Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
As we begin the third day of this week of Thanksgiving, our Verse of the Day is a call for us to live in peace with one another … and be thankful. The context here that the peace of God should “rule” within our hearts. It is not a passing feeling or an occasional work of His grace. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit! It becomes embedded in the character of a believer, and it is expressed through other fruit of the Spirit as the agent of unity. Paul made this same point in his letter to the church at Ephesus:
Ephesians 4:1-6 (NIV)
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
When I think about peace within relationships, I find are two intertwined aspects: receiving the peace of God and extending the peace of God. The Gospel is the message of peace! As Paul remarked in Ephesians 2:17, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” And in Colossians 1:19-20, Paul affirmed, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Jesus, and through Him (Jesus) to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Likewise, in Romans 5:1, Paul stated, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Oh, my friends, God IS the God of peace! (Cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
In our relationships with one another, we are called to live in the bonds of peace. So, I want to reference a few Scriptures that address this point:
Romans 8:6 (NIV)
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 12:18 (NIV)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 14:19 (NIV)
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
1 Corinthians 16:11 (NIV)
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Well, perhaps, this reminder will encourage us to make every effort to do what leads to peace. And let us be thankful for the peace we have with one another as members of His Body. Yes, in this season of Thanksgiving, I pray we will remember that peace is an outward expression of our inward gratitude to the Father who sent His Son to this earth to bring us peace and reconciliation. Yes, may the peace of Christ rule in our hearts today … and let us be thankful. Amen.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16