Two Scriptures that go along with this one are Romans 15:5, “May the God Who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” and Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” We are to actively endeavor to live at peace with one another…living in harmony as one collective body called the Church, of which Jesus Christ is the head. But unity and peace can be difficult to obtain, so what can we do? First, understand that the only person you can change is you. That’s why Hebrews 12:14 tells us that we should make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. Or as the old song goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…”
God’s glory came to earth…His transcendent and infinite greatness, the sum of His perfection took the shape of a tiny baby born in Bethlehem. God’s peace came to earth…the gift of reconciliation with our Creator came to us in the form of the Gospel Message, the Good News of salvation. God’s favor came to earth…His Good Will was lavished on us while we were yet far from Him, His Good Pleasure not to see any lost. Isaiah best sums it up, “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Across the centuries people have called for world peace. And for a moment it may happen…but then, evil gets in the way. Except here, Micah is telling us about a time when there will be lasting world peace. For the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, will come and He will judge with all righteousness and justice. (Isaiah 11:4) There will no longer be any need for weapons, for there will no longer be hostility or conflict in the world, because Jesus will mediate all disputes. So with world peace, the arms of war will be turned into tools of agriculture in order to feed the nations.
It goes on to say in verses 33 and 34, “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. No longer will a man say to another, Know the Lord…because they will all know Me.” This new covenant is the everlasting and eternal covenant of peace, given to us by the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, if we will but trust in Him. And when we do…we will truly know Him with a individual and personal relationship…not settling for just being told about Jesus, but experiencing Him for ourselves.
In this verse it tells us what the secret to having inner peace and security is. This assurance we can have can only be found within God’s Word. But it also means not just listening, but actually applying it to your life. And when we do this, there is no end to His peace for us. (Isaiah 9:7) For the Lord rewards the godly with all good things. (Psalm 103:5)
In this contentious and ever argumentative world, it’s difficult to seek peace in every situation. But the key here is found in a verse in Hebrews 12:14, ” Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy.” Being holy means we live in a spiritual atmosphere where grace and mercy abounds despite the hostile environment around us. It’s where we consider others before ourselves and strive to be a peacemaker not a rabble-rouser.
We can’t force others into peaceful co-existence with us…we can only control how we react and behave around angry people. You know the ones…people with huge chips on their shoulders…always thinking the world is out to get them. It takes a conscious decision of the will on our part not to take the bait when attacked. It takes lots of deep breaths and determination not to lower ourselves down to that level…and sometimes, it takes just walking away for a few minutes to regain our composure and pray. “Lord, help me look past the angry hostility and see rather the hurt, the fear, the frustration. Allow me Lord to see this person through Your eyes and how I may show Your love to them.” Amen
We are to live in harmony with all. Not with just those we like…not with those who only believe as we do. No, we are to live in peaceful co-existence with everyone. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of Peace, not that of elitism, isolation, or hatred. It’s a tough road though to love your neighbor as yourself…for many around us are unlovable. That’s why the second part of this verse is so important. We may not be able to change the unlovable around us, but we can change ourselves and how we interact with them. Sanctification or holiness is the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ Jesus everyday…of looking at all people – even the unlovable- through His eyes.
You may know someone…it might even be yourself that’s developed this fateful disease know as Foot in Mouth. Some people are so affected, that the only time their foot comes out of their mouth – is to change socks! It takes wisdom and discipline not to just blurt out anything that comes to mind. It takes us thinking before we speak…is this appropriate?…is this kind?…will I regret saying this tomorrow? So much trouble and misery could be avoided if we’d just learn to think before we opened our mouth.
This promise that is Jesus, is that in Him, and by Him, and through Him we have freedom from anxiety and fear. He is the very Gospel of Peace that He spoke of to the multitudes. As He told us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.” Accept today this peace He offers you… and not only receive it, but then walk in it’s freedom.