Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read them in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This includes you who were once far away from God. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—Colossians 1:20–21 (NLT); Romans 5:1 (NASB)
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
—John 14:27 (NASB)
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
—Isaiah 26:3 (NLT); Philippians 4:6–7 (NIV)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
—Colossians 3:15 (NLT), Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
Another quality of Christ we can fix our eyes during this season is His peace. As Colossians 1 and Romans 5 tells us, the first kind of peace Jesus brings is not in the context of emotion, but in the context of war. Ever since the fall, humanity has been in a state of war with God, rebelling against His authority and seeking to be its own master. But Christ, through His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, changed our status before God. Instead of being at war with the Lord, we are now and forever considered in a position of “peace” with Him because of Christ’s work on our behalf! The second kind of peace Christ offers is a deep and lasting kind that we usually experience in our emotional life. Jesus tells us in John 14 He leaves us a peace that should help our hearts move out of fear and into trust. While the world considers peace an absence of struggle, Jesus says the kind of peace He leaves us is different. It’s a divine peace that anchors us through intense seasons of struggle. The Lord never promises that we won’t face difficulty. Instead, He offers us a deep and steadfast peace that will stay with us as long as difficulty lasts. The third kind of peace Jesus empowers us with is the relational peace we extend to others. Colossians 3 tells us the peace of Christ should rule in our hearts as we interact with other believers. Since we were saved by the One who made peace between us and God, it only makes sense that we would make peace with one another as members of His body. The God of peace saved us, so peace among His people should be an obvious marker that we know Him! On top of this, we should also live at peace with “everyone” as Hebrews says, embodying holiness as well, so that unbelievers may “see the Lord” through us.
There are two ways of accessing this peace, according to the Bible. First, in Isaiah 26, we are told that even in adversity we can stay in “perfect peace” if we trust in the Lord and keep our thoughts fixed on Him. Instead of focusing on problems and trials, we must fix our eyes on Christ, the bearer of peace! Second, in Philippians 4, we are told that we can access the Lord’s peace by praying (which includes petitioning God with specific requests and thanking Him for His character and past deeds on our behalf) when we need help in trying situations. When we do this, we experience a divine peace the world has never known! The lost world desperately needs a look at the God of peace and holiness, and they will see Him through the peace and holiness of His people! Positional, emotional, and relational—these are the amazing types of peace Christ offers us!
Questions for Thought //
1. Which of these types of peace do you rarely focus on during your devotional time with God? Which encourages you most? Which challenges you most? Why?
2. Which of your relationships are not at peace right now? How can you remedy this?