Peace can replace strife

Neighbourly Advice According to Ed

Rev. Raymond Maher

Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, believes that as a retiree, my life should be peaceful, comfortable, and relaxed. I asked him how peaceful can I be when old age means everything either dries up or leaks. I also said to him that old age is as relaxed as his golf game. When we used to play golf together, Ed could be both relaxed and like a thunderstorm.

Being peaceful, comfortable and relaxed is only one side of life. The opposite side of peaceful is anxious, comfortable turned over is tense, and relaxed becomes uptight on its other side. Some folks stress only peace, but peace comes with its opposite side, division or strife. Absolute, total, perfect, peace without any strife will only be in heaven. There is strength in unity, but you cannot have unity without some diversity also present. Everything comes with an opposite or a shadow. A husband can be a great guy sometimes, and, a jerk at other times.

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It is fine to champion peace as peacemakers are blessed, but their opposites are troublemakers and division. The question is, are we on the side of peace or strife? Will we strive for good or evil? Will we be on God’s side or the devil’s side? 

Will you love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you? Jesus makes it clear that there is no credit in loving those that love us and doing good to those who do good to us.

Jesus came to bring the fire of salvation as God’s peace for all sinners. He willingly died on the cross in pain and suffering as a ransom for our sins. Jesus won peace for us by enduring betrayal, persecution, injustice, beatings, his crucifixion, and death.

Jesus said that he was bringing division in that he would divide families. His peace would force people to decide if he was the Messiah or Savior sent from God in heaven or not. Some would believe that Jesus was the Saviour, and some would reject him. He cautioned the people that they must interpret what was happening before them and act accordingly. It was their time to judge for themselves wisely. As they would face a court case, the wise thing to do was to get a settlement before the case went to the judge. Once before the judge, he could rule against the person. If he went to prison, he would not get out until he fully served his time.  

It is always the right time to judge for ourselves if we are sinful and need God’s forgiveness. Will we accept the peace that is for all sinners? Whoever believes in Jesus, God’s only Son, shall not perish but have eternal life. Many will not believe that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All sinners need God’s peace. We are justified freely through the redemption that came by Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood. If we claim we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives. (Scripture: Luke 12, 6; Romans 3; 1 John 1

 

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