(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
What are the blessings of peace?
I don’t like conflict. It takes a lot of emotional energy. It distracts my thinking. It takes time to work through and resolve. It takes a lot of effort.
Effort that can’t be used for something else until peace is restored.
That’s why peace is such a blessing…such a blessing.
Peace frees us from the worry, anxiety, and stress that conflict creates to engage in the joy of loving God and loving people.
Here’s what I mean:
When we have peace with God…we are secure in grace.
Ephesians 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
We don’t have to worry about our spiritual standing with God. We don’t have to worry about our eternity and where we will be. We don’t have to have anxiety over our past. Why? Because Jesus lived a perfect life in our place. Jesus died to pay the punishment our sins deserved and he rose again to declare victory over sin, death and the devil…and to give me grace. Jesus restored peace with God by removing the guilt and punishment of sin. So I can relax in grace.
Which then frees me to live for God’s purpose.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
If I were spending a lifetime trying to earn God’s favor, I would miss a lifetime of doing the works of faith God planned for me to do. I would miss serving the Lord from a perspective of joy instead of fear. Instead, I get to spend my life secure in God’s grace living life to God’s glory.
And when I am secure in God’s grace and at peace with Him, I am in a much better and stronger position to live at peace with people. God’s peace gives me a renewed perspective, especially when I have a conflict with a brother or sister in Christ.
God’s grace for me teaches me that when we have peace with people…we are together in grace.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
We can deal with conflict from a starting point of grace. I know I am sinful…so there is something for which I need to apologize and repent. I know the other person is sinful…so it is not a surprise that we at times get in conflict. The solution? Repentance, forgiveness and grace. They need it…so do I.
The quicker God uses us to reestablish peace in the body of Christ, the quicker we can get back to doing the work God has called us to do.
When we have peace with people, we are together in purpose.
Colossian 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I can’t tell you how many hours over years of ministry have been spent resolving conflict…some with peace restored and some without. Every time I feel a frustration that the work we COULD have been doing together is being thwarted by Satan starting or keeping us in conflict. Working through conflict to peace is part of ministry and being part of the body of Christ, but the quicker we can get back to peace, the quicker and more effective we can get back to carrying out the purpose of the body of Christ.
So, with God’s help let’s continue to make every effort to live at peace so we might experience the blessings of peace.
And this is my prayer to end the week:
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.