Week of September 28
". . . by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross." Colossians 1:20
Jesus was and is the new blood covenant of peace. This truth was foretold to the prophet Isaiah in 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Verse 7 goes on to say that there is no end to His peace.
Directly related to salvation through Jesus Christ, peace is a gift, freely given to us. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we receive Him and His peace.
In the Hebrew language, peace is translated as "shalom," which means safety, completeness, prosperity, fulfillment, victory, success, health and blessing.
Encarta Dictionary defines peace as " . . . the time when a war or conflict ends . . . a state of mental serenity, with no anxiety."
Clearly, peace is directly linked to the presence of God. It is also a reward of careful obedience. In fact, peace is translated from the Latin word "placibilis," which means "pleasing" and from Latin "placere," which means "to please."
Since our primary purpose as Christians is to please God, not people, if we walk in careful obedience to Biblical precepts and the Holy Spirit's directives, no matter what others think or say or do, we walk in peace.
However, when we choose to move from obedience to disobedience and from faith to fear, we distance ourselves from peace (Is. 48:22, 57:21).
Judges 2 has much to say about how choices of disobedience offer defeat, distress and destruction. In this chapter, although God did not break His covenant with the Israelites, He did lift His hand of favor off of them when they disobeyed, allowing them to reap painful consequences.
Even so, our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He will restore peace in our lives when we cry out in repentance to Him. This usually involves a process.
Consider the story of Gideon, a mighty warrior, whom God called to strike down Israel's long-time oppressors, the Midianites, and restore peace (Judges 6:7-24). Gideon was the "least" in his family and had the weakest clan of men. Yet because God had purposed restoration for the Israelites, His favor was upon Gideon to defeat Israel's enemies. No way could Gideon restore peace by himself. Only with God could he complete his mission.
Likewise, only with God's help can we walk uprightly and affect peace for those around us because God, Himself, is the grantor of peace. And peace is a reward of His righteousness.
If there are areas in our lives where the Holy Spirit is prompting us to cry out to God in repentance and restoration of peace, may we trust that He awaits our cry, He will hear us, and He will respond with love.
May we be led forth in peace, experiencing the fullness and joy of this great blessing that is given to us freely as saints in God's Kingdom. And may we share this fruit of the Spirit, the peace that surpasses understanding with those who have yet to receive His truth and love.