Thursday, May 13, 2010

Living in Peace With Everyone

Heb. 12:14-17 NLT    
14 "Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.  15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.  16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless  , , ."

The Writer to the Hebrews, moves on in chapter 12 with this inspiring encouragement as to how Christ's follower ought to live-- "at peace with everyone." We have lots going on today that stimulates angry or frustrating responses from us.  It's going on in the politics of our nation and the decisions of leaders.  Often, I am tempted to react angrily and 'let them have it,' whatever "IT" might be that could throw at them. However, Christ has called me to behave differently. He has called me to 'love my enemy.'  He has called me to 'do good to those who persecute' me.  He has called me to live such a holy life that none can fault me because of the good they see me do.

If I throw stones-- or harsh words-- they will not be blessed.  What else can I throw? How about prayer. I can pray for all those doing evil-- even as Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of those very ones who were crucifying him. I can pray for the political leaders who lie to us every day in every way. I can pray for the news writers who lie to us promoting their favored politicians agendas. I can pray for those who seek to do harm to people of faith in Christ. I can pray for wisdom to prevail. I can pray for God's love to be seen in me toward others. I can pray that all the 'poisonous root of bitterness' does not grow up in me and in you. I can pray that we in the Church-- the body of Christ-- are not caught up in the immorality of our age.

I can nurture others and mentor them. I can go out of my way to be a blessing to others regardless of how I am treated. I can spend at least as much time blessing others as I do seeking to promote my own ease and comfort. Oh, there is so much more I can do that will truly make a difference. Cutting off my enemy's head will only make his friends madder at me. Loving my enemy will confound him or her and open the eyes of his or her friends.  With God's grace I can live at peace with everyone. Are you able to do this? Would you like to be able? You can ask Him and He will grant it right now. But, as The Writer has continued to tell us, we must receive even this BY FAITH.

Your servant in Christ's Love

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