Showing posts with label Peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peace. Show all posts

Following Peace With All Men

Text: Romans 12:17-21, 14:17-19

As soon as a person confesses his or her sins, repents of them and accepts Jesus as his or her Lord and Saviour, he or she becomes a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and is empowered by grace in the Holy Spirit to live a new life of peace with everyone.

Such a regenerated person finds it difficult to retaliate when offended and in as much as it lies in his or her power, he/she lives peaceably with all men. In words and deeds, he/she tries not to offend anyone and is quick to apologize in meekness when someone is wronged.

The Bible enjoins us as Christians to “follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). There are many reasons why we need to pursue peace in all our dealings: One, God commands that we live peaceably with all men. Two, it is not good to avenge ourselves as that right solely belongs to God. Rather, we are to promote peace at all times, giving place unto wrath (Romans 12:19).

A third reason is: to live peaceably with our neighbours is to enjoy peace of mind as well. By entertaining no injurious thoughts in our minds towards others helps us to stay healthy most of the time. Whereas, friction, quarrels and bitterness generate high blood pressure and hypertension which in turn impedes the health.

Moreover, in a world wrecked by hostility, hardheartedness and rancor, we shine as light to other people around (Matthew 5:16) when we follow peace with all men despite provocations to do the contrary. Thus, we become a source of encouragement and inspiration to others who find it challenging to live peaceably with their neighbours.

We make a ridicule of Christ, of our Christian profession and faith, and become a hindrance to others who would want to come to the Lord when we do not maintain a peaceable and cordial relationship with our neighbours.

The world is polluted as it is and as such, is in dire need of a different breed of individuals, men and women of clemency and modesty who would live for righteousness, love and holiness in obedience to the commandments of God.

As Christians, the truest evidence of our faith in Christ is in the lives we live both within and without the church. We are the living Bible the world sees and should our daily lives at home, at work, in the street and everywhere contradict the person, nature and character of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, then are we unfaithful servants and false in our devotion.

Beloved, look around you; people are hurting everywhere, people are dying every day; conflicts and wars thrive and the hearts of men brew daily with rage. But who has the unfettered will, might and power to make things right, mend broken hearts and salvage depressed souls?

This one thing I know that there is no other person under heaven given among men than can truly save and deliver from all shackles of sin and sorrow other than Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. But He will only do this through you and me by living peaceably with everyone today and every day.

So let’s walk the talk we preach and profess; shining our godly lights before men that they may see our good works born of faith and love, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.

*** Written by Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

...building the body of Christ

Turning The Other Cheek

Text: Matthew 5:38-39, 18:21-35; Ephesians 4:20-32; Philippians 4:8

Key Verse: “…And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

If for every time someone offends us we retaliate, the world would be in utter chaos by now. Forgiveness, as difficult as it is to yield to, is a significant virtue that must never leave our hearts.

Humans have a tendency to do evil and hence, we err. We step on others’ toes, speak ill of our neighbors, betray our friends, disappoint our siblings, dishonor our parents, embarrass our families, and the list goes on. But as Christians, our disposition ought to be different.

Psalms 130:3 says, “If thou, Lord shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” For a fact, the answer is none. “For all have sinned and come short the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

However, the Bible records something wonderful for everyone to rejoice in. Next to John 3:16; and John 1:12, among other verses, Romans 5:6-8 remains one of my favorites that give me so much joy whenever I meditate on it:

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

“But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If God Almighty, the Righteous King of glory could look pass our debasement, filth and faults, and chose to forgive us all our sins by sending His only begotten Son to redeem us through His blood (Ephesians 1:7), why can’t we do same to others? It’s difficult, right? This is the very reason we must forgive because the world’s peaceful coexistence depends on it.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38). Ye must also understand that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind, and a tooth for a tooth leaves everyone with toothache and deprives of the full satisfaction of eating meat.

Hence, our Lord Jesus Christ, himself being an embodiment of love and forgiveness, commands us to forgive. He says in Matthew 5:39 that, “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

How easy has it been in turning the other cheek? Turning the other cheek implies bearing and overlooking whatever wrong others might have done to us. It implies forgetting faults and giving others the benefit of a new start, a new relationship opportunity.

Moreover, turning the other cheek, I don’t believe, means you mustn’t get angry when someone hurts you (unless you have the grace not to). Let’s be honest with ourselves, who wouldn’t be angry? I get angry and feel bad when someone hurts and insults me but I am careful not to sin and allow the ill feelings linger in my heart.

Ever since I came to know the Lord my heart has been weak in harboring grudges. In fact, it detests them that is why I always do my best by God’s grace not to offend anyone (follow peace with all men – Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18) and wouldn’t do or say anything to make others be inclined to act badly towards me.

We all should know the place of forgiveness in our Christian life and how it affects our prayers. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift (prayers, petition, sacrifice or praise, tithes, offerings, etc) to the altar, and rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

Whenever our thoughts, feelings and interactions aren’t right toward others, we are hindered from boldly approaching the throne of grace to obtain mercy and finding grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

God is as much concerned about our relationship with one another as He is our relationship with Him. This is why we see in Matthew 6:14-15 that, “if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

The bottom line is this: forgive and keep on forgiving. Forgive today, forgive tomorrow, forgive always, even more than seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).

Finally brethren, if anyone at all has wronged you so badly that it hurts to your marrow, go and tell him or her his or her faults between you and him or her alone: “if he or she shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother or sister or friend…” (Matthew 18:15-17).

Everyone deserves forgiveness, even you and even me. Turn the other cheek today; let love thrive, let peace reign. And in all, ‘my beloved brethren, do not err.’

*** Written by Michael Olajubu aka Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

...building the body of Christ