Lifestyle Of Peace: A Christian Handbook For Maintaining It (NIV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
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- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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The word “peace” and related terms appear over 100 times in the New Testament — yet “peace” often eludes us. Pain and death are in the news every day. Uncertainty exists. Anxiety can control our lives.
How, then, can we find peace?
Each of us is unique, and God relates to us individually. No “one-size-fits-all” approach exists. But three Biblical truths are essential to our peace.
1. A lifestyle of peace comes only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Jesus went to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Moreover, His wounds and death healed our diseases, delivered us from oppressing spirits, and brought us prosperity of soul. We receive those extraordinary blessings by putting our faith and trust in Him.
A lifestyle of peace can come from nothing else, and nobody else. Any other choice of ours will lead at best to temporary relief, and at worst to disaster.
This does not mean that we will be able to avoid every problem or challenge in life. Jesus Himself warned that we will have trials. It does mean, however, that we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). That person is Jesus Christ.
2. God is our Heavenly Father, who wants only the best for us!
By our heartfelt belief in Christ’s death on the cross, His resurrection, and His position as ruler now, we are reconciled to God, we are born again, and we are adopted as children of God.
As we grow in the realization that there is a God who knows us personally, is our good “daddy,” and is intimately involved in our life, our lifestyle becomes one of peace.
If we have anxiety about a problem, we give that up to our Heavenly Father. Then we ask Him for wisdom. God promises in James 1:5 to give us wisdom if we ask for it. That encourages us to stop trying to solve everything on our own. We seek God’s help, listen for His answer, and are faithful to receive and respond to it.
3. We need to keep in mind the wisdom shared by Jesus with His disciples on the eve of the cross: Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
The branch does not strive for the vine; it rests in the vine. It is tenderly attached. As the glory of the Holy Spirit flows through the branch, fruit happens. The branch doesn’t force the fruit out, nor create the fruit. The fruit instead results from the flow of life from the vine through the branch. That fruit includes love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22-23).
We as branches can have obstructions to the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our thoughts are often the problem. We must hold to the idea of peace, even if our five senses tell us something different. Patience is often required. We must also think about our thoughts. Is our anxiety making mountains out of molehills?
Some other examples of problems follow. If we find some or all of these in our own lives, we should not condemn ourselves. The Lord simply calls on us to repent — change our direction and our minds. He asks us to keep our eyes fastened on Him as the way to maintaining a lifestyle of peace.
Unforgiveness. Unforgiveness can be a stronghold in our mind that leads to torment, anxiety, and conflict with others.
Envy and selfish ambition. James 3:16 says: “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
Pride. Proverbs 13:10 says: “Where there is strife, there is pride.”
Fear. 1 John 4:16-18 says: “God is love…. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”
Hope deferred; unanswered prayer. Proverbs 13:12 says: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
So, how do we change? This little booklet should help. More importantly, the Lord through the Apostle Paul makes this promise to us (Philippians 4:6-7; emphasis added):
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
© 2014 E. Ellsworth McMeen, III