WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 8, 2021
TOPIC: HOW TO HAVE GREAT PEACE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165 New King James Version).
It was not my original intention to write this. I had wanted to write on another topic. But a virtual prayer session with a pastor friend brought about this. And as I write this, I cannot get out of my mind what the apostle Jude said in the introductory part of the book of Jude.
He said in verse 3, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (New King James Version).
Some Bible translations actually help one to understand better what Jude was saying The New Living Translation presents it this way: “Dearly loved friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the truth of the Good News. God gave this unchanging truth once for all time to his holy people.” What I want to point out is that Jude wanted to write on a different subject before but he had to change and write what we have in the book of Jude.
I wanted to write on a different topic before but the main scripture in our prayer session made me change the topic and this is the scripture: “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165 New King James Version).
Different things would be of emphasis to different people who read this scripture but my emphasis is on how to have great peace. The phrase great peace appears only once in the King James Version and it’s in Psalm 119:165 that we are considering.
The phrase appears only twice in the New King James Version, once in the Old Testament (Psalm 119:165) and once in the New Testament (Acts 24:2). The King James Version renders the great peace in Acts 24:2 as quietness. The American Standard Version renders it as much peace. The peace or quietness in this scripture refers to political peace or prosperity in the land, not personal peace of mind. The context is different from that of Psalm 119:165, which is our focus in this message.
“Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165 New King James Version). The Hebrew word for “great” in this scripture is rab, which means abundant. And the Hebrew word translated peace is shalowm or shalom which means completeness, soundness, welfare, or peace. In other words, great peace in this verse means abundant peace.
Another important phrase in the scripture is “those who love”, which is translated from the Hebrew word ahab: to have affection for. Then there is the word “law”, which is translated from the Hebrew word towrah and means law, direction, or instruction.
The last part of the verse says, “nothing causes them to stumble” which the King James Bible renders as “nothing shall offend them.” The phrase “shall offend” is from the Hebrew word mikshowl or mikshol, which means a stumbling, a means or occasion of stumbling, or a stumbling block.
Putting all of these together, we see that this scripture tells us how to have great or abundant peace. It says it comes by loving or having affection for the law, direction, or instruction of God. Simply put, a child of God who wants to have great peace must love or have affection for the Word of God. That is talking about willingly obeying the Lord. Love for God is shown in obedience to His Word or instruction.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15 New King James Version). Moses commanded the Israelites to love the LORD, walk in His ways, and keep His commandments, His statutes and His judgments, that they might live and multiply; and the LORD would bless them in the land which they went to possess (Deuteronomy 30:16). Also, Deuteronomy 30:20 talks about loving the LORD and obeying His voice.
God says there is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 57:21). The way to have peace of mind in life is obedience to God. “You give peace of mind to all who love your Law. Nothing can make them fall” (Psalm 119:165 Contemporary English Version). Isaiah 48:18 says, “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (New King James Version).
The latter part of our focal scripture, Psalm 119:165, says, “nothing causes them to stumble.” That is nothing causes those who have great peace to stumble or fall because they love the law of God. As put in the King James Version, “nothing shall offend them.” The New Living Translation says, “Those who love your law have great peace and do not stumble.” The New International Version puts it this way: “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”
Those who love the Lord shall have great peace and nothing shall offend them, nothing shall make them stumble, they won’t stumble, or they have no occasion of stumbling. The Young’s Literal Translation says, “Abundant peace have those loving Thy law, and they have no stumbling-block.”
There is no stumbling, falling, or stumbling block for the children of God who have affection for His Word. His Word is a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path (Psalm 119:105). They don’t stumble because they’re walking in the light. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 New King James Version).
Do you want to have great peace? I am not talking of political peace or the peace the world or the government gives. I am talking about the peace that God gives. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 New King James Version). The peace under discussion surpasses all understanding. There is the place of prayer in enjoying the peace that surpasses all understanding but obedience to His Word is the major way to access great peace.
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31 New King James Version). Are you His disciples? Do you abide in His Word? Do you have affection for His Word? You must love the Word of God if you want to have great peace and if you won’t stumble or fall. Proverbs 3:1-2 says, “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you” (New King James Version). Did you see the word peace? Those who love the Word of God have great peace and nothing can make them stumble or fall. Love the Word of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me in any way that I have not loved Your Word. Holy Spirit, help me to love the Word of God and demonstrate it by willing obedience. Father, restore to me the peace I have forfeited or lost because of my lack of affection for Your Word. Father, I receive great peace as I love and obey Your Word. I shall not stumble or fall. There shall be no stumbling block in my way.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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