Learn to embrace peace on earth as part of the kingdom of God here on earth; as something to live in and spread around every day, all year long. Click to read

Living Out Peace on Earth

Every year around a thousand people packed into the sanctuary for all 6 performances of my church’s big Christmas production. While the production changed slightly each year, it always ended the same way. My friends and I lit each other’s candles, stood in a line, and then walked down the aisles singing:

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.
(Let There Be Peace On Earth Lyrics | MetroLyrics)

I sang these words night after night for three years in a row (7th-9th grade), never considering the words.

The song was just a song, and peace on earth was just something we sang about around Christmas…a cliche no one actually lives out.

Learn to embrace peace on earth as part of the kingdom of God here on earth; as something to live in and spread around every day, all year long. Click to read

For years my attitude on peace remained unchallenged, but recently I noticed the strong correlation between peace and Jesus.

The angels announced Jesus’ birth by proclaiming peace on earth.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14

Before Jesus’ death, he promised peace:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:17

After the resurrection, Jesus greets his disciples with  “Peace be with you,” over and over again (John 20:19, 21, 26).

The NIV Application Commentary tells us:

‘Peace’ refers to the Hebrew greeting shalom and, for Jesus, refers to the aim of his work on earth: to restore the equilibrium and richness of humanity’s relationship with God (Rom. 5:1). Nothing in the world can offer such a gift. Jesus’ shalom not only brings an end to the brokenness caused by sin, but it will be the fruit of the Spirit given when he departs.”

Jesus embodies peace. He lived in peace and shared peace with others.

Living the life God intended means being conformed to the image of Christ; so if Jesus embodies peace, so should we.

As it turns out, the song I sang all those nights as a teenager offers wisdom for how to live in peace.

How to Live Out Peace on Earth:

1. Choose peace.

The Bible tells us peace is a personal choice.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 (emphasis added)

“Let there be peace on earth.  And let it begin with me.”

2. Live the life God intended.

Peace comes from allowing Christ to rule in our lives.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

“Let there be peace on earth. The peace that was meant to be.”

3. See others as children of God:

Like Malachi, we need to ask ourselves; “Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10a).

Since we strive for peace within our own families, we should also strive for peace within God’s family.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;” Hebrews 12:14a

“With God as our Father. Brothers all are we.”

4. Being kind and caring:
The Bible instructs us not just to tolerate one another, but to do good for each other.
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” Romans 14:19

“Let me walk with my brother In perfect harmony.”

5. Live intentionally:

Peace will not come on its own; we must seek it out and make daily choices to live in peace.

“For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.’” 1 Peter 3:10-11

“Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now. With every step I take, Let this be my solemn vow. To take each moment, And live each moment With peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me.”

As Christmas comes and goes, let’s not simply sing about peace on earth and then forget about it until next year. Instead, let’s embrace peace as part of the kingdom of God here on earth…as something to live in and spread around every day, all year long.

Learn to embrace peace on earth as part of the kingdom of God here on earth; as something to live in and spread around every day, all year long. Click to read

Linking up at Grace & Truth, Faith ‘n Friends, Dancing with Jesus, and Fresh Market Friday

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