Have you ever taken a picture of a large group? Gathering everyone is a challenge. Who will stand where? Then the conversations and wiggles take time to settle.
Sometimes we are just looking for a moment of peace, a place where we find stillness. Perhaps we find a little but it vanishes. We ask, where can I find peace?
Earlier in Ephesians 2 we saw that in Christ Jesus we have been brought near (verse 13). How? It was through the blood of Jesus. We were previously separated from God, who is holy, and from His people. Jesus changed everything.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.” Ephesians 2:14-17 (ESV)
We may have been searching for just a moment of stillness, but true peace is more.
Here is what Jesus spoke, as recorded in John 14:25-27 (ESV).
“ ‘These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27Peace 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.”
Through Christ alone are we able to have a healthy relationship with God. On our own, we are dead in our sin. We deserve to be separated from God forever. God is rich in mercy and loved us in that place of sin. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. He was raised from the dead on the third day. Believers do not need to be afraid anymore. The blood of the Lamb has washed us and we are reconciled to God. Only Jesus can place us into right relationship with God the Father.
I love Philippians chapter four. One of my favorite parts is where we hear that the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Yes! I want that. My heart and mind is guarded by Christ. Reading through what our thoughts are to be (Philippians 4:8) we are challenged to be more like Christ. Then Paul reminds us to live out our faith. Here’s Philippians 4:9 (ESV): “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Even better than having the peace of God guarding our hearts and minds is the presence of God, the God of peace. Praise the Lord!
Where is our peace? Peace is found in God alone.
The Bible also reminds us that our relationships with people matter. Our dependence on Him helps us see others as He does. God changes us. We all need Him. Foulkes (1989) states, "The feeling of animosity and hostility had to be replaced by a sense of fellowship." The Jewish and Gentile people were previously separated in how they ate, what they wore, who they worshiped and how they worshiped. God loved the whole world, He loved us, while we were living in sin. All people needed a Savior. Through Christ Jesus all people are invited in! All people are offered the gift of a Savior, the One that was promised to Israel thousands of years before. It is hard for us to grasp this earth changing concept. Here is what Foulkes (1989) shares, “Because Christ has come and by what he has done in his flesh, especially by his death (see Col. 1:22), salvation and acceptance with God in his people is offered to all people on condition of repentance and faith. Peter was sent to Cornelius and bidden to regard no longer the distinction between ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness (Acts 10)."
About Ephesians 2:15 Foulkes wrote, “...and it is significant that the word for new here (kainos) means not simply new in point of time, but as Barclay puts it ‘new in the sense that it brings into the world a new kind of thing, a new quality of thing, which did not exist before’ (see also on 4:23–24)."
Where once was hostility between groups of people, Jesus brought peace by His blood. In the past we were dead because of our sin, hostile to and separated from God, but Jesus bought new life for us.
“For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18 (ESV)
Our God has a plan. He has picked out the perfect setting for this. He has gathered this family of His and His plans are greater than anything we can imagine. We can trust Him. He is our peace.
Lord Jesus, thank You for your forgiveness of sins. Thank You for the gift of being put into right relationship with God. Please help me to remember that You are my peace. I trust You. Cause me to share You and Your peace with this world. In Your Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
Where have you searched for peace in the past?
Why is knowing Jesus is your peace (Ephesians 2:14) comforting?
How do you plan to share the hope of Jesus with others?
Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, p. 90). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
More Ephesians Devotionals
Are you interested in more devotionals from the book of Ephesians? We started with Identity: Ephesians Chapter 1. You can find more devotionals on this book and other topics in the Life: Devotionals section of this site.
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