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April 19 – The peace of Christ

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” – Colossians 3:15

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:15-17

The Roman empire was famously characterized by a period of peace, the so-called Pax Romana that spanned two centuries, representing the longest period of stability Europe has experienced in recorded history. Both Jesus and Paul were born and died within the Pax Romana.

By His death, Jesus had secured a deeper peace in relations between God and humanity and within humanity, and He summoned us to a banquet of peace and harmony. So called to peace, we must let peace dominate (v.15): “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” The verb “to rule” here was used by referees in sporting events who must make judgments. The peace of Christ, in short, must be our heart’s umpire.

I’ve discovered that peace can sometimes be idolized, as if there were no higher objective to pursue. The Canadian author Rudy Wiebe captured this of the Mennonite community in his novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many. We do not pursue peace at all costs, certainly not at the expense of charity or purity. Conflict is sometimes good and necessary.

To let the peace of Christ arbitrate is to accept all those Christ accepts and to accept them in the way Christ accepts them. Jesus has decisively dismantled barriers between all people groups, not least between Jew and Gentile. Don’t erect barriers where Christ hasn’t. This way of life becomes possible for those who seek the things above and set their minds on Christ, ruling at God’s right hand.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the peace of Christ would arbitrate in your heart so that your life is increasingly characterized by His loving judgements.

Dr. Bill DeJong is the lead pastor of Blessings Christian church in Hamilton, ON and adjunct professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University in Ancaster, ON. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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