Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pursue Peace

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
And now I lay me down in peace
to take my rest and sleep
in humble confidence that you
preserve me, Lord, and keep.
 —Psalm 4:8
Suggested tune: Belmont (CM)

Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
—Hebrews 12:14
We are to pursue peace and holiness. The two are consistent with each other and may be followed together. Peace is to be studied—but not such a peace as would lead us to violate holiness by conforming to the ways of the world. We are only so far to yield for peace's sake as never to yield a principle. We are to be so far peaceful as never to be at peace with sin—peaceful with our neighbors, but contending earnestly against evil principles.

Pursue peace, yes, but with equal ardor we are to pursue holiness. Some who have aimed at holiness have made the great mistake of supposing it is necessary to be morose, contentious, faultfinding and critical toward everybody else. Their holiness has consisted of negatives, protests, and oppositions for opposition's sake. Their religion mainly lies in negativity and nit-picking. To them the text offers the wise counsel, Pursue holiness. But also pursue peace. Courtesy is not inconsistent with faithfulness. It is not necessary to be savage in order to be sanctified. A bitter spirit is a poor companion to a renewed heart.
 —Charles Spurgeon (alt.)
Thank you, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you have given me; for all the pains and insults you have borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly...
 —Richard of Chichester
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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