LIVE IN PEACE
Friday, 9 August 2019
Hebrews 12 : 14-29
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” -Hebrews 12:14 [NIV]
In today’s reading there is a note of warning against people who are not paying attention to the ways of God. We need to view the above referred verse in light of the persecutions that prevailed during that period of time. Even during such trials, the author is urging believers not to indulge in strife and conflicts between people.
How can one have peace and maintain peace as a believer?
One needs first to have peace with God which is possible through a relationship with Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Being at peace with God, then leads to peace with others. In Romans 14:19 Apostle Paul in addressing the church, calls for everyone’s effort “to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” If each believer would focus on the teachings given in God’s Word and yield his/her life to doing it diligently, it would lead to a peaceful existence with one another.
On the other hand, if you promote your own passions and prejudices, it only leads to strife, hatred and disunity disrupting harmonious living. Selfish motives and self-centered living make us lose attention of others, whom we should be considerate of. There are great objectives before every Christian that we can unite to partake in the kingdom work which leads to peace and joy transforming the lives of people. We have more things to agree than to differ and it results in the edification of people around us.
On examining Heb 12:14 closely, we can see that holiness is coupled with the effort of living in peace with one another. A right relationship with God leads to right relationship with fellow believers. As we progress in our Christian life more effort should be made to pursue peace.
Heb 12:15 reveals that bitterness leads to defilement and it destroys relationships around us. A person falls prey to bitter nature when he or she nurses grudges in the heart. It inevitably turns disappointment to resentment and leads to jealousy, dissension and evil nature. A bitter root always produces bitter fruit for themselves and others around, projecting corrupt principles and wickedness. When such things are not attended to and nipped in the bud by the person or those concerned, it disrupts the purity and peace within the church.
The author of Hebrews warns such persons if they don’t repent and turn back- of the consequence which fell on Esau (Heb 12:16). He was condemned and rejected by God. If we don’t repent and turn back now, God will not repent over the judgment He pronounces; HE is a consuming fire too (Heb 12:29). At the end of time, the world will crumble, and only God’s Kingdom will last. Only those who obey the teaching of Christ can withstand the shaking and burning.
Dear reader, will you choose that highway of holiness, peace, fellowship and love through Christ the Saviour?
Heavenly Father help me to get rid of the grudges
within my mind and to live in peace and harmony with others.
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