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Replacing worry with the peace of Christ

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Today’s bible study is Colossians 3:15: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

This is such a hugely important concept that is seems nearly impossible to put into so few words. There are several factors at work here, and if we consider each of them separately, it may be easier to assimilate and put into practice.

First, we taught to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Well, this is sometimes very difficult to do. We are not always feeling connected to Christ and we are not always (or even often) feeling peace. We are worried about health, the economy, jobs, money, children, housing and taxes. We worry about terrorism, politics, the weather, school, spouses and families. Some of us are in the midst of rises that affect our lives deeply. Others of us are involved in legal battles, intensive therapy and alcohol or drug dependency. Some of us even fear for our lives when we take our children to school or go grocery shopping. What a worried people we are. How can we have peace in our hearts when there is so much to worry about?

And we have not even considered anger, lassitude, or the business that consumes most of our days. When do we find time to even look for peace in our hearts? Well, the answer is both very simple and very difficult. Maybe we need to make time, be it a minute, an hour or more, to be at peace in our hearts and to sense the peace of Christ. Jesus did not have an easy life and was tormented in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. Yet, there was peace in His heart. We can, in spite of our worries and cares, have that peace as well. Jesus will give us peace in our hearts whenever we seek it and whenever we allow it to come in.

It was once suggested to me that everyone take a half hour each day to contemplate and meditate on their spiritual relationship with Jesus. Maybe we need to do this. Perhaps before rising, in the shower, during lunch, riding the subway or at bedtime, we can turn our hearts to God and seek the peace of Christ. It is undoubtedly the most effective and wonderfully addictive tranquilizer and anti-depressant there is!

Next we come to the concept of being members of one body. This is a rather strange concept for some of us, since we are very used to considering ourselves as being unique individuals within our own single bodies. I am me. I have a size and shape. I have a name. I have certain strengths and weaknesses. I have people who love me and people who do not even know me. I have many talents and many faults. But am I also greater than just me? Yes, we all are. As Christian brothers and sisters, part of the one body of Christ, we are all sons and daughters of the same God, our father in heaven. We are redeemed by the same suffering, loved with the same eternal grace and promised eternal life in the same home with the Father. That is why agape, the true Christian love, is so very important. Because, if we are all to become a part of the whole, it is far better that we love each other as Christian sons and daughters of the father God.

Finally, we are admonished to be thankful for this. Oh, yes, we truly should be thankful. Without the peace of Christ and the love of God and the oneness of members of His holy body, our lives would be barren indeed. Let us give thanks for the peace of Christ within our hearts and for the opportunity to me members of one body of Christ. Let us forever trust in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and keep our hearts ever open to His divine presence.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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