“Gracious love to you and may peace greatly increase by a full knowledge of God and Jesus, our Lord.” II Pet 1:2 (Simple English Bible)
The news is kinda boring, doncha think? Every time there is a peace agreement, accord or talks, it seems that the rarest commodity at the table is peace itself. Everybody wants a cut or special provision at the exclusion of the others sitting around the same table. Even in families and personal relationships, there are those who want to pick a fight or want to force and issue under the guise of making peace. Congregations have the same problem internally or externally. I’ve come to believe that peace is not possible with an agenda on the table.
Yet, Peter wrote that we can have peace and our peace increases with the knowledge and wisdom from God and His Son. Remembering that Peter himself was a man who opened his mouth to change his feet, it is encouraging to know that he came to a realization about peace in his life and peace for others around him. I’d certainly like to have this understanding and wisdom spread throughout all of God’s believers.
Starting with me.
If I cannot come to a realization of peace within my life, how can I expect others to give it to me? I believe that true spiritual peace only comes from my Father and it is me who must be the conduit to others. No agendas, extra provisions or negotiations. It is up to me and it is a choice I must make in my life.
How ’bout you?
And Jesus said unto them, “And whom do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the ontological foundation of the context of our very selfhood revealed.”
And Jesus replied, “What?”
Recently I overheard two intelligent Christian men arguing over a small Biblical point. They had been leading a study group and ran aground upon a minor disagreement. While everyone looked on, puzzled, they argued the toss, becoming more and more heated. Each wanted to be right and prove the other wrong. They thought the stakes were high, especially with everyone listening.
Are there topics and opinions that can be pawed over? Just look around you — the world is jammed to the rafters with different denominations, religious groups and convoluted reasoning which would drive any normal Christian to the wall. Yes, we can argue the toss. Yes, we can have differing opinions without demeaning the gospel’s simple message.
Jesus came to die. That was His purpose. He came to die for all of us but defeated death, the greatest problem that has plagued mankind since Adam.
And that is the gospel.
Or is that too simple?
“All of us have uncovered faces; we reflect the same glory. It comes from the Spirit of the Lord. With one glory after another, we are being changed to look more like Him.” II Cor 3:18 (Simple English Bible)
We love routine. That’s why we set the alarm clock for the same time every morning so that by the time we wash, eat and hit the road, we’ve planned for the day ahead. In a church service, we want the same order of worship and the old familiar songs and prayers. Easter, Christmas and other religious events, people want to hear the similar messages with the standard hymns and Scriptures. While I have nothing against routine, it seems to me that sometimes, we just plod along in the familiar pathways, never daring to put one foot wrong.
Paul says we will change! As we grow and mature, serve and toil, we will be faced with new challenges, new fields of harvest, new ideas and methods. The Holy Spirit converys Christ’s glory and as His followers, we will be changed to be more and more like Him! As much as it might disturb our routine and habits, I believe we must embrace these challenges and be ready to innovate and use whatever talents and abilities to accomplish righteousness. We face the future together boldly.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going to.