Monday, April 11, 2011

The "P" in "Peace"

What do you think of when you hear the word "peace"?  You many think of sitting all alone on the beach at evening watching the sunset with the beautiful hues of God's magnificent masterpiece washing over you.  The only sound you hear is the calming slap of the gentle waves on the soft sand and maybe a mornful boat whistle off in the distance.  As the cool wind blows your cheeks and your hair you are free to just be alone with your thoughts.  The word "peace" may bring you to ponder the turmoil in our world today with war and fighting, causing you to wonder if there will ever be peace on earth.  Maybe when you think of peace you envision yourself in yor favourite reading spot reading God's Word and drawing upon the peace only He can give you from the turmoil you feel inside.  Whatever this word "peace" may lead you to think of, God has something to tell us about peace, each and every aspect of it.  In His Word, He tells us how we can have peace with Him, peace with others, and peace within ourselves.

Here is an acrostic that will help us to remember how to have true peace in our lives:

Personal relationship with God
Every day walk with God
Always depending upon God
Character determined by God
Earth reigned by God

We cannot have any form of peace in our lives until we first have a
Personal relationship with God

Our personal relationship with God begins at salvation.  The Bible tells us that when Jesus comes into our life, then, and only then, are we able to have peace.  This peace is the most important kind, peace with God.  This peace must have been important to God because He was willing to send His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die to give us this peace.  This peace must also have been important to Jesus for He willingly suffered and ultimately gave His life so we could have this peace.  The Bible says in Isaiah 53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed."  The meaning of the word chastise is "to discipline especially by corporal punishment."  Jesus Christ was punished for our sins, yours and mine, so that we could have peace with God.  You may wonder, do we not automatically have peace with God?  After all He created us.  No.  Sadly, sin has entered the picture and taken away the peace that mankind once had with God.  The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  God is a holy God, and we cannot be at peace with Him because we are sinners.  Because all mankind has sinned, there is a gap between us and God.  Sin has a penalty, a penalty that could be paid only by death.  For us, that death would mean eternal separation from God.  The Bible says in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but he gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Praise God, through His Son Jesus Christ, He has given us the gift of eternal life.  As we read in Isaiah 53:5, Jesus paid the price for us.  He was the only perfect man to ever walk the face of this earth.  To God He was the only acceptable sacrifice.  All that yo and I must do is accept this gift God is giving to us.  Many people think that they must work to have this peace with God, but we cannot work our way to Heaven or to this peace with God.  The  Bible says in Titus 3:5a, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. . . ." God waits to give us this peace with Him, the gift of salvation, absolutely free.  Once you have accepted this free gift, you are at peace with God.

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