Thoughts in Worship
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, April 24, 2017
Are you looking for practical advice? Try this on for size:
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:8–12).
Benefits of Peace at Home
There is, no doubt, huge benefit in seeking peace in family, church, and community. While it is true that even our best efforts may fail because some refuse to live peaceably, we must seek peace. Seek peace, that is, if we wish to be called the blessed children of God.
So, today’s theme text focuses on harmony within the body of Christ, yet this should be a first stop to human relationships. If we can pity those in pain or need among likeminded believers, we can pity those who don’t know God. If we can avoid retaliation when someone in the faith insults us, we can return blessing to those outside the house of God that revile us.
This is not easy. It is divine. In our own strength, it is impossible. With God, all things are possible. This is exactly how Jesus lived His life on earth. In His epic Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said it this way: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:43–46).
I know there are many who will ask how we should deal with those who are just unreasonable. That’s a great question. Notice what the Bible says, again: “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, And the LORD shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21–22).
Remember, God is watching. He wants to instill His ideal in the hearts of every one of us. While we were yet sinners and living in a hopeless state of mind, God showed this principle. He gave His Son, who then gave His life for those who rebelled against Him. Can you imagine the impact of this holy character trait during a time when revenge, hate, racism, insult, and injury rule? What message is your life sending in these closing moments of earth’s history? You be the judge.