WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 21, 2022
TOPIC: PURSUE PEACE WITH EVERYONE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Continually pursue peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14a Amplified Bible).
Many times, people don’t appreciate peace until peace is missing. And because many people may not appreciate peace, they don’t work to sustain it but rather do things that drive away peace and enthrone acrimony, violence, or even full-blown war.
In relationships between two people or in the home, societies, nations, and world, peace is essential. Without peace, there cannot be progress, growth, or development. Instead of waging war, human beings need to wage peace. If the same seriousness, planning, and investment that go into waging a war are deployed into waging peace, the world would be a better place.
There should be a deliberate effort by everyone, starting from the family, to invest in peace and its sustenance. Sadly, in many homes, societies, and nations today, peace is scarce. Instead of working to enthrone peace everybody is trying to prove that he is right or is more powerful or the most powerful. Peace is more important than might. Peace is more important than winning an argument. You can win an argument but ruin a relationship.
God wants His children to live in peace. God has called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15b). He doesn’t want the loss of lives and property, which happens when there is a breakdown of law and order as people try to dominate each other or one another. Hebrews 12:14a says, “Continually pursue peace with everyone” (Amplified Bible). This tells us that peace will not happen automatically; it won’t exist on its own. We must make it happen. We must work towards its enthronement and sustenance.
The Contemporary English Version renders the verse thus: “Try to live at peace with everyone!” The Living Bible says it like this: “Try to stay out of all quarrels.” The devil enjoys acrimony; evil works thrive in a rancorous atmosphere, therefore, we must “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone” (New International Version). There will be opportunities for strife but we must “Strive for peace with all men” (Revised Standard Version). Paul told Timothy to avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generated strife (2 Timothy 2:23).
We must never lose sight of the importance of peace and always recognize that the devil will try to use us or other people to work against peace in our relationships. Therefore, we must, as much as possible, do whatever we can to ensure there is peace in the home and in other relationships that we are in. It’s always better to establish peace and guard it jealously.
Genesis 13:7a says there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Abraham handled the situation with maturity to avoid the situation degenerating into something unpleasant. He said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left” (verses 8-9 New King James Version). Lot separated from Abraham but Abraham later came to his rescue two times, which shows that there was no animosity between them. But whether Lot handled the situation well or made the right choice is a different matter.
Continually pursue peace. There is always a price to pay but pay it if you can; it is worth it. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (New King James Version). Good News Translation renders it thus: “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” According to New Century Version, “Do your best to live in peace with everyone.” New Living Translation presents it this way: “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
Sometimes the best thing you can do for peace to reign is to be patient, keep quiet, or give no answer. At another time, it may be to allow the other person to have his way or forgo your rights. Sometimes, you may have to walk away or apologize. Just do all you can or do as much as possible for peace to reign without endangering your life or health. However, with some difficult people, your efforts may sometimes not be good enough. Nevertheless, try your best to live peaceably with everyone.
Romans 14:19 says, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (New King James Version). Be deliberate in pursuing peace. Let there be peace between you and your spouse. Let there be peace in your family. Be at peace with your neighbours, colleagues at work, church members, and so on. That does not mean that everybody will do what pleases you. You, too, don’t do what pleases everybody. Psalm 34:14b says, “Seek peace and pursue it” (New King James Version).
In all your relationships, work for peace. “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another” (Mark 9:50 New King James Version). Remember that your relationships with human beings affect your relationship with God! “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24 New King James Version).
That’s why the Apostle Peter told husbands, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7 New King James Version). Husbands’ relationships with their wives can either hinder or aid their prayers.
Pursue peace with everyone. This may mean that you forgive someone who has wronged you. Forgive. Matthew 6:14-15 says if you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you but if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. The beginning of peace in relationships is for everyone to accept the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ) into his heart (Isaiah 9:6). Have you?
Continually pursue peace. This can never be too much.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for my failure to continually pursue peace with everyone. I receive the help of the Holy Spirit to relate peaceably with everyone, especially the difficult people. I will not allow my relationships with fellow human beings to negatively affect my relationship with God in Jesus’ name. I pray that everyone will invite the Prince of Peace into his heart today. Father, let peace reign between husbands and wives and in families, societies, nations, and all over the world in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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