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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 5:9’

Being Peace-full

February 17th, 2014

“God blesses those who work for peace.” Matthew 5:9 NKJV.

Where God and His Word are lacking, peace will be absent.

My thoughts and comments today are about “being peace-full.”

My dear friend, Campbell, introduced me to the eloquent, British word, “dispeace,” describing “an unsettling absence of peace.” One who has known peace will not be content to live again without it. God is the answer for dispeace of heart and dissension with others. “For the kingdom of God is . .  righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:17-18 NIV.

Jesus established the practical qualities of an exemplary life, “Being real, compassionate, submissive, satisfied, merciful, and authentic.” (Matthew 5:1-12). To those, Jesus adds, (7) “Being peace-full.” To those who work for peace, a family resemblance is seen. “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NLT. Like other traits of spiritual maturity, being peace-full starts in your heart with your right relationship with God, then expressed in your conduct and conversation. “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18 NIV.

What most determines your peace is not what others do but what you have done, or will not do, to restore what is broken. The tools of making peace are prayer, confession, humility, forgiveness, obedience, and “giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-11 NKJV. Peacemaking is aptly described as work because it requires effort and personal sacrifice, but its blessings are immeasurable, “for they will be called the children of God.”

Hurting people hurt others. The person who desires peace initiates efforts toward peace, yet such efforts are not always well received. You cannot impose peace against another’s will. Neither you nor God can heal a person’s brokenness without their willingness. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18 NIV. Real peace cannot be instituted unilaterally. Do what you can, “as far as it depends on you.” Let God do what you cannot, and what others will not.

Fear of rejection is a major inhibitor to peace. Jesus said, “When you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:12-14 NKJV. From Jesus’ words, I draw three helpful conclusions. (1) Come with God’s peace in your heart. (2) You came with peace; leave with nothing less. (3) Don’t carry away any residue of hurt. As you go, “Let your peace return to you . . shake off the dust.” See Luke 10:5-6 NLT. Read Romans 14:22 NIV/2 Corinthians 13:10-11 NLT.

Where God or His Word are lacking, peace will be absent. Paul’s advice is practical, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:12-18 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that your peace with God will bring you the peace of God.

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Transcendent Peace

October 26th, 2012

“Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15 NLT.

Hearts and minds rest in transcendent peace when trusting steadfastly in God.

My thoughts and comments today are about “transcendent peace.”

Ours is a troubled world in search of peace yet ignorant of the source of its trouble. “Wars and rumors of war” exist, as Jesus said there would be. See Matthew 24:6 NIV. But the most consequential lack of peace is not global strife among nations; rather, it is the turmoil and absence of peace in one’s heart. Peace is an illusive objective, whether of nations, men, or the human heart.

Peace in one’s heart is only possible when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is welcome there. See Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV. Paul reinforced the same truth, “Through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 NIV.

Many people mistake the absence of trouble for peace. Emotionally, those may feel the same at first. Spiritually, they are not alike at all. Peace is so much more than a lack of trouble. The Hebrew understanding of peace, “Shalom,” describes “the promise and possession of everything needed for well-being.” Peace is secure in the heart that is secure in the Savior.

When you permit any circumstance to trouble you, peace is disrupted but only seems gone. God’s peace will not leave you; His peace is within you, but someone or something was permitted to influence you to disbelieve in God’s abiding peace. At such moments, you may allow lesser things to disturb your peace and persuade you it has gone. Many things push peace aside – worry and anxiety, fear and dread, irritations and hurts, and questions and doubt grab your focus and misdirect your thoughts and emotions away from peace.

Or you can, “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15 NLT. The peace of God serves as an umpire who rules on the incorrectness of anything that disturbs your heart or mind. My friend, Campbell, taught me an old English word, “dispeace,” that describes times and places where God’s peace is lacking and will direct me where God’s peace abides. When Christ’s peace rules in your heart, His peace serves to overrule all that would disturb peace. Isaiah discovered, “You, [Lord], will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You . . And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Isaiah 26:3/ Philippians 4:7 NIV. The heart and mind rest in transcendent peace when steadfast in God.

Jesus taught that peace is not something the world can give; then neither can it take peace away. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give [peace] to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV. I love Paul’s benediction to Thessalonian disciples was, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV. That is God’s intention for you as well – at all times, in every way. But you have a role in having a heart of peace. “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace . . Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall see God.” James 3:17/Matthew 5:9 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you would be an ambassador of God’s peace.

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