In 1878, General Lew Wallace had recently begun his service as governor of the New Mexico territory. He was minding his own business, governing and spending time writing his book Ben Hur. But then a telegram arrived that he could not ignore. It was from President Rutherford B. Hayes. President Hayes was ordering General Wallace to quell an uprising in rural New Mexico, in which the outlaw Billy the Kid was involved.
So General Wallace put down his pen, and picked up his pistol, all in the interest of pursuing peace.
Jesus Christ also was minding his own business in the heights of heaven. But then his heavenly Father had a mission in mind that he could not ignore. He needed to travel from his holy heights to earth. He needed to pay for the nastiness of the sins of the world, all in the interest of pursuing peace.
Of course, this mission wouldn’t be easy. Jesus Christ needed to walk the perfect line. He could not trip. When temptation came, he could not be tainted. It would be far more painful than pleasant. It would try his patience. But Jesus, God’s one and only Son, was up for the enormous challenge. He set aside his crown for a cross. And he won lasting peace for all who repent and trust in him as Savior.
We are probably minding our own business today, doing our thing. But the Lord Jesus wants us to be his ambassadors to a sin-wrecked, greedy world. As you wear the name, “Christian,” are you letting the peace of Christ drive your mind? Are you content to let Jesus be your Savior from everything? Are you enjoying his peace as a prized possession, even though it passes human understanding? And are you going out of your comfort zone to pursue peace in your family, church, community, or workplace?
Don’t be casual about this. This pursuit of peace can’t just be a halfhearted afterthought. Pursue peace! Seek it out! You will never backslide into thinking your life has no purpose. You will always be a blessing to everyone, everywhere. And you will keep your mind on peaceful things above, never scrambling – without peace – for things below.
Prayer: Lord, let your peace that passes understanding fill my heart and mind. Give me a passion to pursue your peace. Help me to be both a peacemaker and a peacekeeper in a way that honors you. Amen.