Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, July 15, 2016

In Search of Peace



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"The Sermon on the Mount is a guide to peace and contentment. Its truths are directed toward the deeper aspects of life. It presents fundamental emotional attitudes rather than intellectual ideas or mere theory. Spiritual reality goes deeper than rational levels. It is difficult for a Christian to put his experience into words because spiritual experience is always richer than words can relate.

The greatest urge of the human heart is for peace. The achievement of peace and serenity often outweighs all other values which men may gain. Men's activity may be understood only in the light of the search after that which he hopes will bring him peace.

Men search for peace in three distinct ways. The first group seeks peace in the proper arrangement of externals. They hope that a good environment will give them the desired gift of serenity. A large section of modern Christian thought has emphasized the need of social transformation. Society is to be transformed politically, economically, and socially in the hope of providing self- realization for man. The quest for peace by the way of externals has always brought disillusionment. An ideal environment is of little value when the deeper problems of life arise. Externals have their importance, but they do not minister to the core of life. Adequate environmental relationships may be necessary, but they are not the basic requisites for a full life.

A second group searches for peace within themselves. They are not particularly interested in social reform. This group would rather overcome handicaps than completely remove them. Mental discipline, self-analysis, and other like procedures are followed religiously. This second method often yields some results. It, however, is still not the true way to peace. Here a person stays too much with himself.

The third and true method toward peace is the way of union with God. Peace is neither without nor within. Contentment comes from a union with the Creator. Man was made for God and can find peace only in Him. It is as Pascal once said: "Happiness is neither within only or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God."

Men of today have prided themselves with the all- sufficiency of reason. World conditions demonstrate the fact, however, that mere intellect is not enough. Attitude have to do with the heart whereas concepts may be only the superficial product of the head. When man tries to  live by reason alone, he at once shows his lack of understanding of the deeper functions of life. Man is a feeling creature as well as a reasoning creature. It is within man's feelings that all prompts of actions arise. Socrates or Plato may speak to the mind, but Jesus speaks to men's minds and hearts. Philosophers are primarily interested in how men think about the universe. Jesus is interested in man's way of feeling as well as his way of thinking.

One deeply spiritual writer speaks thus of the words of Jesus as uttered in the Sermon on the Mount: "As something strange and new, those words fall upon the ears of the wondering multitude. Such teaching is contrary to all they have every heard from priest or rabbi. They see in it nothing to flatter their pride or to feed their ambitious hopes. But there is about this new Teacher a power that holds them spellbound. The sweetness of divine love flows from His very presence, as the fragrance from a flower. His words fall like 'rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth.' All feel instinctively that here is One who reads the secrets of the soul, yet who comes near to them with tender compassion. Their hearts open to Him, and, as they listen, the Holy Spirit unfolds to them something of the meaning of that lesson which humanity in all ages so needs to learn."
quote from Mount of Blessings pg. 17-18
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