Wouldn’t it be nice if we could pull up to the drive-thru and order a bucket of peace? After all, there’s a drive-thru for almost everything these days. But there’s not a drive-thru for peace. I have a strong desire to have peace and I’m sure that you do as well. Our world seems to be so unsettled and such a place without peace. The good news is that we don’t receive peace from the world. If we’re waiting for the world to deliver us peace, we’ll never have peace.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”(Jno.14:27) Jesus wants us to have peace. And true peace comes only from Jesus. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(Jno.16:33) Sadly, far too many people spend so much of their life searching this world for peace. Substance abuse and widespread immorality are just a few results of people looking in the wrong places for peace. Peace doesn’t come in a bottle or a drug or even in the form of immorality. Peace comes from having a relationship with Jesus.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”(Rom.5:1-2)
Our world seems to be in such a state of disarray today. One side is constantly arguing with the other side. Violence and hatred seem to rule the streets. There are so many divided views and ideas that unity in our world seems like only an unreachable dream. We may see very little of it, but one things for sure, unity matters. Unity is significant to accomplishing anything. From our country’s leaders to our families to sports teams and the church, unity matters and is absolutely necessary. Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”(Mt.12:25)
Unity is especially important in the Lord’s church. We all have our own ideas, thoughts and opinions which is fine, but we must remember that unity matters. A divided church is a church that will be fruitless for the Lord. Pursuing and practicing unity will require us all to be humble and patient with others. It’s not about getting your way if it will jeopardize church unity. There are times we need to be humble and bear with one another for the sake of unity. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”(Eph.4:2-3) Paul’s point is do all you can to promote, pursue and practice unity because unity matters.
An attractive church really has little to do with the external or internal appearance of a church building. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen plenty of beautiful church buildings over the years, but curb appeal doesn’t necessarily make for an attractive church. An attractive church is not even about the appearance of the people who meet inside. An attractive church is all about the attitudes and actions of the people who gather inside that pretty building. The church is the people and an attractive church is a group of Christians who are serious about their Christianity. An attractive church is like Jesus in that she is both selfless and loving.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.(Phil.2:3-4) As Christians we should put others before ourselves and when we do, people notice and the church is attractive. People are interested in churches who are genuinely interested in them and their needs. People are interested in churches who will love them, flaws and all. Jesus wants us to love like He loves and if we do, people will see an attractive church. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”(John 13:34-35)
On Tuesday morning March 7, 2017 I dropped our 14-year-old 9th grader off at the high school to begin tryouts for the girl’s high school basketball team. High school, what? Just last week I was rocking her to sleep. It was just yesterday that I helped coach her team when she was a 6 th grader. High school, are you kidding me? Where did the time go? I’m sure you know exactly where I am and how I feel. Our kids grow up way too fast.
The reality of the situation is that time in this life just passes so quickly. We live and plan like we’ll be here forever. What we need to do is cherish our brief time with our families. My heart revolves around the time I’m able to spend with my family. Realizing how quickly this life passes also challenges me to live in a way so that I can live forever. Did you catch that? We need to live for God in this life so that we can live forever with Him in the next life.
“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”(Psalm 39:5) “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”(James 4:14)