DAY 2: THE PRICE OF PEACE
In yesterday's reading, we learned that forgiveness is central to peace-making. It is not only relevant to peace between man and God, but also between people.
Forgiveness is the price that needs to be paid for peace. One of the most beautiful stories of peace-making in the Bible is found in Genesis 33. After many years of conflict and drama, Jacob and Esau decided to make peace. Jacob knew he was indebted to his brother after he stole Esau's birthright years ago (Genesis 28). He sent gifts to Esau and humbly bowed before him. But Esau showed remarkable forgiveness. "'My brother, I have plenty,' Esau answered. 'Keep what you have for yourself.' But Jacob insisted, 'No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!" (Genesis 33:10, NLT). Peace was made because both brothers paid the price of forgiveness.
In the same way, we receive peace when we accept forgiveness for our sins through Jesus Christ. On many occasions during Jesus' ministry, people went away in peace after being forgiven. A good example is found in Luke 7. The woman who anointed Jesus with oil understood the value of forgiveness and was not disappointed. "The men at the table said among themselves, 'Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?' And Jesus said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace'" (Luke 7:49-50, NLT).
Have you taken the first step towards peace by embracing forgiveness? Perhaps you find it easier to forgive others than to accept forgiveness for yourself. The peace of Christ is meant for you too!
"I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid" (John 14:27, NLT).