Caressing a plate of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, I plopped into my favorite recliner and turned on the local news channel. Story after story unfolded, each illustrating that peace was absent.
Story one. Israel and Hamas are fighting. Again. Both sides are injecting rockets on each other’s buildings, military personnel and civilians. Other countries are gathering officials in an attempt to broker a truce.
Story two. World renown retail giant Wal-Mart is gearing up for Black Friday (the Super Bowl shopping event that follows Thanksgiving Day in the United States) but also wrangling with disgruntled employees protesting having to work on Thanksgiving Day as well as with a national union goading them on.
Story three. A woman visiting the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery has a picture taken of herself shouting by the sign that reads: “Silence and Respect.” A co-worker posts the picture on Facebook, it goes viral, and thousands are outraged. Her father apologizes for his daughter’s actions.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Paul lived in a time of political and religious unrest but wrote; And live peacefully with each other (I Thessalonians 5:13 NLT). He also penned, Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18 NLT). Paul’s desire was for believers to live at peace with one another, with unbelievers, and even with cruel government authorities.
Peace with others is only remotely possible when we’re at peace with God through the act of forgiveness. When we fully comprehend how far God reached to intervene in our sinful situation, we’ll be able to combat unbelief, cruelty, abuse, irrationality, criminal acts, atheism, agnosticism, and a host of other peace-threatening rockets with kindness, goodness, graciousness, and self-control. Where does God want you to inject peace?
Prayer: God of perfect peace and quiet, in whose eternal Kingdom no war or cruelty will exist, enable us to spread Your message of peace under the banner of the Prince of Peace.
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