Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.Romans 15:33(NASB)
Peace is one of many beautiful characteristics that are manifested as fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer who is growing in grace and being conformed into the image and likeness of Jesus. Each godly attribute is part of a believer's garment of righteousness, when walking in spirit and truth.
Peace is one of the most precious qualities of the soul for a peaceful spirit is very precious in the sight of God. An attitude of tranquillity should be part of a normal Christian life, for we receive peace with God when we are justified by faith in Christ's finished work on Calvary, and we have ongoing access to the peace of God when we remain in fellowship with Him - in purity of heart - in the unity of the spirit.
It was the Father of peace Who sent the Prince of peace into the world to save sinners from their sin. It is the Spirit of peace Who reconciles man to God through faith in Jesus Christ and gives us the ministry of reconciliation. It was the Prince of all peace Who set aside His glory so that peace could be established on earth for men of goodwill, and for the glory of God.
It was the gift of peace that Christ gave to His disciples, only hours before He trudged along the road of redemption to Calvary's Cross, "Peace I leave with you," were His words of comfort to His confused disciples, "My peace I give to you." And in this verse, Paul prays for an outpouring of God's peace on all the saints in Rome, "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."
The peace we have with God through the forgiveness of sin is an unconditional gift for all who believe, and it remains our present possession through time and into eternity. Peace with God, through faith in Christ, can never be lost or left or stolen away - but the peace of God, which is Paul's prayer for these saints in Rome, is an inner peace that is readily available to all who walk in spirit and truth.
The peace of God is conditional and can be lost, destroyed, or broken, when we fall into sin, engage in fleshly activities, or regress into spiritual infancy. Paul tells the Philippians how to keep the peace of God ruling our heart - we are to rejoice in the Lord continually. We are to let our gentle spirit be known to others and not be anxious, but in everything by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, we are let our requests be made known to God. When these conditions are met, we have the assurance that the peace of God which passes human comprehension, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul gave the Colossians similar advice, "let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body - and be ye thankful." We know that Paul himself had to undergo some very severe situations which had the potential to cause him great unease, and yet it is the peace of God for which he prays. Paul could confidently claim that when we honour God in all we say and do His peace will reign in our heart, no matter what difficulties and dangers we may be facing.
As we analyse the conditions that keep us in fellowship with the Father and safeguard His peace in our hearts, we find it comes down to trusting God for all things - however difficult - through prayer and supplication, with a heart of thanksgiving and praise, and a life that honours our Father in heaven.
No one but a Christian can experience the peace of God, which reminds us that Paul's letter was written to believers and not to the unsaved. And because fellowship with the Father is broken when through sin, carnality, indifference, or unbelief, it is evident that Paul is urging these believers to live a life that is well-pleasing to the Lord in thought, word, deed, and motive.
As we live in a world that longs for peace and yet denies the Prince of peace, Who alone brings unity to this troubled place, may we rejoice in God our Saviour and display a gentle spirit in all we say and do. May we be anxious for nothing, but trust God in all things. May the peace of God which passes human understanding, guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord, and may the God of peace, Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, be with us all, amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God of peace Who sent Jesus to be our perfect Prince of peace and the great Shepherd of the sheep Who is coming to bring in a time of peace and prosperity to men of goodwill and to rule the world in righteousness and truth. I pray that as the day for Christ's return draws ever closer, You would draw near to all Your children so that our joy may be perfected in Him and we would all be drawn together in the unity of the Spirit, with one heart and mind. Establish Your peace in our heart for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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