LIVING IN SONSHIP
A Weekly Devotional by Barry Adams
In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. Romans 15:33 describes our Heavenly Father, as the God of Peace. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is peace. So I think it is fair to say that peace resides in the heart of The Trinity. There is no restlessness to be found within the Godhead. No anxiety. No fear. Just an abiding, tangible peace.
In the letters to the Galatians and the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul opens up both letters with the same exhortation... Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. With the amount of times this salutation was used in the New Testament, I wonder if it was a common way to greet one another back then?
How would it affect our every day lives if we greeted each other with the same salutation today? Grace and peace to you my brother... Grace and peace to you my sister! Maybe if we actually pronounced this blessing of grace and peace upon each other, it would help to remind us how important these attributes are? Unfortunately we usually start our conversations by asking productivity questions instead, which tend to reinforce our unhealthy ideas of a value that comes from doing rather than being.
My only point is to remind us all of the high priority of peace in the Kingdom of God. In Romans 14:17, the Apostle Paul writes… for God’s Kingdom is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (WEB) Paul also writes in Romans 8:6… For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; (WEB)
I believe that there is no question about it. God’s will for our lives is to live in peace. The peace that God has for us is not something that we can muster up in our own ability. His peace is imparted to us as a free gift given by His beloved Son. Jesus told us, My peace I give to you… (John 14:27).
I believe that the only way we can enjoy this part of our birthright is to simply receive it by faith as a gift. We can't earn the peace that God wants to give us. We could never do enough to deserve it. But it is ours through the free gift of Jesus' life for our life on a cross two thousand years ago. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9… 8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. (WEB)
God wants to GIVE you His peace in the midst of a restless orphan hearted world system that is screaming out thousands of media messages a day. God wants to GIVE you His peace in the midst of a religious system that is demanding that we do more in order to become acceptable.
God wants to GIVE you His peace in the midst of our own guilty conscience condemning us. And God wants to GIVE you His peace in the midst of all the distracting chatter that the accuser of the brethren is only too happy to bring your way.
Our birthright is peace. A peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) not rooted in our own self-effort, but imparted to us from the One who is Peace Himself. If we can’t earn it and can never deserve it, all we can do is to simply accept it.
Many years ago, I developed a stress-related condition called hyperhydrosis that plagued me for some time. No manner of praying or rebuking the enemy seemed to bring me relief from this chronic disorder. It wasn't until I had a vision of Jesus asleep in a boat in the midst of a storm (Matthew 8:24) that I instantly received my healing.
Before having this encounter that actually imparted God’s peace into my inmost being, I thought that the key to being at peace was to reduce the stress in my life. Since the only way I knew to do that was to try and manage my external circumstances, I tried to control everything that happened in my life. Of course the need to control everything brought even more stress so at the end of the day that strategy didn’t work.
It wasn’t until I had a vision in my spirit where I saw the One who is peace itself, sleeping even in the midst of crashing waves and howling wind, that I received my healing. It was at that moment, that the Prince of Peace imparted His peace to my weary soul and I was set free from the chronic stress disorder that was relentlessly buffeting both my body and my soul.
My prayer is that you would know that part of your inheritance package is peace. It isn't something you have to strive for, peace is part of your new DNA (1 John 3:9) because you are child of God and a joint heir with your Elder Brother, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:15-17).
In John 16:33, Jesus said these words to His disciples… “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) Even though we will experience many hardships this side of heaven, our Elder Brother has promised His peace even in the most devastating of storms in our lives.
The peace that God has for us is a tangible substance that we can give to others too. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:11-13 that they could actually impart their peace to households if they chose to do so. May the substance of God’s peace blanket you personally and rest upon your household.
No matter how great the storm that rages in your life today, God's peace is greater and it is His peace that will sustain you even in the darkest of valleys. May we all shout Hallelujah! to the blessing that the Apostle Paul pronounced over the believer in Rome when he wrote... May the God of peace soon crush Satan under your feet. (Romans 16:20)
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (NIV)