Finding Peace With God

The Faith I Live By: Peace with God is available

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

Friend or foe? Enemy of ally? Consort or opponent? Which of the two do you want God to be to you? We can be friends with the God of the universe, if we choose to be friendly.

An Enemy of God

The sin problem has created a strange situation on Earth. God of love, who desires nothing more than for us to be saved, find Himself at odds with humanity. The very people He risked everything to save continually fail to make peace with Him. See I know what you’re thinking: “but David, we can’t make peace with God. We are powerless to do that.” I am so glad you brought that up!

The Process of Reconciliation

It is true, we cannot seek peace with God on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to activate our repentant search for peace. We need Him to teach us to love the law of God. It is this love for God’s law and His Word that creates a peaceful relationship between us and God. When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives we become aware of our need for transformation, and then the Holy Spirit performs that transformation Himself.

A Friend of God

Jesus can be our friend, ally, and consort. We can make peace with the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of the universe. All we have to do is allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, seek forgiveness, and ask for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He will empower us both to will and to do His good pleasure.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. I pray the same for you, in Jesus’ name.

Time To Re-Friend Jesus

Jesus couldn’t possibly be the only way to God,” stated Oprah Winfrey on her signature television program in 2008.

So, is Jesus the only Way, or should we feel comfortable pursuing other avenues to eternity?

Among Christians, there is some confusion on this point. Although results from a poll taken by the Barna Group in 2015 indicate more than 150 million Americans profess faith anchored in Jesus, only 63% of professed believers agree that salvation comes only through Jesus.1

According to the Barna Group’s research, Jesus suffers even greater rejection as the only means of salvation among a narrow segment of the professed Christian population. While 37% of all professed believers deny Jesus as the only door leading to heaven, in this age of social media, an even greater number of millennials (those born between 1984 and 2002), or 44%, do not see a relationship with Jesus as the one true way to salvation. In essence they have un-friended the Son of God even as they seek other validation for entry into the Kingdom of Glory.

So, is it possible to know what to believe? Indeed it is, and we have God’s Word on it. God’s Word makes us aware of our available options as we journey in this life. Ultimately, the road of life leads in one of two directions. Revelation 20:11-15 identifies one of them. Those who choose this option have selected everlasting destruction as their final destination. Verse 15 shares these sobering words, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Trying to get to heaven without having our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life is like trying to walk to New York from Los Angeles by walking west into the ocean. The net result will be no bon voyage and no celebration at the end of the journey. Destruction is all that awaits those who make the effort to be saved without Jesus. However, Revelation 21:1-4 provides insight on the other direction life’s road takes. It leads to life eternal in the Holy City, New Jerusalem, whose inhabitants shall abide in the presence of God forever.

How do we earn a place in that city? We don’t! Jesus has done that for us. His life, death and resurrection have made it possible for us to have this hope of everlasting life. Possession of such knowledge helps to make the words of John 14:1-6 all the more thrilling to believers. Contained in the passage is a promise from Jesus that He would “go to prepare a place” for us, the New Jerusalem, that we might “be with” Him forever. And, He declares Himself to be “the Way” for acceptance into the city. So, not our merits, but His, make it possible for us to enjoy life eternal with God.

Jesus, Himself, declares that each of us must choose which direction we want to travel on life’s highway. Again, the two choices are compared, in Matthew 7:13, 14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

So, which will it be: wide and broad or narrow and difficult? No one can choose for us. It’s a personal decision that each of us must reach. As we consider our options, it is prudent for us to consider Peter’s words in Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

True, some talk of other options to life eternal. But, their speculations, theories and philosophies serve to remind us of the counsel of the wise man in Proverbs 14:12:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

How many ways to salvation? Only one. And, in light of God’s Word, now would be the right time to re-friend Jesus.