Friday, August 14, 2009

Peace


I am a Facebooker now. I know, I know...I hear all kinds of things about it - good and bad. But the reason I got on was from urging from a friend and once I got there - well...I found all of my sweet girls from my discipleship groups from the past and caught up with precious highschool friends and it actually has been quite a blessing.

This morning a friend (thank you Tammy) posted that school had started and she was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the craziness of it all. She said she needed to put on some soothing music and look up some scripture about "peace". So I, being the sweet friend (cough) that I am looked up some verses. I was struck with one.

Peace to me seems like something you possess. You either have it or you don't. There are ways to obtain peace but I have never thought of it in the light that Timothy places it.

2 Timothy 2:21-23
21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.


What I find interesting is the fact that here, peace is something that is pursued. Much like holiness and love.

So, I guess the question is, how do you pursue peace? I suppose an immediate answer, thankfully is in verse 21- If a man cleanses himself from the latter - but what exactly is "the latter"? Backing up to verse 19 and 20 -

19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.


Of course with cleansing - we automatically know that it is probably sin - and those verses confirm it. The Lord does know who are his and we know that in order to belong to the Lord that we must turn away from wickedness. And though we live in the midst of things that are both good and bad - we are to cleanse ourselves from sin and abstain from sin - the best we can. So that we are free to "pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace".

We often discount certain things and feel they are just our burdens to bear. But worry is a sin. And it is one of the things that we have to confess and cleanse ourselves from. Practicing faith - (pursuing it) - is in fact trusting that God can and will take care of the hard things in our lives. Living faithfully now requires trusting moment by moment in the grace and goodness of the Lord. Worry is the opposite of faith and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Finding peace in the midst of this world is indeed difficult. It is easy to take on the worries of things such as school, socialized medicine, losing your job, raising your kids...these things can overwhelm you. But as believers we have the answer to living in peace in troubled times. Pursue righteousness, pursue faith, love and peace.

If you do so - you will find them.
Our salvation brings to us the longings of the good things in this life.

Oh Lord...please change this heart and its errant desires. Give me the desire, strength and focus only you can give so that I may pursue you and what you offer me in righteousness, faith, love and peace. Thank you that you will be able to complete the work that you have begun in me. Let me not forget that!