Today’s Devotional is offered by Chip Fudge.
Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
When I hear the phrase “peace on earth” I immediately think of the Christmas story from Luke and the words of the heavenly host: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14, KJV). My thoughts immediately go the ending of war and strife between nations and thoughts of people coexisting in a loving manner. But when I jump to the end of the Bible to see how the story ends (Revelation), I learn that peace on earth will not occur until Christ returns. Is this the peace to which the heavenly host referred?
Isn’t it strange how our thoughts center on the failings of others without looking inward first? Let’s turn this inward. What have I done to make peace in my community? And more intimately, what have I done to make peace with my next door neighbor, my parents, my siblings, my children, my spouse… and, oh yeah…my God? Until I make peace with God, I cannot enjoy His peace (Philippians 4:7). And until I am in a relationship with God, I cannot enjoy real peace with others. So, how do I make peace with God? I begin by coming into agreement with God that I am in need of repentance and by accepting his gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Then, I develop and grow in inner peace as I grow in my relationship with God.
God created us to have an intimate relationship with Him. If that is true, then what work can be more important than growing in that intimacy? (This is an important question. Please stop, take a moment, and think about it.)
Though I accepted Christ at a young age, I did not begin working on my intimacy with Him until I was in my forties. I eventually learned the importance of setting time aside for God every day. For me, that is the first thing every morning, for you that may be just before bedtime or at another set time. The key is to set some time aside for God every day. If your days are hectic, start with just 10 minutes at a time. Find a quiet spot where you are less likely to be distracted. During your time with God, speak to him, pray, and read your bible. Be completely honest with Him and with yourself. He knows your innermost thoughts anyway and He understands you better than you understand yourself. If you don’t know where to begin reading, I recommend the Book of John. The key is to commit to giving God this time every day. Do this and watch peace blossom!
Prayer: Lord, help me to take time to grow in my relationship with you so that I may know your peace. Amen