Colossians 3:15a - Living the Peace of Christ.
Colossians 3:15a - Living the Peace of Christ.
Colossians 3:15a (NIV) Let the peace of Christ rule in your
Colossians 3:15a (TLB) Let the peace of heart that comes from
Christ be always present in your hearts and lives.
Colossians 3:15a (MSG) Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune
with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and
doing your own thing.
God wants you to wear the graceclothes, not the graveclothes!
[Warren Wiersbe re Colossians 3]
The peace of Christ is here described, not as a static virtue,
but as an active power. It enables man to live in tranquility,
undisturbed and trusting, amid the hardest circumstances of life. Christ,
the source of this peace, becomes captain of the soul and serenely
pilots the ship of life into a safe harbor. [SDA Bible Commentary]
Putting on all the virtues, with love binding them together
(3:14), would lead to peace between individuals and among the members of
the body of believers. The Colossian Christians should let the peace
of God rule their hearts. To live in peace would not mean that
suddenly all differences of opinion would be eliminated, but it would
require that they work together despite their differences. This kind of
tranquility and cooperation can't come from mere human effort. It requires
God's help to arbitrate and enable people to get along. God calms our
troubled hearts; then we can better relate to others.
The word rule comes from the language of athletics: Paul
wanted the believers to let Christ's peace be umpire or referee in
their hearts. Peace would arbitrate, decide any argument, and thereby
restrain any of the passions of the old nature that might threaten. Peace
would settle any friction and strife so the believers could remain
strong and unified. Peace must rule hearts. As in 3:1, the heart is the
center of a person's being, the center of spiritual and moral life. If
peace rules there, it rules every believer's entire life and, by
extension, the life of the church. [Life Application Commentary]
Peace Rules when we exercise the traits of compassion, kindness,
humility, patience, and, above all, love, we are going to face conflict.
Not everyone will be playing by these rules. Not all Christians show
the self-restraint needed in conflict. How can we deal with these
conflicts and live as God wants? When we are hurt by others or our
gracious efforts are rebuked, we must have an umpire inside that says,
"Peace." We need to call a time-out on our passions and reactions; then
we can think about the peace that God has won for us in Christ's
death. Paul does not teach "peace at any price." Instead, he encourages
believers to embrace God's peace and be under his control as they make
courageous moral decisions for the truth and the right. [Life Application
Studies show that if you put several people of normal
emotional state into a room with an agitated person, they all become more
agitated. Put them in a room with a depressed person, and they all become
more depressed. And if you put them in a room with a person
overflowing with joy, they become happier. That's because strong emotional
states are contagious. In an other-wise neutral environment, stronger
feelings affect people with milder ones.
We want the peace of Christ - the rest and comfort and unity
He gives us - to rule in our hearts. But Paul, with his
Hebrew-oriented mind, was surely thinking in terms of shalom in this verse, not
just "peace" as we define it. In addition to rest, comfort, and
unity, Jesus fills our hearts with contentment, abundance, and a sense
that we are as whole as we were meant to be. The condition that rules
our heart is the fullness of Jesus.
That's a huge personal blessing, but it's more. We become
carriers of the shalom, vessels of God's Presence wherever we go. In
God's design for His people, we are not to be shaped by our
environment but shapers of it. When we carry the shalom of God into a room
full of people, they should somehow be impacted by it. They may not
know how or why, but their mood can be impacted by exposure to the
Presence within us.
Determine to be a shaper of your environment rather than
letting your environment shape you. The Presence in you is stronger than
the internal state of those who aren't filled with Him. Let the
shalom of Christ impact not only your heart but other hearts too.
Jesus, rule my heart. Let Your peace reign not just in me but
also around me. It's an honor and privilege to carry Your Presence
everywhere I go, and I trust that You'll accomplish great things through
me. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris
I could feel myself spiraling downward and still seemed
unable to stop the momentum. Fear, hopelessness, and bitter thoughts
swirled inside my head. I fought hard to remind myself of truth, but
then my thoughts would slip back into negative assumptions because
they seemed truer. I was stuck - until I appealed to Jesus out loud,
lifted up my voice in worship, and contended for truth with audible
words. In a little while, the downward spiral was broken.
Those murky thoughts are not a sign of the Presence. Being
mired in despair, fear, and bitterness is evidence of not being filled
with God's thoughts. The Spirit doesn't bring us those "gifts." In
fact, He dispels them. When the peace of Christ is ruling in our
hearts, attitudes like anxiety and discouragement can't remain. They are
contrary to the culture of His Kingdom. The Presence gives us peace,
assurance, and strength.
How do you get that peace, assurance, and strength when
negative thoughts swirl around in your head? How do you experience the
signs of His Presence when you're stuck in something else?
Acknowledging that your thoughts don't reflect the culture of the Kingdom is a
start, but it helps to use your voice. Call out the name of the King or
sing a worship song to Him, even when worship is the furthest thing
from your mind. Invoke the Presence of Jesus, and the darkness begins
to flee. There's a reason this passage about "the peace of Christ"
goes on to suggest hymns and psalms and spiritual songs. Vocalizing
truth and worship invites God's Presence, and His Presence changes the
Jesus, may Your peace rule in my heart. When my thoughts
spiral down, pull me up. Hear me call, answer my appeals, accept my
praise. And let Your Presence change my heart. [The One Year
Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
You Will Keep Him In Perfect Peace, Whose Mind Is Stayed On You,
Because He Trusts In You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THE PEACE OF CHRIST:
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD: