I was thinking this morning about God’s peace when reading Colossians 3.
Specifically verse 15:
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
I have been a follower of Christ (I don’t like to call myself a Christian) for over 30 years. Recently, I have made my way into the “deep water”, specifically this year (2011). Not sure exactly what happened, but I’m there now, and have been for quiet awhile. Through the deeper commitment comes more of a sense of peace in my day and life. It is quite difficult to explain.
God is not interested in my actions as much as my heart. He always has been that way, as Christ himself proved over and over again through His interactions with people.
Think of the discussions Christ had regarding the heart in Matthew 5:
- If you look at a woman in lust, you have committed adultery already with her IN YOUR HEART.
- If you have anger against someone, you are subject to be judged with murder.
This relieves me greatly. I believe that reflects the whole notion that God’s love is poured out on us regardless of what we “do” for Him. What does the book say about this? Well, to research that, we must look at the grace of God. The grace is what God gives to us unconditionally. It is poured out to us when we turn to Him with a repentant heart, and acknowledge who Christ is and what His sacrifice did on the cross. That allows God to “connect” with us as we are then following His plan, not our own.
1 John 1 9 “But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all wickedness”
I believe this was written to new believers by Paul. He was addressing Gnostic teachers that has infiltrated the church at Colossae. In my youth, this and other scriptures led me to believe that I had to literally “confess” my sins to God daily to stay in right standing with Him. I now realize that it is impossible to remain free of sin always through confession. What if I died right after a sin, would I have then died in my sins because I didn’t confess? This is ridiculous! God looks at the heart of His child and sees the intent of the heart, not the action.
My thoughts of God always looking at a man’s heart is also reflected in Luke 23 40-43:
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
How can Christ tell this guy that he will see Him in paradise that day? He didn’t confess his sins? Christ was looking at the heart of the man.
Back to the subject at hand, the peace of God. Again, I’m not sure why I’m deeper in my walk with God, but it is not because of my actions. It is because of my heart toward God. Do I still sin? YES! Everyday. I have a heart that desires to follow God. My sins still have consequences, that will never change. But I am in right standing with God because my heart desires to follow Him.
I am enjoying God’s peace no matter what happens in my day. He is with me and guiding me. Not only that, but whatever happens to me I know that He will turn the events around to my benefit in time. What an awesome thought to know that!