You cannot see it, but there is war in Cambodia. Bullets are not flying, mortars are not exploding and nukes are not mushrooming. Just the same, it is troubling, terrifying and terminal. This war is raging everywhere, not only in Cambodia. It is not war with man, it is with God. Everyone needs peace and there is no time to waste.
For centuries, people have attempted to be at peace with their gods. Joel Brinkley wrote,
Cambodians believed, milleniums ago, independent spirits lived within their bodies. Therfore, when you ate another person’s internal organs, you absorbed his power (and would be at peace).
No pun intended, but that belief is difficult to stomach. Brinkley says, this supersition still exists today. People desire peace and may do strange things to achieve it.
The Bible speaks of two kinds of peace. Peace of God, and peace with God. Peace of God is the kind which shows up when we experience anxiety or worry. We say a prayer, heave a sigh, and know everything will be okay. Inner peace.
Peace with God is different.
To have peace with God suggest there must have been a war. This was our Bible study topic this morning as we began our day. We were at war with God, but when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, we were at peace.
Romans 5:1 states,
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
This war with God is no small matter. Psalm 7 says, “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” King David spoke of God as a God who does not delight in wickedness…you hate all evildoers. John 3:36, the same chapter which speaks of God loving the whole world says, for the unbeliever, the wrath of God remains on him. War.
The only way to get peace with God is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Cambodians, and every person in every nation needs it.
We traveled to the Bible society to pick up Khmer/English Bibles. The book which tells how to have peace with God. A generous friend sent money for the purchase. The gospels of John we bought are fantastic. I love them because the English in one column is aligned with the Khmer in the second column. This affords easy highlghting of a verse in Khmer without having to know the language.
My method is to pre-highlight a book, then ask the person a simple question. “Do you want to know how to live forever?” I like that question. It is non-threatening, it puts no one on the defensive, it is a question that requires a simple yes or no answer, and most people will answer “Yes”. Then I say, “I have a book which will tell you how to life forever, let me show you.” The first verse I open to is John 20:31. It states the reason John wrote the book.
31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
I hand the book to the person and ask them to read the highlighted portion outloud. They will. People do not mind doing this. Then I say, “Let me show you a few more, and then I will give you this book as a gift.” I take them to some or all of the following verses:
John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; 6:47,48; 11:25,26; 14:6.
On two occasions people have said, “No one has ever told me this before.” Wow. Then, I ask if, after reading the verses, they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If yes, according to the Word of God, they have eternal life. If no, then I tell them to take the book and read it all the way through. If possible I would get back to them later, but that’s not always possible. We are just the messengers.
After our Bible purchase we made our way to RISC, Returnee Integration Support Center. RISC helps deportees who have recently arrived in Cambodia. Sarith is the director and a friend I have known for seven years. Hope Now helps young men and women after they leave RISC.
We made two stops on our way back to my hotel. Chantha needed a lens adapter for his camera so we found a camera store and he got what he needed. Next we made stop at a business along the road which makes carts for vendors to sell their wares. Mout wanted to buy a small cart for his wife. She will sell product from the cart to supplement their income.
The shopkeeper asked Mout if we were Christians. Mout told her we were. He asked her if she was. She said her father was. Mout asked her if she would like to know how to live forever? She replied, “Well I am a Christian too, but my husband is not“. Mout said, “Let me show you how to help him.” He took her first to John 20:31 and then told her to share this book with her husband. She said she would.
Our final stop of the day was back at Sarom’s coffee cart. On this day his two daughters and one grandaughter were manning the cart. I am a sap when it come to kids. We bought coffee and praised the father for his beautiful family.
The world is at war, but we were at peace at the end of our day. What adventures will today hold?
Praise God and glory to Jesus for the reconciliation so we can have that peace with God.
I love the last photo Pastor!!
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That was one of my favorite photos.