April 1, 2021 — No “Just-as,” No Peace

“I was over in Johnsonville the other day to visit my pastor friend,” Stan began one morning, “and I ran into something I didn’t expect.”

“What was going on?” I asked.

“A protest,” he replied.  “I’m not sure what it was all about, but down by the courthouse there was a bunch or people with signs and bullhorns chanting, ‘No justice, no peace’.”

“I think I read about that,” I responded.  “Something about a problem with someone getting arrested for something he said he didn’t do.  Some sort of perceived injustice.”

“Could be,” Stan replied.  “As I said, I’m not sure what was going on.  But as I was on the way home thinking about what the people were doing, I was reminded of something we talked about the other day concerning ‘just-as’.”

‘Just-as? Don’t you mean ‘justice’?”

“No,” he replied, “remember when we talked about how to know what it means to do ‘just as’ Jesus did.”  [Note to reader:  See posting, “March 3, 2021—How Do You Do “Just As”?]

“Yeah,” I replied.  “I remember we talked about what a hight standard it is to do just as Jesus did.”

“That’s right,” Stan said.  “And this whole thing is a good reminder for something the apostle Paul wrote to me in one of his letters that he also sent to the church in Ephesus.”

“What’s that?”

“About forgiving one another ‘just as’ God in Christ has forgiven us.  Without that sort of forgiveness, there is no way to have the peace of God that passes all understanding.”

“So,” I responded with a smile, “you’ve got a little play on words here:  ‘justice’ and ‘just-as’.  Is that what you’re doing?”

“Exactly,” Stan said.  “And this whole thing causes me to think about how many times I have failed to forgive others ‘just as’ I have been forgiven, and when I don’t have that sort of forgiveness, there is an upset in the peace I have in my relationship with God.”

Concluding, he added, “If I haven’t forgiven others ‘just as’ I have been forgiven, there will be a serious disconnect in the sense of peace I’m intended by God to have.”

_____________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33.

The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7.

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . peace.  Galatians 5:22.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for the peace of forgiveness I have been given through the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross.  Thank you for that peace that is beyond my ability to understand, but I accept it as your free and gracious gift. Please forgive me for all of my failures to forgive others just as I have been forgiven.  I ask that you move in me to upset any false peace I may feel in my relationship with you as long as there is any unforgiveness in my life.  I ask you to lead and to help me follow in forgiving all and everything just as I have been forgiven.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Is there anything in your life for which you are harboring unforgiveness?  If so, why is that?  Have you accepted God’s free and gracious gift of forgiveness through Christ Jesus that assures you of being in His eternal presence when your time here is finished?  If no, why?  If you have the assurance of salvation, but have people in your life you “can’t” forgive, have you talked with God about that?  If no, why?  If you have, what did He say?  Do you want to have the peace that can come only from forgiving?  Do you know how to have that peace?

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