February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”—Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
Yesterday, we reviewed Matthew 5:9 (NIV) where Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” We know that as believers, we have a responsibility and opportunity to reflect Christ in how we bring peace to the world around us. Today’s Scripture reminds us of the same truth, but relates living at peace with everyone to being holy as well! How does this correlation impact the way we are to be peacemakers? Well, let’s look at the surrounding verses first!
In the first verses of Hebrews 12, it’s clear the author understands the Christian life is full of hardship due to our own mistakes and weaknesses and the world’s darkness and brokenness. We need endurance to withstand these hardships, but we also need God’s peace. This peace is for all believers of Jesus who have been washed by His blood! When we receive God’s peace and wholeness, we also enter into a family of other broken people who have been redeemed by God’s grace like us. If we can remember that, then we can walk together in that peace and grace.
The author gives us this instruction in tandem with the command “to be holy.” Why would he remind us about holiness after reminding us to live at peace with each other? Well, on our own, it may not always be easy to live at peace with other people. In order to walk in God’s peace, we must be walking with God as He transforms our hearts to look more like His. This is what we call “sanctification” or “spiritual formation.” It’s the process of letting the Holy Spirit change us as we follow God, obey his Word, and spend time with Him. This is how we get to experience the peace of God on a daily basis and, as a result, we get to be set apart for holy use by God. If this isn’t happening, then we cannot live with God’s peace in our own lives or in our relationships with those around us!
I like to think about it this way. On a sports team, it’s vital for the team to be unified in order to work well together. They may each be different in skill or position, but they’re ultimately unified as a team. What creates this unity? Their purpose and their practice. The team must be intent on one purpose whatever that purpose may be, and they must be committed to practicing and making each other better. This will bring unity and peace to the team! The truth we find in today’s Scripture is encouraging us in the same way.
Living at peace with those around us, specifically other believers, requires us to be committed to letting God transform our hearts and practicing our faith daily in community with His other children. As we become more holy together, we also receive the peace of God—and that will unite us regardless of our own weaknesses and the world’s darkness. The enemy’s tactics to create disunity and discord amongst us may creep in here or there, but we must remain intent on our purpose of worshiping God together in the way we live and love. We must practice peace because that is how we will live at peace with each other!
Pause: Have you been living at peace with those around you recently? How so? How can you better practice walking in God’s peace with His body of believers?
Practice: Practice peace today! Whether it be sharing words of encouragement with another person or doing an act of service despite your tiredness, ask God to show you something you can do today to practice peace.
Pray: Holy Father, thank You for committing to making us holy! Even though we are so broken, You saved us through Your son Jesus. That makes us holy just by His sacrifice, but You didn’t stop there. You commit to transforming our hearts more and more every day. I ask that You continue to make me more peaceful as I try to live in Your peace and share it with others. Help me to practice peace in the community You have given me as a way to honor You and love my neighbors. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.