As a pastor, I have seen too many Christians get mad at each other in the church. Rather than stirring up contention, we should be pursuing peace. The Greek word for “follow after” means earnest pursuit, and refers to a hunter in pursuit of wild game. Before Jewel and Dominicks, the food stores, came on the scene, being a hunter was a serious responsibility. If a man didn’t return with game, his family would starve. It is with this earnestness we must pursue peace with others.
Why should Christians pursue peace?
- Our God is a God of peace (Hebrews 13:20).
- Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
- We are sons and daughters of peace (Luke 10:6).
- Our feet should be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).
- Peacemakers will be blessed of God (Matthew 5:9).
Our pursuit of peace is often elusive because we have pride, envy, or a loose tongue. These are the enemies of peace, and they must be subdued for peace to reign.
It only takes two people to have an argument. But it takes three to restore peace to a broken relationship—the offender, the offended, and the Lord. Are you willing to pay the price of restoration? It may mean going out of our way to be gracious to someone who opposes us. Our words may need sprinkling with salt so we can give a soft answer to turn away another’s wrath. This is difficult because of our sin nature. However, we can be the peacemakers God calls us to be with His empowerment. Pray that God would restore peace in your relationships today.
As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, how can you hope to find inward peace? — A.W. Tozer
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.