Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The hard road to peace ...
"Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. 'I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'," is what Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 10:34-36.
Jesus didn't come to bring tranquility to the circumstances we may experience on any given day in our lives, He came to fix the relationship we broke between us and God, and the resulting loss of peace. It is when we choose to accept the reconciliation to God that has been provided through Jesus Christ that we can fully discover peace.
"I am leaving you with a gift --- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be afraid or troubled," John 14:27.
But gaining that peace will mean doing more than just making a decision to be reconciled to God ...
There's a story about three frogs sitting on a lily pad. One decided to jump off. How many frogs were left?
The one frog had decided to jump off, but never took the leap.
It's not enough to make a decision, you've got to take a leap of faith and follow through with action.
To experience that gift of peace that Christ alone can provide, we have to make the decision to surrender our lives to Him, and then actually do it ...
"Then he said to the crowd, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me," Luke 9:23.
Choosing to act on your decision to follow Christ will cause you trouble in this life, possibly even with your own family, or friends, or with neighbors or co-workers. Many of those who have rejected Christ will not appreciate seeing you live out your embrace of Christ; acting on your decision to follow Jesus will disturb the external peace in your world.
But you will, instead, receive Christ's gift of peace of mind and heart.
It's a hard road to peace. It will require you to exchange the "going along to get along" kind of faux peace for a bear-your-cross internal peace.
Have you received the gift of peace that Jesus gives to those who act on their decision to follow Him? Or are you still sitting on a lily pad, having made a decision not acted upon, just hoping for some peaceful circumstances?