Pursue Peace- June 23, 2015
Last week we were in Hebrews 12. For this week’s look into what scripture has to say, we will remain in Hebrews. Chapter 12, verse 14 struck me as short and sweet, yet loaded with complexity. The verse reads as,
“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
Read this a couple of times and let the words roll around and form a massive message for the people of the world. Let me break it down and show you what I see.
First, we read, “pursue peace with all men.” The first word of the verse says to pursue. This is clearly an action and a call to act. To pursue is to follow in order to catch or go along on a path. Sound familiar? As well, what are we pursuing and to whom? We are called to strive for peace. Find harmony with one another. I love that the description is for ALL men. All men (and women). This is not something that is just available to certain groups, sects, or races. Jesus died for us all. However, we are all sinners needing grace and mercy. James 5:20 promotes this concept:
“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from Death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
(Pursue peace with all men – someone should bring that person back)
Second, we find “and the sanctification” in the middle holding the statement together. Sanctification is also seen in some translations as holiness. Both mean to be set apart, dedicated, and proven holy. This is the ultimate requirement. The verse says to pursue…holiness. God did not ask us to be good. He asked that we be set apart. We are to repent and be dedicated to Christ. Will we miss the mark? You bet, but that’s why we need Christ and others to pursue us and go along the path beside us. 1 Peter 4:8-11 tells us:
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the (Rhema) utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ”
Truly, 1 Peter 4:8-11 could serve as a description for what is being said in Hebrews 12:14.
Lastly, we see “without which no one will see the Lord.” Previously we have spoken about belief and faith and how it takes faith to believe without being able to see. For the majority, we will not truly “see” the Lord until we pass on. So the need for those to walk in faith and present themselves holy is huge for both the believer but more importantly the unbeliever. How will they ever see the Lord except through YOU? That is how important you are. Read James 5:20 again. Read 1 Peter 4 again. Then read Hebrews 12:14. All of these require action.
This action sends you forth in the strength of God, sanctified, to bring back all sinners so that they too may be saved. Love covers a multitude of sins.