based on the LGG Study, The Armor of God, w3d5
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17/ SOAP: verse 15
Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful.Colossians 3:15
Be Intentional? (true confessions)
The word peace typically denotes a serene, laid back, no worries kind of word; however, Paul says “let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart.” If I’m being truly honest, letting anyone or anything be in control of me is not as easy as it sounds. So this one has taken me years to to learn and I’m still working on putting it into practice faithfully. For you see, I’ve learned that peace in this context isn’t a laid back, no worries kind of word – but rather a word that requires me to be an active participant in a difficult task. It is referring to living at peace with others, which is why I must let Him be in control of me. I’m telling you this was daunting to me – until I learned how much I can trust Him, how much He loves me, how faithful, compassionate, patient and kind he is. And then, when I remembered what He did for me, His enemy, so that I could be at peace with God – well, it was a game-changer! I have found that there is truly no greater peace than letting Him be in control of my heart and every other part of me. I find pleasure and strength in giving Him every part of my life and running to and depending on Him for help when I struggle to love as He loved, or to make allowances for other’s faults and forgive those who have offended me. To quote Jesus’ words to His disciples – [living at peace with others] is impossible with man but with God all things are possible, Matthew 19:26.
Looking at the Bigger Picture
Our passage today in Colossians three, is one of the ways I learned to “let Christ be in control of my heart”. I put it to memory, along with the first eleven verses, close to a decade ago. I noticed, as with all of Paul’s letters, he is always teaching the disciples of Christ to take responsibility for their faith. Notice here in these verses all of the responsibilities Paul gives to help them take owner ship of their faith.
- clothe yourselves … bear with one another … forgive … love … let peace control your heart … let the Word dwell in you (richly) … use the Word to teach, exhort, and encourage … Be a representative of Christ … Give thanks to God through Christ
Sound a bit daunting? It definitely can be – until we remember that God has given us His Spirit who empowers us to live like this, and according to James 4:17, to do anything less is sin. Again, the good news is while it’s impossible for us to live like this – Nothing is impossible with God. The Spirit empowering us is a promise found in 2 peter 1:3-4, where we read: By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share in his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
Remembering This Helps
The peace Christ came to bring – is a peace that set us free from sins hold – a peace between us and God, and yes, even others – it’s a peace that is able to control our heart’s attitude toward others – because He wants us not just to know His peace but to live in peace with God and others – (I realize I just made that point but it bears repeating – because it is difficult to do) but – as Paul told the Philippians in verse 17, God has called us to “be a representative of Christ” – who exemplified the very definition of peace.
Prayer of Response to the Word
Peace peace wonderful peace flowing down from You Father. Peace that You graciously and lovingly gave by sending Your only begotten Son to be our peace so that we could have a relationship with You and others. You have called us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts for as members of one body – the body of Christ, we are called to live in peace. We can only do this when we live like Jesus. Guard us from hating others or being unkind or refusing to forgive those who have offended us. Help us, instead, to clothe ourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness humility gentleness, and patience. Strengthen us to make allowances for other’s faults and to forgive those who offend us, and when all of this just seems too hard or we just don’t want to live like this– then help us to remember how you have forgiven us. – I pray these things in the name of Jesus – Who is our peace. AMEN!
Reflection on the Journey
- What does the Bible teach about the importance of letting the peace of Christ rule in our hearts?
- How can we cultivate and maintain peace in our hearts and relationships?
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