Just…Live at Peace.

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Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English.

The world is not a peaceful place.  Natural disasters are scary enough. But then, people are scary too: wars, corruption, family violence, sexual abuse, and abandoned children.  What shall we do?

Someone asked me the other day, “How can we change our culture of violence?”

Personally, my natural desire is to FIGHT for peace.  But, is that wise?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.” (Nobel Lecture, 1964)

What do other wise people in history say about this topic?

Buddha once said, “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.”  (BrainyQuote.com)

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who make peace. They will be called God’s children.”  (Matthew 5:9).

Lao Tzu said,

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart. (Peace-Quotes.net)

These seem to be very wise statements.  We cannot bring peace among our nations, cities, or neighborhoods without knowing peace in our own families or hearts.

But how do we find peace in our own heart?  How can you find peace?

Jesus said that he gives us peace as a gift.  He said, “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly” (John 14:27).

If that is true, if Jesus gives us peace, how then shall we live in order to share that peace with others?

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  And then he added, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40).

That said, it seems that the best way to bring peace, the best way to change my culture, is to change myself.  We cannot always control the way others act but we can control ourselves.  This is true, even within our own families and relationships.  In order to bring peace, we must live at peace.

And, if our hearts are troubled, we need to communicate with the “Prince of Peace” himself, Jesus.

One of Jesus’ early followers wrote, “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Brothers and sisters, as King David said, “There is lasting peace for those who love God and His teachings.  Nothing will make those people stumble” (Psalm 119:165).

Love God. Love others. Love and live at peace.

I’m Leon Smith.


Just…a Resurrection.

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Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

It was a Sunday morning over 2000 years ago. Yet it changed history. It can also change your life today. A man called Jesus was said to have risen from the dead. Was it true?

Today, we look at the facts about Jesus resurrection. Did it happen? Last week I challenged you to try to disprove it. Could you do it?

If this were a case in court, we would need to look at the evidence.

First of all, was Jesus even dead? Death on a cross was almost certain. Roman soldiers would make sure of it otherwise, if not. Jesus was nearly beaten to death before being placed on the cross. Then both friends and enemies saw Jesus die. Next, a soldier speared him in the side, while his body was still on the cross, to make sure that Jesus was dead. Both blood and water flowed from his side. The separated fluids help to prove his death (John 19:31-34).

Doctors today agree (See: JAMA March 21, 1986—Vol 255, No. 11). Jesus was dead, and if not, he would have died in the tomb.

Next, did people know where Jesus was buried? Could his followers have looked in the wrong tomb?

Many people knew the location of his tomb. A member of the Jewish Council, Joseph, donated the use of his tomb. The place would have been well known. Jesus’ enemies wanted people to know that he was dead. They could have produced the body if there was a question about the death.

Could his body have been stolen? (Matthew 28:11-15) No, the tomb was sealed with a huge stone and Roman soldiers guarded it with their lives. They were professionals. If the body had been stolen, there would have been an investigation.

Are there other reasons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Yes.

Over the next 40 days, it is recorded that Jesus appeared alive to over 500 people. He even appeared to groups of people all at once.

Also, consider the rapid change in Jesus’ followers. Something incredible happened. Just before Jesus’ death, his followers were afraid to live for him. They ran away when soldiers captured him. Peter denied that he knew Jesus. Later—after the resurrection—the same followers, including Peter, changed. They were now willing to go to death for Jesus. Most of them died for their belief in Jesus and his resurrection.

People are willing to go to death for something they believe to be true. But people are not willing to go to death for a lie.

Finally, before Jesus’ death, he claimed that he would rise from the dead. No other man has made such a claim and then made it happen. If the resurrection did not happen, Jesus was a liar. Then he would be no different than any other religious leader: dead in the ground.

But the facts are strong, Jesus words were true. We can trust him. Our faith can be based on fact. He can provide justice. He can provide forgiveness. He can give us peace and hope. He can change the world. He can change you.

I believe it. So can you.

It’s a fact. Case closed.

I’m Leon Smith.


Just…Jesus.

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Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Last week I talked about God having a plan of justice for you. It was a plan for the whole world. It was a plan that gave justice against evil. It was a plan of love and forgiveness. That plan was to send a savior.

Christians claim that Jesus was sent by God to save the world. If Jesus was God’s plan for justice, what should we know about him?

Both Christians and non-Christians agree that Jesus lived. There is no educated doubt that a man called Jesus walked the earth about 2000 years ago. But, if we look at the history of Jesus’ life here on earth, who was he? Was Jesus a simple religious leader? Was he a great teacher? Was he a liar? Was he a crazy man? Or, was he the Son of God?

According to historical documents, Jesus was the son of a Jewish girl named Mary. Both Muslim and Christian documents claim that He was miraculously conceived by God and born in Bethlehem. It was a little town in the Middle East that still exists today.

Jesus grew up in another town nearby called Nazareth, and it is reported that he lived a perfect life. He was without sin. When he was 30 years old, he began to teach and perform miracles (Luke 3:23). It is said that he healed the sick, fed the hungry and even cast out demons. Because of Jesus, lives were changed.

Jesus taught that God wants people to love Him first. Second, we are to love other people. We are not to worry about material things but to think about heavenly things. We are to walk humbly and live at peace.

Many people followed Jesus, but some people did not like him. The religious leaders were jealous of him. They were angry when he questioned their teachings. He taught with more authority than they did. He lived the way he taught.

When Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the Jewish leaders brought him to trial. It was a sin to claim to be the Son of God unless, of course, if it was true. The punishment for such a sin was death. The leaders led the people against Jesus. They brought him before the Roman ruler, Pilate, and wanted him condemned to death. Finally, the Roman ruler said the Jewish people could have their way with Jesus. After suffering beatings by Roman soldiers, Jesus died upon a cross. It was a Friday afternoon (John 18-19).

Jesus body was placed in a tomb…Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Three days passed on the Jewish calendar.

Today we have reports from Jewish, Roman, and Christian sources that something special took place on that Sunday morning. The tomb was empty. Jesus’ body has never been found. Christians claim he rose from the dead (Acts 2:22-24).

If Jesus rose from the dead, we need to study his teachings. If Jesus rose from the dead, we can have faith in our future. If Jesus rose from the dead, He can give us life; He can give us justice. He would be the Son of God.

But if Jesus did not come back to life, this message would have no meaning and Christian faith would have no meaning (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Here is a challenge for you. Try to disprove the resurrection this week. Let me know if you can. I base my life on it. I dare you.

I’m Leon Smith