S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:9-12 NIV
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”
And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:27-31 NIV
There are two dimensions to peace – spiritual peace and social peace. True peace begins and emanates from spiritual peace. Social peace that is holistic and lasting is derived from spiritual peace! Our sights must be set on purity! Purity is the basis of biblical peace.
What does God’s desire for “peace” say about his character? Does it help you appreciate him in a new light?
What do you think about the idea that God wants peace for you, personally, before he asks you to make peace in the world?
The Scripture in Genesis points out that God created peace in the beginning. Sin destroyed peace between God and people, between people and people, and between people and the earth. Instead of justly punishing the world, God sent Jesus to restore peace. Since peace is of utmost importance to God, how invested are you in being a peacemaker?
Lord, thank you for being a God of peace. Thank you for sacrificing so that we who are undeserving of peace may experience your peace. Help me to be a peacemaker!