Peace in Relationships - First15 - October 25, 2017

Peace in Relationships

Weekly Overview:

One of the most powerful marks of a believer is transcendent peace. This world offers us no reason to be peaceful. It offers us no reason to be without stress, burdens, cares, and total frustration. But we serve a God who offers us peace in the midst of any circumstance. We serve a God in whom all true peace finds its source. May you discover the heart of your heavenly Father to bring you peace this week.

Scripture:“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.” -  Colossians 3:15

Devotional:           

Relationships are one of the parts of life that can most rob us of our peace in the Holy Spirit. Our lives are all in some way impacted by one another. If I am counting on someone and they don’t come through, it can profoundly impact my circumstances. If I truly love someone and they wound, neglect, or reject me, it can undoubtedly hinder my ability to enjoy the peace of God. But God offers us peace in the midst of all circumstances. Jesus maintained peace in the Holy Spirit in the midst of those he loved shouting, “Crucify him!” (Luke 23:21). May God lead us today to a path of continual peace founded on his love and truth.

Colossians 3:12-15 describes a road map to powerful, transcendent peace in our relationships. Scripture says,

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

The pathway to peace with others begins with choosing to die to yourself. We are completely unable to control anyone. Each person has a will and the power to love us or reject us. Even believers will consistently fail you. If the people of God could stand in the presence of God incarnate and shout, “Crucify him,” you can know others will reject you. But when you choose to continually humble yourself before others and serve, you will be filled with the “peace of Christ” (Colossians 3:15). When we choose to put on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” regardless of the actions of others, we position ourselves to continually bear the fruit of peace (Colossians 3:12).

We find our greatest example of this in the person of Jesus. Just as he could ask forgiveness from his heavenly Father by saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” as the soldiers who nailed him to the cross gambled for his clothing, you will have a supernatural peace when you choose to live selflessly in love (Luke 23:24). The Holy Spirit will fill you with peace in your relationships when you choose to live like Jesus.

Take time today to put on a “compassionate [heart], kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). Choose to die to yourself and live for Christ. And watch as the Holy Spirit anoints you with the fruit of peace and love to live like Jesus did. May your relationships be filled with patience today as you live in obedience to the word of your loving heavenly Father.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on Scripture’s command to die to yourself and live like Jesus.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” - Luke 9:23

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.” - Mark 8:35

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20

2. What would it be like to live in a consistent posture of love and humility rather than in response to the actions of others? What sort of peace would you feel if your emotions and actions were less founded on others and more based on the unconditional love and commands of God?

3. Choose to live today in humility and service. Decide to die to yourself and live in total surrender to the Holy Spirit.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 2:1-5

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” - Hebrews 12:14

As you seek peace with others in your midst, may Paul's exhortation in Colossians 3:12-15 be at the center of your heart and mind:

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Extended Reading: Colossians 3

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