This is post #11 of a 16-session blog series entitled The Christ Collection: Putting on the Likeness of Jesus. Each and every day, you and I, as Christ followers, can pull out a few of these beauties and slip into something comfortable. Hand-crafted masterpieces made for this world, so when we wear them, we can go out on Christ’s behalf, shining brightly like the Son. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of His body. And always be thankful.Remember what Christ taught, and let His words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. Colossians 3: 15-16 (TLB)
So, how’s your Christ Collection coming together?
Hopefully, by now, your closet contains Eight Holy Garments. Clothing from the Christ Collection that reflects the character and nature of Jesus of Nazareth. Let’s review them before moving on:
Now, before Paul closes up the closet, he offers us a few added words of wisdom. I like to call them Five Practical Accessories to the Christ Collection. Add-ons, that when worn alongside the Eight Holy Garments, will add sparkle and pizzazz to your daily pursuit of Christ-likeness.
So, here we go. Accessory #1: The Peace from Christ.
Paul uses a phrase here in his letter to the Colossians that is often translated as…
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
But, in truth, it is actually best translated from the Greek this way…
Let the peace from Christ rule in your hearts.
Granted, that one word (of vs. from) is small, but in my mind, there is a big difference. You see, sadly, most of us place Jesus of Nazareth on a divine pedestal, of which He admittedly deserves. But in doing so, we remove a good portion of the true humanity of Christ.
Jesus came to earth on behalf of God, the Father, and yes, He is (and always will be) the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. But, it’s vitally important for us to believe that every word and deed Jesus accomplished in His three years of ministry was done, not out of His divinity, but as a human being, one person, empowered and indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and walking in total obedience to God.
In other words, if Paul tells us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, most well-meaning Christ-followers will do our very best to white-knuckle our lives, hoping and praying that, from time to time, the peace of God (or Christ), which passes all understanding (see Philippians 4: 7), will occasionally break in to save the day.
But, here’s where we need to look at things a bit differently.
The peace from Christ is referring to a gift that is given freely to those whose desire is to follow the Master wherever He might lead.
Let’s go over to John’s Gospel for a moment and look more carefully at this…
On the evening of that first day of the week, (Resurrection Sunday) when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20: 19-22 (NIV)
Let’s be crystal clear here.
The peace from Christ, as it is displayed here in John’s text, is not a supernatural manifestation that is assigned exclusively to the Divinity of God. This peace that surrounds Jesus, inside and out, is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and it’s a gift or fruit of the Spirit that the Master freely bestows, through both a word (speaking peace) and a deed (breathing peace) onto those who follow Jesus.
The peace that passes all understanding is a gift that has been created by the hand of God, made in heaven for exclusive use by human beings as they live for the cause of Christ on planet earth. In the Gospels, we find Jesus being a fully-human model of one who wears this wonderful accessory. And now, you and I can also share in this gift as well, wearing it as a beautiful piece to adorn us along the way. It’s a golden seal placed over our hearts, a silver crown placed upon our heads, a heavenly adornment that offers us a supernatural peace of mind, body, soul, and spirit while we journey through this sometimes, very unpeaceful world in which we live.
The Peace from Christ.
As I see it, it’s much better than a Capitol One card.
We never want to leave home without it!
My Prayer: Jesus, I’m so thankful that this gift of Your peace is not something I have to dial up for myself. Forgive me when I try to construct a human-built peace, hoping I can just settle myself and others down through my own strength. Holy Spirit, indwell me and empower me to receive this precious gift from Jesus. Fill me with it. My I use it for Your glory and for Your name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Thoughts to Ponder: In Hebrew, the word for peace that comes from God is shalom. It’s a word that means so much more than simply an absence of war or turmoil. Shalom means living in peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. When was the last time I felt such peace that passes all earthly understanding? Am I asking Jesus for a fresh release of His gift of peace today? What might it be like to live, move, and have my being in and through this precious gift?
So, what are you experiencing as we ponder upon Colossian’s Christ Collection?
We hope you’ll enjoy these 16 blogs that focus on the amazing garments and accessories God has hand-crafted for us so that as we wear them, we can better reflect the nature and likeness of Jesus of Nazareth. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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