THE PEACE PRIZE
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Romans 12:18
Years ago, I watched a Barbara Walters special. She was interviewing the successful actor Richard Dreyfus and asked him this piercing question, "Richard, what one thing do you want that you don't already have?" Without hesitation, Dreyfus openly and honestly responded with one word, "Peace."
Peace can be an elusive thing for many. Multitudes of people give themselves over to drugs and alcohol, searching desperately for peace. To be sure, peace comes from God. Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). He freely distributes peace to any and all who come to Him in repentance, faith, and surrender. For those who say no to that way, the Lord emphatically states, "There is no peace for the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22).
The Bible speaks of three areas of peace.
1. There is peace with God. This is a judicial peace that comes the moment you put your faith and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Romans 5:1 states, "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." With this peace, your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer under the condemnation that rightfully befalls those who are guilty of high treason before heaven's King.
2. There is peace within. This is the peace the Lord brings when we are simply abiding in Him, living a life that is surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:8 speaks of "the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension." When my heart is right with God, and every sin is confessed and forsaken, God's sweet peace reigns within me.
3. There is peace with others. How wonderful to experience peace and tranquility with family, friends, neighbors, exes, and associates. How wonderful to go to sleep at night knowing there is no animosity between you and another person. Peace with others, however, can be the most elusive peace of all. The reason being is that this peace does not solely depend upon you. For you and me to have peace with others, others have to desire peace with us.
Romans 12:18 commands us to do everything within our power to have peace with all men. That means you do all you can do to make peace a possibility with your spouse, your kids, your parents, your siblings, that irritating person at work or at school, and your ex (gulp!). People who obey Romans 12:18 make sure they have humbly sought forgiveness for any wrongs done to another person. I know seeking forgiveness is not easy, but it is necessary if we are going to please the Lord. Here is the bottom line with seeking forgiveness: if you mess up, fess up and apologize. God will bless you for it, and the offended party will often respond with kindness.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you want to experience peace, regardless of the circumstances in your life? Then come to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Let Him rule and reign in your life. As we enjoy peace with God and peace within, it gives us power to seek peace with others. We may not attain peace with others, because the other party may not be willing, but God will be glorified as a result of our obedience.
Ask the Lord if there is someone with whom you need to mend a fence. Don't wait to do so. Pick up the phone and make that difficult call. You will be glad you did!
Pastor Jeff Schreve
P.S. I'd love to know what you think about this issue. Click here to share your thoughts or comments.
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
DESCRIPTION: Wars, terrorism, earthquakes, famines, floods, rapid technological advancements, a falling away from the true faith… what in the world is going on? What is coming next? Is the end really drawing near, and if so, what does it look like? In this frank and powerful series, Dr. Jeff Schreve shares biblical insights concerning the present age and the not too distant future.