“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”
Colossians 3:15-17 – Message
Circumstances will come into all of our lives where we can compromise our peace with God, and our peace with one another. However, we are challenged to evaluate and guard this peace. The enemy would try to bring us to a place where we embrace a temporal feeling of peace at the cost of real peace. He would attempt to bring us to where we isolate and shut out any conflict in order to have a sense of peace. However, he really is a liar. We are called to fellowship with one another, God is our peace and He has broken down every dividing wall. We must choose in the midst of sensitive moments to be bearers of that peace. We must choose to not run, but to value those He has placed in our lives. We must see the danger of isolating, and allow love to win in every circumstance. For this is the only way true peace will prevail.
We are also challenged here to let the Word of Christ dwell richly in us, or to let it have the run of our lives. To dwell richly implies that its roots are deeply planted into your life. It is not shallow, or fickle, but deep and nourishing. The way I see it, is to take the Word, and meditate on it, appropriate it, and let it transform you. Only then is it richly dwelling in your life. Knowing the information found on the pages does not mean that the Word is in you. It might mean no more than the fact that you have a good memory. However, when you begin to bring that Word into your decision making, into your conversation, into your attitude, and it begins to shift you, you might be starting to be truly enriched by it. It is that kind of enrichment that will sustain you in a season of drought.
When a life has been changed by this deep well of the Word, your character will be seen through your conduct. You will begin to be thankful even when you don’t “feel it.” You will recognize the need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude because regardless of what your flesh says, every detail of your life IS saturated with the truth of your life being hidden in God. That should make us all give God thanks every step of the way.
Gratitude must be cultivated. We are not naturally grateful. We lose perspective recklessly. We must be intentional in cultivating an attitude that is grateful for all the blessings we so wonderfully enjoy. Being grateful contributes to a life of spiritual peace, whereas, being discontent and grumbling leads to a life of inner agitation and turmoil.
May love always win in us. May His Word transform us continually. May true gratitude be cultivated in us and may Jesus be honored in our lives.
Today, I am grateful that I can lean into His peace. I am thankful that the peace He gives, is not just for me to “feel peaceful”, but to be one who uses that peace to break down every wall that separates. I am grateful that love really does win. I am blessed to be a part of an unshakeable Kingdom. How can I do anything but offer thanks.
Susan Craig says:February 4, 2015 at 3:55 am
I am the middle child in my birth family. It seems that I am always being called on to negotiate peace within the family when the other members have a disagreement-I know how difficult that role of peacemaker is and have to try to understand both sides of the argument from each person’s point of view and add the wisdom of God to my heart and mind before I even attempt to try to settle things. I often do not feel adequate for this role yet I am continually placed there and it is very taxing on me and my spirit. I do not feel gratitude at these times and I really have no idea how to cultivate gratitude when I am in this situation. Can anyone share some practical advice as to how I could become more thankful for always being thrust into this role? Because I have to confess,thankful is the last thing in mind in these moments-stressed/praying for wisdom/looking at each of them thru God’s eyes and with love I can do,but being grateful in these moments is the last thing on my mind. Just keeping it real!!
Sue Holmes says:February 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm
Susan, I hear your frustration! Experience has taught me that sometimes that role of peacemaker falls to the youngest child as well. 😉 Thankfulness is something that has required me reaching down low and sometimes straining to pull it up. But, without it, you & I become another casualty of the battle over which we have just been negotiating the peace talks. It doesn’t seem fair that we lose our peace while attempting to make peace for others.
This may not sound like the practical help you are looking for but the Word that has been following me all day simply this, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (ESV). It is the scripture we started our “40 Days in the Word” with a year ago & part of today’s passage.
The word ‘dwell’ implies more than reading. Reside, crash, inhabit or settle-in are terms that come to mind. I know you already have a handle on that part. What had/has been difficult for me was the deliberate working out of becoming more thankful … the working out of the Word. One thing God has impressed on me for 2015 is that I need to be more ‘deliberate’ or purposeful. I need to deliberately push myself out of my comfort zone (Oh, how I enjoy comfort. lol). Part of this is in making myself stop and deliberately be thankful to God. His Word dwelling in me brings me to being able to look for the wisdom & deal with people in grace. But (and those 3 letters make up a big word – ‘but’) getting alone with God and expressing thankfulness, whether I feel like it or not, eventually will bring me to a place of truly being thankful. I remember on day 9 of this 50 day journey the quote (can’t remember the author), “Thankfulness is the fruit of grace.”
I’m far from having mastered this. But on those days when being thankful is the last thing on my mind, putting it there at the forefront before God is the only way I can see above my circumstances and get His point of view. That deliberate act of thankfulness takes away any ownership of success in negotiating peace between family or friends. It takes away any opportunity for pride and brings me to a place of humility. It reminds me of the leper falling at Christ’s feet in humility.
My practical advice: 🙂
I think the key here is ‘being’ thankful (whether we want to be or not) before God, rather than ‘feeling’ thankful. Thanks for ‘keeping it real’. You’ve given me a lot to think about today. I think you get to the place of thankfulness more often than you think. And I know that God is pleased when we do. 😉
Susan Craig says:February 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm
Thank you Lord for what you have said to me through the words Sue has written here. Thank you that it was what I needed to hear. Thank you Lord for the work you are doing in me through these studies of your word this year and last year as well, I see Your Hand in this. I hear your voice in this. I am listening Lord and I will trust and obey even when I do not fully understand or fully grasp everything you are teaching me -yet. I thank you that You never give up on me because you know everything there is to know about me-past,present and future. Thank you that you are in control. Thank you that I am not. Forgive me when I fail to trust you completely. Give me what I need so I can get to the point You desire to bring me to. I need Your strength,your wisdom to do this-I am so weak and so tired and so ignorant at times. Thank you for all the people you put in my path that are willing to be used by you for your glory to teach me the way to a deeper understanding of your purpose for me in this world you have put me in. I trust You with my life,I trust You with the lives of those I love,I trust You even when I am feeling blind,lost and afraid. Use me as You see fit-such as I am. I am Yours.
Pat McRae says:February 4, 2015 at 10:24 pm
Pat, let the peace of Christ, that peace that passes all understanding, not the peace the world has to offer, rule and reign in your heart. God has called you to walk in this peace and to also be thankful.
Pat, get the Word into you, let it reside in you richly, so you will be able to teach others about God’s love and peace and with great accuracy you will be able to admonish others with wisdom about the ways and character of God.
Pat, let your heart sing songs and hymns and praises to the One true God both with your natural language and in the Spirit. Let those songs praise His goodness to you, His love for you and His awesomeness as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Oh Pat, let your heart rejoice with pure thanksgiving for Who He is and what He has done for you.
And Pat, wherever you find yourself, whatever you are doing, whenever you open your mouth to speak do it all for His glory, always giving thanks to your Daddy through the wonderful Name of His Son, in Jesus name let it be so.
Don’t you just love it when you find a Scripture that fits your day and you can insert your name in it and claim it as your own? 🙂 I know the Word says not to add or subtract from it, but as I declare this over my life today those extra words let me grasp God’s Word to me today tighter. These are such great Scriptures for me today as here at Layou Miracle Church it is our day of fasting and prayer. Glory be to God for great things He has done, is doing and will continue to do.
Sue Holmes says:February 4, 2015 at 11:24 pm
This has become one of my favourite passages of scripture. Seeing aspects of my own body weaken over the past few years has given me an appreciation of the body of Christ. Other than Christ Himself, His body is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to mankind. We are the representation of Christ, His ambassadors and co-labourers.
We are given the task of building each other up, teaching and admonishing each other. We are part of a magnificent team of body builders. I wonder what God’s original picture of us looked like … before we gave way for sin. I see the church body that Paul spoke of as one that ministered to each other, constantly on the outlook for one another … and as a result ministering to God, Himself.
How is any of this possible considering the foibles of mankind? We are such a strange lot, each with personalities so diverse from each other. The secret is Christ! He makes it happen, but only if we make way for Him.
We are asked to LET the peace of Christ keep us in harmony with one another. This tells me that I have a choice. If I am out of sync with the body I may have only myself to blame. What powers this peace? None other than the Prince of Peace … the very Word of Christ. The Amplified Version says, “Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds]”. But the Message makes it true to where we are, “Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house.” . This doesn’t mean that we invite Christ in for a visit, prepare the guest room, knowing that the time will come when we have ‘our space’ back again. We are to let Him have the run of the house. That means we turn the keys over to Him, step aside and tell Him it is (we are) His. We allow Christ to redecorate our lives to suit His tastes. You can be sure His peace will be one of the fruit on the table.
The great thing is that He does that for each of us as we turn the keys over to Him. Each member of His body working in harmony with each other and with Him. Maybe that was His orginal plan. It just got side tracked by our fall to sin.
This evening, I thank you God for your magnificent body of believers … both here and world-wide. Thank You for the instruction to work/dwell in sync with each other & You. And thank You for the reminder that it is all You. None of this would be possible without Your peace brought about by allowing our life to be turned over to the rule of Your Word … Christ.
I thank God for You … His body. Just as I am lost without Christ, the Head of the Church, I am also lost with you, His body.
Jim Holmes says:February 4, 2015 at 11:43 pm
When I was first seeking and “wondering” about the reality of God , my thoughts did not go unnoticed….for today I can look back and say, God had His eye on me. He cares for me. I had to know…can I really know God? I was known of God. I remember thinking at the time…I need someone to talk to, a special someone who I could go to….who would understand me, who would never leave me…someone with whom I could walk with…who would protect me, care for me….could this be God.? Didn’t He create me for Him? I was so small and insignificant…a speck of insignificant dust in the universe. I concluded that God really has to be a very very big God to notice. God is big…He is so beyond all we could ask for or think….just because the One who brought all that exists into being can relate in the most intimate and loving way to the little child that we are. To confine His greatness would make ourselves god…and separate us from the One who loved us, through Whom we were adopted into the family of God. Our relationship is with One called Father, and with Jesus His Son. It is “None of this going off and doing our own thing.” Because our Father’s Way is His Son…we are eternally grateful, thankful for Life in His Son, His resurrection power made manifest in us…leading us in the knowledge of Truth. The very Word of Christ enables us to have clarity….able to discern reality and deception. His House is real when Jesus sits on the throne of our lives. We are truly one temple in the Lord when we allow others to take a share of “our life” in Him. The unity of the song of our heart brings God’s Presence in such a Way, we cannot contain just being filled, but our temple overflows with His goodness everywhere we go….every detail of each of our lives speak of our love and gratitude for our Father, and Jesus His Son, our Lord and Master whom we serve. We are God’s orchestra playing in harmony to the tune of peace between God and man. The wall of sin that kept us so far apart has been broken down. His fragrance fills the air and our hearts sing with joy.
Susan Craig says:February 7, 2015 at 3:20 am
What a picture you paint with these words Jim. You have a poetic heart! I have been blessed by these words.