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Is There Peace In Your Life?

Is There Peace In Your Life?

     Peace is something that represents various things to different people. Quite a few years ago, “peace” was a slogan to many and was often signified by a pendant worn around the neck or emblazoned on shirts, jackets or embroidered on patches to add to garments as needed to make a statement. Those who embraced this sort of peace were the ones that were rising up “against the establishment” in opposition to all they thought to be oppressive or controversial. These same folks often would greet one another with the index and middle fingers raised in “V” formation and say something like “peace man” regardless of the gender of the person being regarded.  

     In 1961, around the time of the “peace” movement, there was a program started named the “Peace Corps”.   This is a volunteer program run by the U.S. government. Its official mission per its website is: to provide social and economic development abroad through technical assistance, while promoting mutual understanding between Americans and populations served. The organization promotes “world peace” by striving to fulfill three goals: 1) To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.   2) To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served. 3) To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

     It sounds to me that the idea of the “peace movement” of the 60’s as well as the formation of the Peace Corps, was an effort on the part of many to simply get along.   It is also true that getting along is directly proportionate to the lack of friction.   This is perhaps why many have sought to “go along to get along”. That is why many seem willing to sacrifice the truth in an effort to get along with others.    But, this is not the idea conveyed in the Scriptures, nor is it the reason for which Christ died. Getting along is important, but forsaking truth to do so is not what God intended when He sent His Son or when He sent His Word through the Spirit.  

     All the Greek words translated “peace” in the New Testament carry with them the idea of a calmness, stillness or quietness.   In Matthew 10:13, Jesus having sent His disciples out on the Limited Commission, directed them to bring peace to Israel by preaching Christ and the upcoming kingdom.   Then in vs 14 He also instructed them as to how to respond when that Word was rejected. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 

   Then in the same chapter, in Matthew 10:34-35, Jesus also let them know that the peace that He offers is not simply that of an outward nature, or of that just on the surface. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  He said this because not all are willing to accept His Word, His teaching, or His direction. Those that will not accept the Word of God and submit to it are not going to find the peace that is found only in Christ.   In Romans 3:17-18 the Spirit had Paul write of this so that the Roman Christians could identify those without the same desire which they had.     And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

   Those looking for the “surface” peace the world has to offer are much like the duck smoothly traversing a placid pond.   On the surface all seems smooth and calm, but underneath or inside there is a great deal of turmoil.  Under the surface those little webbed feet are churning to propel the animal toward its intended destination.   We also have a destination, but turmoil, strife and confusion are not going to get us there.

The feet of the Christian are also to be prepared.   Ephesians 6:15 tells us what part of the armor of God goes there. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;   The peace of God is spiritual. One that is seeking peace is to be spiritually minded as Romans 8:6 informs. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

     The Spirit, through Paul, was closing his second and final letter to these brethren, in 2Corinthians 13:11, and they are instructed to be “complete” in Christ as they continue in “one mind” because this would bring them peace. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  Then in the 4th chapter, verses 8-9 of the Philippian letter, the Spirit has Paul tell these brethren how this peace can be attained.   Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.   If we do those things, our hearts and minds will abide in the peace that is in Christ. Philippians 4:7 points this out to those brethren as well as to us. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  

     If we don’t have peace in our lives, we must first look to God and His Word; do the things taught there and be baptized into Christ. Then remain faithful. We can all be of one mind, teach the same things and dwell in unity and peace in Christ.  

                                           Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ


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