13 we read “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. “
One of the great blessings that every child of God has is that of prayer. There’s many lessons you can bring on prayer but I want to notice three elements that make an acceptable prayer. Often times we forget that as we grow spiritually, our prayer life certainly is no different. It helps us to understand what the elements in our prayer life are and the parts of prayer that will help us to be better Christians as we labor here on this earth.