Weekly Devotional 1-21-19 To Enjoy the Peace of God
Salvation is a gift. It cannot be earned, but salvation does not necessarily equate to having the peace of God. God has made peace with us through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. However, our experiencing the peace of God, only comes from a commitment to following Him forsaking all else. Some find a total commitment to God difficult but being committed to Him and obeying His commands is not burdensome. Jesus, the spokesperson of the Godhead, said to those in the cities in which He had worked many signs (miracles) during His first advent “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Even though they had seen His miracles (some had even experienced them) they were unwilling to truly repent of their sins. They were unwilling to commit to Him. Thus they were not able to experience the peace of God.
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians wrote that by being committed to Christ they would experience “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” These, wrote Paul, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22b-23a). But note the qualifier of such fruit! “16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:16-21)
Of all persons, Paul should have been estranged from the peace of God, he was continuously suffering beatings, imprisonments, and sentences of death. 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). But because he was totally committed to God, he was able to endure these things. 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 total commitment to God. He truly experienced the peace of God.
If you and I, want to experience the peace of God, we must 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 (being committed to Christ). Many things were secured for us when Jesus gave His life on the cross, including the peace of God, but the peace of God must be appropriated by our commitment to Him.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man