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Ways To Greet Your Brethren
When you meet a Christian along the way, how do you greet him? Throughout the Scriptures, we find many beautiful greetings which were used to bless others with God's richest blessings. Let's adopt these into our lifestyles and bless each other in the name of the Lord. May we become as gracious to one another as our Heavenly Father is to us.
Are you aware of the fact that Jesus used an ordinary, Oriental greeting at His parting with His disciples - at His last meeting with them right before going to the Cross?
In John 14:27, we read His words - "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." This was a common form of benediction among the Jews. It was an invocation for the blessings of peace and happiness - including all that is really and truly good. What Jesus was desiring for His disciples was that they would prosper in their body and soul...enjoy every earthly and heavenly good...have tranquility of soul and uninterrupted happiness of mind...along with friendship with God and each other.
Now, think about this for a minute! He knew what they were going to encounter within the next twenty-four hours or the days and weeks ahead. Knowing that - He blessed them - not with His Power or Love - but with His Peace - which happened to include it all.
The brethren that cross your path may be about to encounter a "Gethsemane" of their very own. God wants to use you to speak "Peace" into their lives so that they are prepared for whatever circumstances may come their way.
Oh! How God wants to use you to encourage and build up others by simply speaking His "Peace" to them in a greeting!
Throughout the Bible, we find many such greetings - and all pertaining to another's "Peace." Let's examine some of them and see what the Holy Spirit will teach us through each one.
1 Samuel 25:6 says - "...Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast." This was a greeting that David instructed his men to say to Nabal - the sheep shearer - "that liveth in prosperity" or the abundance of the wealth of the world. It was an ancient form of greeting to a friend. It entailed wishing a blessing or all good to his soul and body and to his health and prosperity. What David wished for Nabal was that both he and his family and all that pertained to him would be in continual prosperity all the days of his life - that his estate, cattle, farms, fields, vineyards, and all that belonged to him would enjoy the blessing of the Lord.
Wow! That was all contained in the blessing of "peace." Do you sense the power behind the word - "Peace" - and how important it is that you speak it to those in the Faith?
2 Samuel 18:28 tells us about Ahimaaz - the man who "cometh with good tidings"(2 Samuel 18:27) - who ran to David with one message in regards to the outcome of Absalom - his rebellious son who tried to confiscate the throne from him. His message consisted of three words - "...All is well..." What he was actually saying was - Shalom...Hail...There is Peace. In spite of the fact that Absalom met a horrible death for his rebellion, the word that Ahimaaz had for David was indicating that the danger was over and he could return back to his rightful place as King.
Imagine approaching a brother or sister in Christ with the words - "All is well." It may not seem well at the moment, but as surely as God is in control of all things, everything is working out for good and "Peace" will have its perfect way in the end for this child of God. Oh! What good news this is! Let the Lord use you as an Ahimaaz - one who "comes with good tidings" - speaking "All is well!"
In 1 Chronicles 12:18, we read the words of Amasai under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - after David asked if he and the children of Benjamin and Judah were for him or against him. His answer to David was - "...Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee..." What Amasai was wishing for David was all the good his heart desired along with temporal and spiritual prosperity by night and by day. This was all contained in the blessing of "Peace."
In Psalm 122:7, David prayed for the "Peace of Jerusalem" by saying - "Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces." Understanding that "peace" is "prosperity," he prayed for prosperity to come on all those who dwell there - that peace would be in their fortresses - offering them security against all attack .
As we have seen, "Peace" among the Hebrews had a very extensive meaning - including all blessings - both spiritual and temporal. Hence, when they came to a house and "saluted it"(Matthew 10:12) by saying - "Peace be to this house"(Luke 10:5), they expected God to prosper the entire family in their bodies, souls, and substances.
We conclude this message with this prayer for you today -
"...Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast."
"All is well."
"...peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee..."
"Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces."
"Peace be to your house."
We bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus!
May you enjoy great prosperity - both spiritual and temporal!
May God Bless His Word.