Thursday, 16 November 2023
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” -Colossians 3:15
The emphasis on our divine calling is a common theme in Apostle Paul’s letters. In our reading today, Col.3: 12 speaks of us as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved. Since a believer has been elected to eternal salvation, he must put forth every effort to live a godly life. For Paul, divine sovereignty and human responsibility go hand in hand. [NIV Study Bible]
How will the peace of Christ rule in your heart? First the person should be convinced in his heart that by the marvellous grace of God he has been chosen and elected to be God’s child. Then as Romans 5:1 says, justification (being made right) by God is done through Jesus Christ which results in Peace with God for the one who comes to Him in faith. There is a process by which all three persons of the Godhead are involved in the redemption of the elect as explained in 1 Peter 1:1-2: “…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood …”
The Sanctifying work is done by the Spirit of God who enables us to obey Jesus Christ and thus helps us to clothe ourselves with Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, Forgiving one another—all these virtues are bound by Love which keeps all these virtues together. The Sacrificial love of Christ is reminded to us, in our hearts by the Spirit of God who gives us the power to move forward into the actions of love. Then “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” (Col.3:23-24 NLT)
Examining V.15, we see Paul use a verb-“rule” from the athletic arena— it is the word that is used of the umpire who settles things in the matter of dispute. We aren’t living a life of isolation and hence are constantly being beset by situations that can make us lose our peace of mind. It can come from various quarters- from home, work, church, etc. If the peace of Jesus Christ is the umpire in our heart, then when feelings clash and are pulled in two directions at the same time, the decision of Christ will keep us in the way of love. It is applicable to our personal life, in the church and workplace. If we allow God to be the umpire of our thoughts, we will have HIS Peace ruling us. Philippians 4: 7 [ESV] says: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Coming to the body of Christ, the church— the church will remain the one body it is meant to be when we allow Christ to be the Umpire of our decisions. The way to right action is to appoint Jesus Christ as the one who decides between the conflicting emotions in our hearts- if we accept His decisions, we cannot go wrong.
Shall we allow Christ to be our umpire in any decision we make?
Let us pray: Almighty God our Father we invite You to be our decision maker in every aspect of life and ask more of your grace and peace to rule our hearts in all situations of our life through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.
Listen: 'Let the peace of God reign'