PEACE LIKE A RIVER PART ONE: LIVE IN HARMONY

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
-Romans 12:16-18

The news, and the national conversation, here in the United States recently has been pretty bleak. It has been dominated by talk of hate groups, riots, vandalism, and fear. We’re all on high alert, tensions are rising, and debates are raging.

So this brings us to a question. As the Body of Christ, what do we do about this? What do we do to bring about peace in our homes, neighborhoods, countries…what do we do to bring about peace in our world? Or is this something beyond us, beyond our sphere of responsibility, outside of what we should be focused on as Christians?

In the above passage, Paul talks about how we should act towards one another, as Christian brothers and sisters. When I read these words, the first thing I see is the beautiful example of how Jesus lived His life. Harmony, humility, love, goodness, and peace. This is what we saw, from His relationship with the Disciples, to eating with Zaccheus, to His sacrifice, to His many healings, to the call for Peter to put away his sword.

When we really stop to think about it, it’s not difficult to imagine how Jesus would handle the world today. He would handle it like he handled a difficult world two thousand years ago. So how should we handle the world? Like our ultimate example, Jesus Christ. In Hebrews we are told to look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

If we are going to handle chaos, tension, and hatred, we must handle it like Jesus. And if anything is going to get better, it must start with the followers of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. It must start with us.

Discussion Questions:

1: What are some ways that you have seen hatred, unrest, and fighting in your life or community? What are the underlying causes of these issues? What can be done to alleviate or solve the underlying problems?

2: When faced with chaos from others, how do you usually react? How can you tackle your own bad habits and attitudes, so that you can live in peace with everyone?

Pray that God will bring peace to our neighborhoods and our countries. Pray for sanity and love to overcome chaos and hatred. Pray that God will bring justice for those who have been oppressed, who live in fear, who are in need of the hope that only Jesus can bring. Finally, pray that God will make his church, and you in particular, the messenger of his love to the world.

-Chuck

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