By: Tim Sader
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
During last weeks study we learned about mercy that is one reason Christ saved us. Before mercy we learned of grace and how by the grace of God we are saved. Ephesians 2:4,5 says, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Grace and mercy are pretty much a team, they are paired up over and over one in context to the other working together so we can receive salvation. Both these studies surrounded Easter and are the two most important spiritual truths to celebrate Christ resurrection. Matthew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” If we show mercy we will receive mercy, can’t get much simpler than that. 2 John 1:3 says, “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” Along with Grace and mercy here peace is added to the mix much like hope and faith must be done in love, mercy and grace produce peace. I can’t help but notice these truths and think of grace coming from the Father, Christ showing us mercy on the cross and the Holy Spirit being sent as a comforter, giving us peace. John 14:26 says, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Ghost is our comforter as believers in Christ, before Jesus ascended He promised a comforter so we would always know how to live right in Him and have peace in our lives.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace as the world gives is not true peace it may give you that easy feeling but is not the peace of God in Christ Jesus. The world tells us follow the laws, social trends and the media to have the current information and be part of the “in-crowd.” The world says get a good job and store up wealth so you can buy an RV and travel the country when you get old and leave a little behind so your children can follow the trend. All these things are a blessing to have but true peace is not in material things or superficial images of our lives, but in the spirit of the living God. If we have true peace from the Lord he will take care of our needs and we will not be troubled in our hearts because we know the Lord supplies our needs. In John 20:21,22 Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Christ knew his followers would need help as He had to go on and be with the Father. So He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit and they received it in full on the day of Pentecost.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” When we put our trust in the Lord we are filled with joy and peace and when these things fill us to overflowing we begin hoping in the power of the Holy Spirit who fills us and keeps us on a path of righteousness. Romans 14:17-19 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” If we serve God it isn’t about what we do in the natural but what we have on the inside. When we live by peace and are filled with the Spirit we should do what leads to peace and building each other up. Romans 12:18 tells us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” This is saying we should do our part to live in peace with everyone and even if others aren’t at peace with us if we pursue peace we are doing our part. 2 Corinthians 13:11 says, “Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” If we live in peace we see the God of love and peace will be with us. Then later in Colossians 3:15 it says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” When we get saved and Christ enters our heart His perfect peace comes with it which keeps us at peace with the body and peace is a gift we should be thankful for. In Hebrews 12:14 it says, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We must live in peace to be considered holy because without holiness we cannot see the Lord so we need peace to truly see the Lord.
We as believers should always try to do what’s right because doing the right thing is what keeps peace. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” If we follow the laws and do what is expected we will be at peace. But if we are constantly causing trouble we will have no peace and before you know it we will stumble from peace. Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” When we do what’s right and pleasing to the Lord He will even make our enemies be at peace with us. Let’s face it how can a peaceful person really have an enemy, they won’t worry about you if you’re at peace. Romans 2:9-11 says, “There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.” It does not matter who we are or how others see us, if we do evil we will find trouble but if we do what is right we will find peace. To do what’s right and live in peace we must recognize and resist evil. Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” We need to turn away from wrong and do what’s right to pursue peace. Proverbs 12:20 says, “There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.” Those who are evil have deceit in their hearts and usually get trapped in their own evil plots. If we chose a path of peace we will be filled with joy and live in peace and happiness. 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to, “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Evil can be a big temptation, almost exciting in away. If we pursue righteousness, peace and other spiritual truths we can call on the Lord with a pure heart and be set free from our evil ways.
Psalm 85:10 says, “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Just as we’ve learned before faith and love work together, righteousness and peace also go hand in hand. We are made righteous through Christ. Romans 5:1,2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” We are made right when we have faith that Christ died for us and as we believe we gain peace in the Holy Spirit and access to God. Ephesians 2:17 says, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” Christ made peace available to all no matter how far from Him we are, all can receive peace that will just believe. Referring to wisdom Proverbs 3:17 says, “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.” When we are choosing to have Godly wisdom our paths will lead to peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” When we seek peace there is a certain feeling of safety in knowing the Lord has everything in control. In today’s scripture we can see the peace of God don’t always make sense to us but we can trust it will guard our hearts and minds if we put our trust in Christ’s sacrifice. Psalm 4:8 says, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” When we sleep we can know the Lord has our safety in mind so we can have peaceful rest. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Since there is no real peace in the world we can rest assured because Christ overcame the world and gave us true peace.
As we walk in peace good things will happen to us because the Lord will bless us for doing what is right. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.” In Christ’s ministry many people received miracles of healing. In Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Also in Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” In both cases Christ healed the woman and sent her away in peace because when the Lord heals us or touches our lives in anyway it gives us a peace. Luke 10:5,6 says, “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.” When we offer peace it may not always be excepted since not every operates in peace but we should not loose heart if we show peace and it’s not received it will rest on us. Regardless of the outcome peace has rewards. If we live in peace we should be producing a harvest of peace in our lives and relationships with others. Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Discipline is tough to endure but at the same time it teaches us how to live right and this produces peace and righteousness in our lives. What we learn to sow is exactly the harvest we will produce. James 3:17-18 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” Here we see what wisdom is, and all these different truths can all lead to one thing. That thing is peace because wisdoms paths lead to peace. So as we follow wisdom and sow peace we will raise a harvest of righteousness and they kiss each other because righteousness is the offspring of peace. They go hand in hand. May the peace of God guard your hearts and minds today and every day!