Thursday, November 1, 2018

Romans 12.18 Kind of Peace

I think it’s safe to say most people want peace. Oh, there may be a few knot-heads out there, but for the most part, we want PEACE! In a television interview, Barbara Walters asked the successful actor Richard Dreyfus, “What one thing do you want that you don't already have?" His answer was instant, and one word, “Peace.” 

For many, peace is an elusive thing because they search for it like love … in all the wrong places. You’ll never find peace in alcohol or drugs or relationships. Not ultimately, anyway. Real, lasting peace comes from the Child who was born, the “Prince of Peace,” Isaiah said [9.6]. He also had it right when later he said, “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked” [48.22].

The Apostle Paul would also wrote about that peace. It affects our lives in many ways, but I’ll only touch on three of them.

1. There is peace with God. "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” [Romans 5.1]. When our sins are forgiven, there is no condemnation that is rightfully deserved of those who are guilty before heaven’s King. 

2. There is internal peace. This peace is the by-product of simply abiding in Christ. “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” [Philippians 4.9]

3. Where possible, there is peace with others. This one is made more difficult because it doesn’t solely depend on you. That being said, we must do everything we can to achieve it [Romans 12.18], which means you work hard to make peace with your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your employer or employee, your classmate or teacher, even your ex (yikes!).

Achieving a Romans 12.18 kind of peace usually requires humbly sought after forgiveness. My Dad used to say, “If you mess up, fess up!” Those aren’t exactly Bible words, but they certainly express its intent. When we seek forgiveness, God is pleased and, typically, the offended party will respond in kindness — not always, but I have found that true in most cases. 

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12.18