Colossians 1:15-20 Our text teaches us that real peace is a Priority to God and that real peace is Expensive and we need an Ally.
Dear family and friends, I will be off the grid for the next two weeks and I will not be posting. Thank you for your prayers and love support as we endeavor to grow into the likeness of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Consider the price that was paid to purchase our peace. The Son of God had to leave the glory of heaven, descend into a fallen and corrupt world, take on the form of a helpless baby, walk countless miles over deserts and dusty roads, submit to mocking, beating and torture, and shed his own life’s blood on the cross.
Ken Sande in his book Peacemaking he made this comment: As the only Son of God, Jesus’ life and blood was infinitely precious. If his atoning work could somehow be converted into pure gold, all the vaults in the world could not hold the resulting treasure.
Why would God be willing to pay such a high price for our salvation? He tells us over and over in Scripture: it is love that moved him to pay the supreme price for our peace and salvation.
1 John 4:9-11 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
As this kind of love flows through our veins, we will be willing and even eager to pay whatever price is necessary to be reconciled with others, just as Christ Jesus paid an infinitely expensive price…his very life! to be reconciled with us.
Remember conflict is most often two sided as Jesus tells in
Matthew 7:3-5 3 "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.
Are we willing: to overlook and offence when we can; to talk to someone who has offended before the conflict begins; to help other through reconciliation whenever possible? Three conditions to overlooking an offence: When I take time to pray and realize the offence was my issue; when there is no serious harm to God’s reputation, to others or the offender; when the offense is not a part of a destructive pattern. Are we willing to stop dwelling on what others have done wrong and confess, in detail and with sincere sorrow, how you have contributed to a conflict or broken relationship?
The Scriptures point out
Philippians 2:3-4 3 Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
The expense of real peace is something we will all deal with. Some of the questions that have come up as people walk trough promoting real peace are things like: Will you admit that others may understand a conflict situation more accurately than you do? Will you give as much effort to identifying and meeting their interests as you do your own? What about the person who has deeply wronged you? Gossiped about you? Betrayed your trust? Failed to keep a commitment? Damaged your property or reputation? What price will you pay to encourage that person’s repentance and restore peace in your relationship? Will you let go of bitterness? Will you give up self-pity? Will you deny yourself of the desire to make that person suffer for the wrong he or she has done to you?
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus paid a far greater price to secure your forgiveness from God! His love gladly overflowed in the supreme sacrifice. He now invites you to overflow with the same kind of love and glad sacrifice -- not as a way to repay a debt, but as a way of joyfully reflecting and celebrating the love of Christ in your life.
Real peace requires an Ally.
I’m sure all of us would love to overflow with this kind of love and ability to make peace. And yet the price of peace is often very expensive, isn’t it? When we have been deeply or repeatedly wronged, the cost of reconciliation exceeds our meager resources. We have too little love, humility, compassion and forgiveness to cover the damage caused by sin and conflict. This is why real peace requires an ally. We cannot, on our own, fully pay the high price of reconciliation. We cannot wash away another person’s sins. We cannot cleanse our own hearts from bitterness and self-righteousness. In our own strength we cannot forgive as God has forgiven us.
But there is One who can do all these things, and he is eager to come to our side to our back, to our front, to live within us, and bear the full cost of sin, and give us all the support and resources we need to restore peace with those around us. We are promised in
Colossians 1:19-20 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
God would not be pleased to reconcile two people to himself, but leave them at odds with each other. His reconciliation is all-encompassing. Therefore, Jesus is eager to come alongside each of his children and become our ally in pursuing peace with others.
We are also promised in
Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Real peace is expensive and we have an ally who is eager to see us make peace with others. Jesus gives us the way to real peace:
Mark 8:34-35 34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
Matthew 11:28-30 28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
Jesus our ally is not distant nor passive. He is near you, and he is ready to place all of his resources at your disposal. Your ally is ready to come to your aid. Seek his counsel; bank on his limitless resources; trust that he will never leave your side as you seek peace with others.
Dean Walker; Pastor