What a wonderful week of rest and restoration. I said in my last blog that I would list the verses that came together for me earlier this week. As I have shared these verses this past week with friends and family in real time I am so blessed to know that these passages have reached into the heart of others. I want my life to be a testimony of God's workings in my life, my relationship with Him and how He truly does speak truth in Word into my life.
"So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and building up another."
What words am I sharing in doing just this? How do we speak of others to leave a fragrance of Jesus in that building up? Are we speaking nagatively about another because it is "truth" in what we speak? Or are we building up that other person. These are the kinds of questions I ask myself.
"Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it."
Does your evil pale to another's evil? Do we put more value, more judgements on the evils of another because well we are well intended with our evil? Think about it.
"If possible, so as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."
I like this verse very much. I actually have to take credit or discredit for my choices. Clearly I am being held responsible for the peace or lack there of, of the outcome of peace. Who are you in conflict with? If you pursue peace with another and they turn on their heals, you have done your job well, and I do believe God releases the hurts as peace is pursued. Not everyone is going to run into your arms of peace, but clearly as a believer in Christ we are held responsible. "oh, but Elizabeth you do not know how much that person hurt me..." NEW FLASH....no, I may not know, but God does and even then we are called to pursue peace.
"Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart."
God knows your heart, your intentions, your process. He knows the hope of faith, love, righteousness and peace. If the intentions of your heart are for peace HE knows. Or are the intentions of you heart to destroy and hurt, sprinked with a few soft words. I write this out of those who speak into another's life with words of "encouragement" or words of "truth". Those words speaking out against another masked with some kind of truth. Who's truth? For those who truly call on the Lord with a pure heart will be blessed in ways that show up in their daily life, on their faces, and in the joy of knowing and walking with Jesus.
"Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord"
It is a hard request to placed on a hurting world. As Christian brothers and sisters we struggle against each other. What would that pursuit of peace look like if we were to let go of the hurt, and press forward as God would have us?
I love how God gives us the reminders of what it means to follow Him in all things. No disclaimers of how we have been treated, wronged, hurt, abused, abandoned, etc. It's a pursuit which means it will take work. I am finding joy everyday as I see how God gives me peace regardless of the words spoken by another. Words that hurt, or words that discourage rather than encourage.
I pray today that as we all find out place in our daily walk, we seek to pursue peace in all we say and do. Blessings, elizabeth