“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.“
I have always appreciated this verse and tried to live by it. But I’ve sometimes felt like a failure at it. Let’s face it: there are situations where no matter what we do, peace seems to evade us. For a long time, though, I missed what Paul wrote in the middle of the verse. The phrase, “as far as it depends on you” helps my perspective stay balanced. In other words, I need to do what I can to bring peace to my relationships, and be in prayer for the rest.
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“It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, His joy in ransoming us, His joy in dwelling within us as our Saviour and Power for fruitbearing and His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight; it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change.”
“He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
“No one can get Joy by merely asking for it. It is one of the ripest fruits of the Christian life, and, like all fruits, must be grown.”
“The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.”
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13
Question To Ponder: Do you spend time each day in the Word of God?
Listening to preaching and reading devotionals are great habits to build our knowledge, but it’s by reading the actual Scriptures that we gain Godly wisdom.
“Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”
For me, this verse connects to the teaching gave on prayer in Matthew 6. There, He cautions us not to use lots of words when we approach God, since that is not the kind of prayer that pleases our Heavenly Father. This Proverb is focused on how we talk with others, and even ourselves. Instead of lots of noise, we need to be thoughtful and a bit thrifty with what we say – in other words, to use our words wisely. We can truly bless God and others that way.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
While I was young in my faith, this verse confused me. I always considered fear to be a negative feeling, and wasn’t sure how being scared of God could help me grow wiser. It took redefining the word fear as awe for the verse to make more sense. Now I see this passage as describing a process: having reverence for who God is, and wanting to learn more about Him will lead to knowing more about living a life that will glorify Him. A pathway to blessing, for sure!
“Everyone wants to change, but change demands desire and discipline before it becomes delightful. There is always the agony of choice before the promise of change.”
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”
Question To Ponder: Do you schedule time for rest? We can get so caught up in our daily routines that we forget our need to let down. Find your “quiet place” and make sure to stop in every day, even if only for a few minutes. God will refresh and recharge you there.