Living Peaceably

Even in upsetting circumstances we are to be advocates of peace in prayer, with a willing heart.

We hear about war every day in the news! War follows a breakdown of peace, the consequence of which is destruction and the end of good gifts between people. One day our Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, will return; his reign will bring peace. Until then we live in a fallen world, and we his followers are to demonstrate peace within it. Romans 12:18 says, ‘If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.’ This can be paraphrased as, “never let me be the reason for an unpeaceful relationship with another person.”

Peace with our enemies

The way we behave is observed by the people around us, and has a bearing on how they view God (1 Peter 2:12). A song by Jill Jackson-Miller starts: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me”. As Christians, you and I are called by God to represent his character through our lives. Through Jeremiah, God spoke to his people being held in captivity,

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

(Jeremiah 29:7, NIV)

Even in upsetting circumstances we are to be advocates of peace in prayer, with a willing heart. God has given us the perfect example of this, in his Son who died to bring reconciliation between God and sinners:

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Romans 5:1, see also verses 6-11)

Peace with our brothers and sisters

Peace is a sign that God is at work in us (Galatians 5:22). When we live peaceably with those around us, we create and maintain an environment in which the gifts of God can be put to use (Rom 12:3-8). Maintaining peace requires great effort, possibly including forgiveness, encouragement, finding things we have in common, and sharing what we have, and denying ourselves (Romans 14:19, 2 Corinthians 13:11). These characteristics may not come naturally to us, but when we trust in the Lord, and actively seek peace, the gifts of God will be evident to those around to those who see that in all circumstances we strive for peace with all. In Matthew 5:9 we see that people will recognise this behaviour and recognise the character of God in it,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Ben Strachan, Church of God in Newcastle

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Living with Endurance

Living with Endurance

Wanting to please his Father, and keeping eternity in view, Jesus was able to

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