15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wow, I am so thankful – what amazing treasure is found in these verses!
Lately, I’ve felt surrounded with turmoil in the world in which we live, seeing hurt and pain, trying to make sense of the terrible things that are happening, and find answers as I wrestle with some pretty significant ethical questions. All the while, what I’ve been longing for is peace. That’s why I’m thankful that The Lord led Paul to write this message to the Colossians. Contained here in these verses is the message of peace that I’ve been looking for to. Here is the peace that we all can share with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and with others who don’t yet know Him.
There is some very helpful guidance in these verses to live in peace. First, to let Christ rule in my heart. I need to realize and accept that He is in charge, always. Practically, for me that means that as I talk with God, I literally can say “You are the King. You are in charge. You knew all of this would happen. You know the plans that you have for me. You know the path that I should take. I might not know why. I might not know the answer. I feel afraid. I need your peace. Please help me, Lord.”
Next, those of us who follow Jesus are part of each other as a body, and we are called to live in peace with one another. That’s super important to remember these days, especially as we are often discussing and debating what is right and wrong. Of course, we do need wisdom and correction from each other – and we need to be open to the idea that we might not be perfect in our own views. But we should not be attacking each other with our positions. Just like cancer or an autoimmune disease, things don’t go well when one part of our spiritual church body starts fighting other parts of the body. Thankfully, we were reminded just earlier in this passage that Paul calls on all of us to remember to practice forgiveness. And, thankfully, Christian gave us some great suggestions in his devotion this week on how to walk in that forgiveness.
Finally, to live in peace and forgiveness, Paul encourages us to focus on Jesus – not on the troubles that surround us or on disagreements that we have with each other – and to give thanks to God. That final encouragement in these verses to practice a life of thankfulness brings peace. It’s a great discipline to try – purposely taking the time to find something to be thankful for each day – perhaps, speaking it out loud to The Lord in prayer, writing it down in a journal, or reaching out to someone else to share. The challenges of life, the world, and our disagreements will fade away as we focus only on what Jesus has done in each of our lives, when we offer to God the joyous expressions of praise that the Holy Spirit leads us to give, and when we live in thankfulness.
Father, God, thank you for the peace that you have given to me and to all of us through your Son, Jesus Christ! Please help me and our church, at CityLight and in the whole world, to live in peace with each other. Thank you for how you have rescued each of us. Thank you for the amazing joy that you have for us here in this life and in eternity with You! Amen.
Author: Chris Fraser