March 21, 2015
READ: Colossians 3:15-17
Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts (v.15).
Many Christians are familiar with the classic hymn “It Is Well with My Soul”. The first line of the song reads, “When peace like a river attendeth my way”. But, for most of us, peace isn’t a mighty and strong river. It’s more like a feather that can be easily pushed aside by the concerns and worries of life. For me, holding on to peace in the midst of turmoil is like trying to catch a piece of dust in the air!
But in Colossians 3, Paul describes peace in a very different way, a ruling kind of peace: “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts” (v.15). The word that he uses for “rule” is the same word that was used for judges in contests and implies authority and command. How great it would be if this were the kind of peace present in our lives—one not easily pushed to the margins but that rules in our hearts and over our lives!
Paul said that the means to having peace is through some spiritual disciplines that are familiar to us: reading and meditating on Scripture, worshipping and giving thanks (vv.16-17). But he also includes another discipline we often overlook: community. This ruling kind of peace is rooted in our calling as members of the church. And this is consistent with what he teaches in Ephesians 4:11-16, that we gain strength against trials as we take part in the greater body of Christ.
If we desire to have the kind of peace that Paul describes, a ruling kind of peace that remains in our lives no matter the circumstances, it’s important for us to be in relationship with other believers in Jesus. Peace isn’t just about me, but about us!
365-day plan: 1 Samuel 8:1-5
Read Philippians 4:4-9 to see another instance in which Paul describes peace as an active quality, one that is strengthened through spiritual disciplines.
What has been the relationship between practising spiritual disciplines and having a sense of personal peace in your life? What does it look like for you to pursue spiritual disciplines, not just as an individual but in community?