TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’ve had the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” playing in my head for the last few days. You know the words… “Let there be peace on earth / And let it begin with me / Let There Be Peace on Earth / The peace that was meant to be.” It’s a song that was written in 1955 and has a beautiful tune with a lofty aspiration.
Since peace has been on my mind, and apparently, it’s supposed to begin with me, let’s go to Romans 12:18, which says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Another lofty aspiration.
Is this even possible? To be peaceful? To live peaceably? I mean, seriously—how are we supposed to do that?? It was easy for the author of the song and the Apostle Paul to talk about peace as if it’s so attainable. They didn’t have Facebook!
I think we need to look beyond the standard definition of peace which means, “freedom from disturbance; tranquility.” Y’all, that is simply not in my wheelhouse. Not because I’m big on stirring the pot or rocking the boat, but because I’m human. It’s not realistic for any of us. That kind of peace isn’t sustainable in a fallen, broken world.
Look at Jesus! The very source of peace! And things weren’t even peaceful when He walked this earth! How do we think we can accomplish it? The kind of peace we want is real, and it’s coming… but that’s for our Conquering King to address when He makes the earth new again (Revelation 21) and Satan is bound, chained, and thrown into the pit (Revelation 20:1-3).
But that’s our problem. We tend to think of peace as an external issue for us to solve instead of an internal matter for us to address.
With that said, let’s study the word “peaceably.” In the verse, we’re told to live peaceably which comes from the Greek word, “εἰρηνεύω” and it means “be at peace; keep the peace.” That is more attainable. Because here’s a little secret that needs to be plastered all over social media (and beyond): You don’t have to show up to every argument you’re invited to. Know when to speak and equally as important, know when to be quiet.
When the songwriter said, “Let there be peace on earth / And let it begin with me,” it comes down to a choice. When Paul wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all,” the phrase, “so far as it depends on you,” still points to a personal choice. As the saying goes, “The only thing you can really control is how you react to things out of your control.”
(He also wrote “if possible,” and that’s a whole other blog topic. I’m aware there are some things we have to be prepared to fight for…)
Though tranquility is a way off, we can still enjoy peace on earth and we can still let it begin with “we” when we allow the peace of God to rule our hearts and lives. Jesus said, “in me you may have peace” (John 16:33) and in John 14:27a, He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.“
And when we define THAT version of peace, let’s get it straight from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. It’s defined in three parts — the Old Testament, Prophetic scripture, and New Testament:
- “Total well-being, prosperity, and security associated with God’s presence among his people. Linked in the OT with the covenant, the presence of peace, as God’s gift, was conditional upon Israel’s obedience. “
- “In prophetic material, true peace is part of the end-time hope of God’s salvation.”
- “In the NT, this longed-for peace is understood as having come in Christ and able to be experienced by faith.”
We won’t be perfect at peace, but we can at least practice it until Jesus comes… And we do that through faith. We live peaceably because we have faith in Jesus… we have hope for the eternity He’s promised… and we have the joy of being loved, redeemed, and saved by the one and only living God! That hope and knowledge of what God has done for us—that brings peace.
With that in mind, insofar as it depends on us, let us live peaceably with others. Pick our battles, knowing that God’s peace ultimately overcomes all.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His peace. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live peaceably with others and through your words and actions, share the peace of Christ.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.