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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Peace at all Cost"

Date published: 08/13/2011

Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men”  (NIV)

Jesus highly valued people and His relationships with them.  Jesus saw people from the eyes of the Creator Who perfectly crafted them before their first breath.  Time after time we see in the Scriptures how the disciples passed people by like they did not exist, while Jesus was connecting with those same people’s needs.  Jesus’ love for people allowed Him to sense the slightest touch of a person, to know the feelings of others, to understand other’s hurts, and to desire to meet people’s needs.  People today live with such self-sufficiency that disposing of close or distant relationships is often done with little thought.  The disciples dealt with this early on as evidenced by Paul admonishing all to live at peace.  In Philippians, Paul deals with some of the root causes of disharmony with people.  Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Just as selfishness and pride create a fertile ground for disharmony and dissension, so you can create good soil for harmony and peace by putting on Christ.  Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”  The life of Jesus is best evidenced to others through you.  Christ living through you can provide a compelling attraction for drawing the unsaved to Him.  Just as your life can draw others to Christ, it can just as easily provide a negative barrier for pushing the unsaved away from Him.  Jesus was emphatic about harmony and peace when He said in Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  It is important that you do not allow your pride and selfishness to interrupt your peace with others; otherwise it will quickly become a barrier between you and God.  Matthew 5:23-24 says, "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”  You can almost hear God saying in this passage, “Do not even think about coming to Me when you are not living at peace with your brother.” 

Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”  (NIV)