Word for Wednesday

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

An old friend of mine had become involved in a dispute over some property. Although he tried to resolve the dispute, the other man was very unreasonable, and refused to even negotiate a settlement. As the dispute dragged on, and as Christmas drew near, my Christian friend bought a large number of boxes of chocolates to give to friends and to people he did business with. One day, while dropping off a box of chocolates to a friend in a store in a mall, he noticed in the next store his opponent in the property dispute. He rushed into that store, and with a friendly smile handed his opponent a box of chocolates, and wished him a merry Christmas. The man was too shocked to speak, and almost too shocked to accept the candy. But the next day, he phoned my friend and suggested they get together and resolve their disagreement. Although peace is not always so easily obtained, it should always be the Christian’s goal.

Peace and holiness are indeed the ingredients for seeing the Lord. God’s salvation gives us peace with God, removing the enmity that would have kept us from Heaven and damned us to hell. God’s salvation also gives us holiness, forever removing the sin that once barred us from God’s presence and blessing. Peace and holiness are integral components of the eternal life we received when we trusted Christ. However, they are not automatically displayed in the life of every believer; they must be developed and practiced in order for them to be vibrant components of our testimony for our Lord.

There are Christians around us who are not at peace, practically speaking. They become involved in arguments and disputes, and make little effort to avoid contentious situations. They are unhappy about conditions around them, and are often at loggerheads with fellow believers over matters large or small. The peace that they have with God is not displayed in their life. Perhaps more of a reproach to their Lord are those Christians who live in disregard to the need for holiness. Such Christians associate with people whose influence on them is bad, or they attend events or frequent places that allow or promote immorality and wickedness, or they engage in dishonest business dealings. As our God is holy, so should we be holy.

The peace and holiness that salvation brought us will take us to Heaven. The peace and holiness that we display in our lives will enable us to represent Heaven while we are still here. – Jim MacIntosh

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