Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
"It is by making myself Catholic that I brought peace to Brittany and Vendée.
It is by making myself Italian that I won minds in Italy.
It is by making myself a Moslem that I established myself in Egypt.
If I governed a nation of Jews, I should reestablish the Temple of Solomon." (Napoleon)
The Arc of Triomphe in Paris, the most monumental of all triumphal arches, was built between 1806 and 1836 to commemorate the victories of Napoleon. Last week it witnessed bloody days that left 17 people dead, including three French terrorists. Security forces are searching for alleged accomplices who may have helped the gunmen stage their acts of terrorism.
France has mobilized 10,000 security forces to protect its population from further attacks. The forces are deployed at Jewish schools, places of worship, and other vulnerable locations. The nation has effectively declared war on jihadism and radical Islam.
Yesterday, in a demonstration of solidarity, an estimated 1.5 million people gathered in central Paris. French President Francois Hollande was joined by 40 world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Today, in Berlin, an anti-Islam rally threatens to increase religious tension. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated he plans to travel to Paris Thursday for talks on countering extremist violence. Next month, President Obama will host a summit to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremism.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of world leaders, extremists continue to recruit, radicalize, and inspire others to commit terrorist acts. The nightmare of violence continues around the world.
True liberty is found only in Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:1). "Peace is liberty in tranquility" (Cicero, 43 B.C.), but authentic tranquility only comes when the heart is at rest, and that happens only when the heart is surrendered to the Emperor of the Soul.
True equality is experienced only through the unity of common allegiance to Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26). "Only a peace between equals can last" (Woodrow Wilson, 1916). The ground at the foot of the cross is level.
True fraternity is known only through faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28). "You may call for peace as loudly as you wish, but where there is no brotherhood there can in the end be no peace" (Max Lerner, "The Gifts of the Magi", 1949).
Napoleon changed the face of the world by war. The King of kings changes lives in time and eternity by His grace.
Earth's nightmare of war will only be over when heaven's dream of peace comes true.
"In the last days, the mountain of the Lord's house will be the highest of all--the most important place on earth.It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob's God.There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.' For the Lord's teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore." (Isaiah 2:2-4 NLT)
Johnny R. Almond
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity
Interim Pastor, Nomini Baptist Church, Montross, Virginia