Colossians 3:15-17

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I am amazed at the timing of these verses in my life. I am having surgery this afternoon on my achilles tendon and I am a bit apprehensive. Maybe more than “a bit.” This is my first surgery and I can’t say that I tolerate pain, blood, iv’s, hospitals, or anything in that category very well. Even simple blood tests can give me the shivers. Of course, I know some people are “old pros” at this kind of stuff and, while not enjoying such medical prodding, have learned not to get too worked up about it. All I can say is I admire you. I am not there yet. So these verses really ministered to me this morning.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… Let it rule. In Christ, the peace is already there. I simply cloud it over with my own fears, anxieties, and unwillingness to fully trust Christ with the things outside of my control. Let it rule. Don’t just let the peace co-exist with my fears. Let it rule. Let it take over. Let it govern my thoughts, dominate my mind, dictate to my emotions. For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Since as members of one body you were called to peace… Interesting follow-up phrase. It is not quite what I would expect. I would think, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart so that you won’t be stressed out.” Instead, God says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts so that you will be at peace with one another.” Ever notice that when you are stressed out, you tend to bark at others, have less patience, grumble, complain, murmur, blameshift, or wallow in self-pity? James reminds us that most of our conflicts in relationships arise from the lack of peace and contentment in our own hearts (James 4:1). So we are called to have peace in our hearts so that we can have peace in our relationships.

And be thankful. Peace in Christ breeds gratitude in my heart. I focus not on my struggles but on my Savior. Not on my burdens but on my blessings.

So peace in my heart brings peace in my relationships, gratitude in my attitude, praise in the congregation, and glory to God.

Lord, reign in my heart today!

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