Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman



A Gift Of God's Love?


  It was Jesus who said, "I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly." One of the attributes of the abundant life is peace, Biblical Peace...


• "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14.27).


• "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4.7).


Jesus is our peace...

No Christ, No Peace – Know Christ, Know Peace.


  He came bringing peace with God. Jesus made this peace possible by removing the sin barrier that separates us: "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you" (Isaiah 59.2)."Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5.1). Perhaps there is no peace greater than that of knowing that we are forgiven, that we have no sin guilt, that all is right with us and our creator, and that we are Heaven bound.


  World War II brought a constant fear to the people of London as German bombs rained down on the city. Most of us can't imagine this kind of deep fear. It must have been like sitting in front of the doctor and him saying, "you have cancer;" Except it happened again and again, and again. What deep abiding terror! However, there was a calming voice on the radio. What Winston Churchill did for the people of London, Jesus does more so for us. Conflict all around, yet there's a voice saying: "I tell you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16.33). Jesus is our voice of encouragement, power, forgiveness, salvation, eternal certainty, peace when things seem unbearable, even impossible.


  The Hebrews' Writer has the anxiety answer for us: "Fix your eyes upon Jesus." Henri Nouwen wrote: "Keep your eyes on the Prince of Peace, the One who doesn't cling to His divine power; the One who refuses to turn stones into bread, jump from Temple heights, and rule with worldly power; the One who touches the leper, the crippled, the blind; the One who speaks words of encouragement and forgiveness. Keep your eyes on Him who becomes poor with the poor, weak with the weak. He is the source of our peace." Paul affirms Jesus is our peace: "May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way" (2 Thessalonians 3.16).


  Jesus came making possible peace man-to-man. Nowhere, no other arena in life, reveals our being Spirit led people any more than our relationship with others. Paul indicated that when God, Jesus, lives within us through the Spirit He gave us, when we walk in step with the Spirit, we will enjoy the peace He came to offer: "the fruit of the Spirit is peace" Galatians 5.22. "The world will know that you are My disciple when you love one another" John 13.35. Can I say this and you not become upset with me? If we are not at peace within, perhaps it's because we have issues with others. Let's read some Scriptures...


Matthew 5.9 – "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."


Colossians 3.15 – "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace."


Romans 12.18 – "As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."


Romans 14.19 – "Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification."


Hebrews 12.14 –"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy."


Mark 11.25 – "When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins."


  The Word of God tells us how to have this man-to-man peace Jesus came to make possible: By loving one another, by practicing genuine agape love. Not only did Jesus command we love one another, He came showing us how its done. How well are we doing?


  Well, some of us are not at peace because we have not accepted Jesus as our Prince of Peace: By becoming a child of God, thus removing our sin guilt, allowing His Spirit to guide our steps, knowing that we are forgiven, heaven bound. Others of us are not enjoying His peace simply because we're holding a grudge, failing to agape and forgive others, any others. Agape is a love of choice. God help us make the choice, and live in His peace. Amen?


—Randall Caselman