Ephesians 2:13-18 – “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through in him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”
God knew mankind was incapable of following through on our part of the covenant forged so long ago, and so He became our peace broker. Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection gave us full access to God’s presence, and His door of friendship swung wide open to all those who will meet the conditions of his peace treaty. Humanity no longer needs to stay at odds with God. We only need to agree to the terms of this new covenant and enter His kingdom through repentance and surrender to His Lordship.
He is Our Peace Broker
Not only did the death and resurrection of Jesus bring lasting peace between man and God, but His sacrifice also brought the potential for peace in all of our earthly relationships. It is not too difficult to embrace the conditions set in place so we can receive God’s offer of peace and reconciliation with Himself. It’s a pretty sweet deal. Our brokenness and sinfulness in exchange for his grace, mercy, forgiveness, and abundant life. Who wouldn’t take up that offer?
However, it’s not quite as easy to accept the terms God set in place to help us bring reconciliation in our earthly relationships. God once again offers to be our peace-broker, but any possible peace forged will be contingent on our willingness to agree to the conditions he put into place. As we lay down our weapons of self-defensiveness, self-righteousness, unforgiveness and bitterness, we tear down the walls we have built around the kingdoms of our hearts. We’ve done our part, it’s now up to the other party to either accept or refuse our offer of peace. And God is there to comfort and sustain us if reconciliation is not yet possible.
It can be so hard to reach out to those with whom we have yet to find true reconciliation. We used to sit beside them at church and now we attend another service just to avoid them. We sit across from them at the family dinner table, but we talk to everyone else but them. We do our best to stay out of their way at work, but we are weary of dodging them. We pretend that there isn’t a problem, but we achingly know the walls of discord we have built do not please God and bring anxiety to our hearts.
Ask the Lord for the grace to be the first to extend a gesture of peace this Christmas season. Swallow your pride, ask the Lord for ways to bless the people you are at odds with. Bless them from a pure motivation and not from the place of false humility or just because you want to prove you are a better person than they are.
Receive God’s empowering grace by faith, then step forward with a humble heart of forgiveness and repentance. In obedience to his word and his personal direction, seek reconciliation with the specific people you know God has laid on your heart as you have read this short devotion.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (ESV)
Watch this short YouTube Video for further insight.
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Until Next Week
2012, 2018 Katherine Walden
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