Weekly Devotional 1-21-19 Commitment Equals Peace
Salvation is a free gift. It cannot be earned, but salvation does not necessarily equal peace with God or the peace of God. God has made His peace with us through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. However our experiencing peace with God, and the peace of God, only comes from a commitment to following Jesus and obeying His commands. Being committed to Jesus and obeying His commands is not burdensome. Jesus himself promises this with, “28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians wrote that by being committed to Christ they would experience love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, the fruit of the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:22b-23a). This transcends to all committed Christians.
Of all persons, Paul should have been estranged from the peace of God, but because he was at peace with God, he was able to endure beatings, imprisonments and sentences of death more than any of his associates. Consider for a moment his record of these things. “24From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness– 28besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2nd Corinthians 11:24-28). His peace with God encouraged him that no matter what he suffered he could say, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8). This stemmed from his being at peace with God and having the peace of God.
If we Christians want the peace of God, we need to commit ourselves to the cause of Christ; understanding and accepting that in this life we will suffer many things. It is a natural outcome of being in Christ. Many things were secured for us as Christians when Jesus gave His life on the cross, including the peace of God, but it must be appropriated by our commitment to Him.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture usage is from the NKJB