by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the beginning of a new life for all believers. It's also the pledge of our resurrection (1 Cor. 15). The study of Colossians is part of this month's meditations on the meaning of the resurrection.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace (Col. 3:15).
The goal of God's redemption is peace, shalom. In the new creation all of life will be in harmony. Everything and everyone will be exactly right—the way God intended the world to be from the start.
We have a foretaste of this restored world in the church of Jesus Christ. We aren't afraid of God's condemnation; instead we have peace with him. And, supposedly, we don't envy each other or quarrel, because our hearts are governed by the peace of Christ.
The peace of Christ is a situation that results from Christ's work in us. But it is also a power that governs. Paul says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." The word rule indicates the decisive judgment of a referee. When differences spring up and troubles threaten, the peace of Christ is accepted as the arbitrator.
The heart, where the peace of Christ must rule, is the center of a person's life. If our hearts are ruled by Christ's peace, relationships within the body—the church—will be peaceful.
Just like the church in Colosse, today's church is often restless, not governed by the peace of Christ. Many congregations are influenced by leaders who arouse fear and suspicion and impose legalistic burdens. Remember that the peace of Christ must first rule the church before it can govern the world.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version