This is post #14 of a series entitled Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace. We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here you’ll find very practical and biblically-sound advice on building bridges instead of walls, offering hope instead of despair. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Click on the link below to listen to the podcast version of this blog!
Truth #5: Peacemakers Practice the Presence of God’s Peace.
Today’s Lectio Divina: God is strong, and He wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. Ephesians 6: 10-17 (MsgB)
So far in this blog/podcast series, we’ve looked at these core truths…
Truth #1: Peacemakers Understand the Times in Which We Live.
Truth #2: Peacemakers Find Themselves in Christ.
Truth #3: Peacemakers Take an Honest Inventory of Themselves.
Truth #4: Peacemakers Embrace the Biblical Power of Peace.
Now, it’s time to get a bit personal. Time to challenge you. So, here we have it:
Truth #5: Peacemakers Practice the Presence of God’s Peace.
You see, if you and I want to be ones who make peace for the cause of Christ in our generation, we must first choose to become those who are intentionally welcoming the peace of Christ into our own lives long before we’ll ever be able to successfully give it away to others.
So this week, allow me if you will, to offer you three memorable word pictures, three of which are from the New Testament; all designed to help you embrace this peace (shalom/eirene) we’ve been discussing thus far.
A Pair of Running Shoes.
A Warm Sweater.
A Ripe, Juicy Pear.
So now, let’s start with that pair of running shoes and our Lectio Divina passage for today from Ephesians 6.
Most scholars believe that when Paul wrote his letter to his friends in Ephesus, he was stuck in jail in Rome, surrounded by a fair number of Roman soldiers dressed for war. So, it’s only natural, when Paul wanted to address his friends about how walking with Jesus can many times be a battle, he ends up describing how you and I can be prepared for that battle by using word pictures. In the NIV version of this text, we find six different pieces of armor. Here’s how Paul describes them:
- the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
- the breastplate of righteousness in place,
- your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,
- the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
- the helmet of salvation, and
- the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Amazing pieces of armor, don’t you think? Each worthy of their own blog/podcast series. In fact, I did something similar to that several years ago, and if you’re interested in that series you can link over to it using this link: Click here.
But for our conversation today, I’d like to focus exclusively on the “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from” this pair of shoes Paul associates with the Gospel message of peace (shalom/eirene).
So, what kind of shoes are you wearing today?
A pair of loafers…kicking back with little or no interest in getting actively involved with Christ’s on-going work of reconciliation?
A pair of sandals…taking in some much-needed R&R; a little beach time, perhaps?
Or, how about a nice comfy pair of bedtime slippers? Feeling a bit drowsy? I mean, it has been nearly two thousand years since Jesus left us. A little nap right now wouldn’t hurt, right?
But, let’s get real here.
The Gospel of God’s Peace, as we have explored in earlier sections of this blog/podcast series, is nothing to be overlooked or belittled by those of us who say we want to be peacemakers for the cause of Christ.
You see, the world isn’t getting any more peaceful? And let’s face it, most of the big name people out there making a big impression on the world today certainly don’t seem to be known for the amount of peace they demonstrate in their own lives, let alone all the hub-bub most of them like to stir up in others.
No sir, as I see it, there’s a lot of need for Christ-centered peacemakers now-a-days. So, maybe we need to slip on these running shoes of peace, readying ourselves for the race of a lifetime. Or, as the author of Hebrews encourages us:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NIV)
My Prayer: Jesus, it’s obvious that readiness, faithfulness, and endurance are high values for those of us who want to keep-on-keepin’-on with You. Running the race marked out for us, being a peacemaker for the cause of Christ, will mean having a great pair of running shoes that won’t fall apart at the seams after the first few laps. Holy Spirit, work deep within me, building up both a reservoir of peace and a strength and endurance that will remain as I run this race for the greater glory of God. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Questions to Ponder: So what hindrances or sins are keeping me from freely running the race of peace marked out for me? Are the shoes I’m wearing cheaply made, or poorly designed for the long-term commitment to this race? What needs to be thrown off or exchanged so that I’m properly fitted in the shoes of readiness that come from the Gospel of peace?
*This is the fifth in a variety of practical suggestions/resources we will make throughout this blog/podcast series. We call these exercises:
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 9 (NIV)
Tool #5: Centering Prayer.
This week, as we discuss the great need to practice Jesus’ presence of peace deeply within our own lives, allow us to give you three practical spiritual formation tools that have greatly aided us in our journey with Jesus. These are ancient tools used by Christ-followers for centuries and we believe they can come in handy for you along the way as well.
For a complete overview of how to get started in the spiritual discipline of Centering Prayer, click here.
So, how are you experiencing God’s presence as you are becoming a peacemaker for the cause of Christ?
Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace.
We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!