Peace To All Men

20th July

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:18

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness—not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. 1

The Great Dictator was a political satire comedy-drama film, written, directed and produced, and even starred in by Charlie Chaplin. It was his first full-sound production movie, and was even nominated for 5 academy awards. Yet more than the accolades or the political references in the movie, it will be remembered for the final speech at the end of the film; part of which is quoted in today’s devotional. His speech highlights the importance of peace with all men, something that is echoed throughout the Bible, especially in Paul’s teaching to the church in Rome.

There is good in this world. There can be peace among all men. We don’t want to hate and despise one another, as quoted by Chaplin. Our natural desire is to be at peace with one another. No one likes war. No one wants to hate. That is not the way we have been made. Rather, we have been carved and moulded into God’s image by God Himself. That is the original plan for all men. Moreover, we have been blessed with ‘Peace’ as Jesus lives in us and He is the Prince of Peace. Friends, challenge yourselves to invite the Prince of Peace into your life and let Him bring peace and joy in your hearts. Let it be contagious. As much as possible, live in peace with all men. In this world, there is room for everyone! Don’t let difference separate us, but rather unite us in peace and harmony, through the fellowship of the Spirit..

The Peace Of God

12th January

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were call to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

So often as Christians, and sadly so, we often look at the world with much despair. We often say or ask ourselves these type of things; When is Jesus coming back? Why is there so much sin in this world? I’m tired of the battles around me! I’m fed up of battling against my sinful nature! Etc.. These are all valid questions and honourable things to ask. Yet if we get so caught up in these questions, we can easily start focusing on the negative in this world, rather than the good God has made. Yes, there is a lot of bad, negative, stressful and tiring things we have to live with. BUT there is a lot of good in this world too.

God made the world good. That hasn’t changed. Yes we live in a sinful fallen world, but still there is so much good in it. If God didn’t want us to live here, we wouldn’t have been born. We need to stop looking at the negative things around us and start focusing on the good God has made. It is then that Christ’s peace can rule in our hearts. Jesus Himself said that He came to bring peace, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give it you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”1 God wants us to have peace, to not be afraid or troubled but rejoice in the goodness of what He has made for us.

If God lives in His people, if we are His church, then already there is a light that is shining in the darkness and growing each day. We are part of this Kingdom that can never be defeated. That is worth rejoicing about. Today’s challenge is to see the good in this world and praise God for it. To rejoice in the peace Christ gives. And to let it rule in our hearts.

1John 14:27

The Path Of Peace

11th December

You will tell His people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from Heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.

Luke 1:71-79

Zechariah’s prophecy over John the Baptist remains, even to this day, a wonderful reminder of John’s role in preparing the way for the Christ, but also stands as a declaration of who Jesus was and what He came to do.

Through John the Baptist’s declaration many people did believe in Jesus as the Messiah. He boldly declared that Jesus had come to take away their sins and that through His life, may people would be saved. John the Baptist’s role in preparing the way for Jesus, was even prophesied before he was born when the angel Gabriel came to John’s father, Zechariah, whilst he was in the temple fulfilling his duties as a priest. Gabriel declared to Zechariah that John would “turn many Israelites to the Lord their God…..He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.”

As John grew older he did just that. He declared that Jesus was truly the Lamb of God, able to take the sins of the world and in so doing, lead people to the path of peace and out of the shadows of death and darkness.

That same message is still preached across the world today and is the hope and joy that we hold on to. Jesus did come to save us from our sins and to lead us out of darkness, into the path of peace and light. His word lives on forever. May we accept His generous love and kindness and hold on to the hope of His salvation.

You Are Not Alone…!!

4th March

“And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain…. but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. ”

1 Kings 19:11-13 

There are very few people that were or are full of so much faith that can rival that of the Old Testament prophet, Elijah. What a man of God. Elijah saw some of the most miraculous events and wonders that were to ever take place in the Bible. Yet he found himself here in this passage running away from the call God had on his life, through the fear of an evil leader. This same Elijah had just been given supernatural strength to run faster than a chariot, was fed by ravens, made bread from a tiny bit of oil and flour, and called down fire to burn a water soaked altar. Yet this man feared a human being, the evil ruler, Jezebel.

So often in our lives we can witness God move in such powerful ways, yet as soon as a situation comes up where we feel tried, lonely and tested, we hide away and forgot the wonders God has done in our lives. However, it is often in the stillness of our storms, when we take time to sit in the presence of God, that we really hear His voice. Elijah, although he saw God move in great power through him, was fearful of death, fearful of Jezebel and Ahab and tried to hide from what God had called him to do. Yet God, in His loving, gentle, kindness embraces Elijah and meets him where he is at; not in the raging storms, earthquakes and fire, but in the still, small and peaceful voice.

If the storm is raging and you feel alone, know that God will meet you were you are and give you strength. Whatever the challenge, God is with you, it’s a promise!