Let Peace Begin With Christ
Colossians 3:12;17 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Let Peace Begin With Christ
After more than a year of chaos and division, what most of us want right now is peace--in the world, our country, our homes, and above all, in our hearts. If it could be bought, we would surely wipe stores clean and hoard it in our basements; we never want to be in short supply again. Knowing we can't add peace to our Amazon carts, we may try to create our own peace or mine for it deep within ourselves, by altering our circumstances or even our consciousness. Unfortunately, the first isn't always possible, and the latter is at best, temporary, and at worst, destructive.
There is only one source of soul-satisfying, lasting, peace, and His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you (John 14:27).” Christ’s peace is not the absence of mental stress, conflict, and war--it's better--it transcends life circumstances while keeping us firmly planted in reality. If it did not, no one could enjoy peace this side of eternity, especially not one on his way to Calvary. As it is, Christians through the ages have experienced deep abiding peace in fox holes, on death row, and even in lions’ dens.
So, if Christ’s peace is not the absence of difficult circumstances, what exactly is it and how do we get it? According to Ephesians 2:14, Christ’s peace is Christ Himself! He does not just possess peace and share some of it with us, He IS our peace. No Christ, no peace. Know Christ, know peace. When a person receives Christ, Christ’s peace becomes, in essence, part of the spiritual DNA of that believer. Unlike our physical DNA that just is, we have a part to play: “let the peace that comes from God rule in your hearts (Colossians 3:15).” Jesus offered the same encouragement in John 14:27 :“let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” That three-letter word, let , seems to imply there is something we can do to allow peace to rule in our hearts. Other Scripture give us some insight into what that something may be:
Set Your Mind on God
“you keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6
The world will tell you to clear your mind to achieve inner peace, but not surprising, the Bible teaches the opposite: Fill you mind. Read the Bible. Pray with understanding. Think on Jesus.
Pray and Be Thankful
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15
Brothers and sisters in Christ, remember that the Spirit of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, lives inside you. If you are lacking the experience of peace in your life today, as we all do from time to time, I encourage you to consider how you can let His peace rule in your heart today. How might you set your mind on God today? Do you need to tune out someone or something today? Is there a care or anxiety you can pray about today? Has it been a while since you sat and just recounted the things for which you can be grateful?
Prince of Peace, help me to set my mind on you today and to have a grateful heart, regardless of my circumstances. Forgive me for thinking the world may be able to satisfying my soul's longing for peace. I don't want a counterfeit, I want the real thing--You are the PEACE my soul craves.