1 Peter 3:11
“Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
“Peace on earth, good will toward men”
So sing the carols. So tout the cards. So reads the signs and banners everywhere this time of year.
But there is a serious challenge both now and every time of the year: To actually have and feel ‘peace’ that is more than holiday greeting.
The Right Scenery?
Men often pursue this feeling by a certain scenery, or a change of pace. Mankind believes that peace will come “to men of good will” (modern bible version ‘variant’)- so if you want to find peace, meet in the town square and sing carols to a tree. Or take a walk with a lover down a snow-covered trail. Or sit and stare into the fireplace with your dog and your liquor. If you can get the right scenery, all will be right.
But the Prince of Peace was never found in such nostalgic situations. He entered amid tromping hooves and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. “Silent Night” was far from reality at His birth. He grew up under temperamental foreign occupation. He never had more than slave-like rights. He worked with cursing carpenters and later sailed with vulgar seamen.
Yet He possessed a peace impervious to circumstance. He said,
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”John 14:27
He had no peace because of where He was, He had peace because of who He was, and what He did.
The Holy Spirit uses the archaic word “ensue” to charge believers: “Do good; seek peace; ensue it.” A Christian can follow the Lord Jesus Christ in these three steps.
- Do good, even if nobody appreciates it.
- Seek peace where you can find it.
- Where you can’t find it, tell them about Jesus Christ- He will bring peace.
The Saviour of the World found no peace when He arrived here on earth. He had to MAKE peace. He could not ‘pursue’ peace, for it was not there. So He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)
Where there was no peace, He brought it by His actions. To ensue means to come after as a consequence- to expect a result after causing it. Christ did this when gave His life for us on Calvary:
“And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself;”Colossians 1:20a
The Right Saviour.
Jesus Christ is peace in a person. Where he couldn’t find it; He spared no expense to ensue– to cause it. He gave His life to bring “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
As the empty world wishes for peace on earth, let us who trust in Christ Jesus be the first to strive to be peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9) Let us stop at no obstacle, let us balk at no sacrifice, let us keep nothing back to preach peace by the blood of Christ. Without Him, peace will only ever be an empty seasonal greeting. When you lift up Christ, real peace will ensue.
If you can get the right Saviour; all will be right.