Friday, February 25, 2011

Peace Part IV and a Few Spring Pictures More

We're still working our way through our Friday studies on Peace. This week will be the end of Peace with God. Next week we hit the bumpy road to Peace with Others. Thank you for the sweet notes I've gotten on this study. You are all a real encouragement to me.

We keep our peace when we give away our anxiety. We attain the victory only through Him who is our peace. Ephesians 2:12-22 puts it beautifully.

"Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for though Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."

There is a lot we can glean from these verses.

  • Without Christ we were separated from God. The only way to have peace with God is through the blood sacrifice of Christ. Did you see those phrases "having no hope" and "without God in this world"? Those are the things to be anxious about! But those are the characteristics of people before they come to Christ. They should not, cannot characterize a child of God. We have hope. We are never then alone in this world. People may fail us. Circumstances may threaten us. But we are never alone and never without hope. That is what gives us an unmistakable peace.

  • "He Himself is our peace." When we as Christians have peace, we are able to live in our circumstances and live out our calling because the ultimate peacemaker is at work within us. We read in verse 17 that He came and preached peace. Even though throngs pressed Him wherever He went looking for a quick fix and a miracle meal. Even though rulers sought to kill Him and quiet His message. Even though an enemy slept in His camp. Even though all hell warred against Him. Those are not peaceful circumstances. But still He preached peace. No matter how dire, our present situations cannot compare. He is your peace. So what are you preaching? What is your attitude preaching? What are your actions preaching? What are your words preaching? Are they preaching peace?

  • He also gives us peace through unity. Christ unites believers for a common purpose. What a comfort to know that no matter the place in the world or the difference in background, we have Christ as our common denominator and together we can work to make a difference for Him in the world.

Peace is possible. Peace is ours. But peace comes with a cost. It costs us our ability to control. We are required to turn over our anxieties to Him. It cost Him far more. That called for Christ's death. Such a high price, but freely given. You only have to take it.


Jennalane said...

thanks kelly! i needed that today! great word from the Lord!

Jeannie said...

this is a lesson I have been trying to learn for a long time!!