Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Ė Romans 12:17-19
††††††††††† It has been an interesting week on the international scene.† The United Nations convened in New York City and several world leaders gave addresses.† The President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a ninety-minute address on Wednesday.† The Iranian leader issued attacks on the United States and its allies without calling them by name and laced his speech with ant-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks, prompting a walkout by the U.S. delegation.† In Pittsburgh the G-20 Summit was met with policy protestors in the streets.† Politicians who have gone home to hold town meeting were met with hostile vocal constituents who engaged in shouting matches instead of dialogues.† In our neighborhoods there is an increasing violence of fists and guns.† In the workplace co-workers are becoming short-tempered with each other.† In the public stores customers are more and more acting in rude displays of temperament.† In our schools courtesy and good manners are fast becoming things of the past.† What is happening to our world?† In the letter to the Romans Paul spends the first eleven chapters discussing doctrine and the last five chapters discussing duty.† In chapter twelve from verses 9-21 he speaks of the Christians duty toward the world.† The problem with the world is they have no peace.† Webster defines peace as; freedom from war; an agreement to end war, or law and order.† One of the Old Testament concepts of peace is that it means enjoying prosperity. †Peace is the result of political peace.† Peace is a state of well being which can mean peace of soul, of one man with another, peace with God, and the salvation of man.† Peace is the state of being normal; sin is a disruption of the normal.† The bible describes peace three ways: a) peace as a feeling of peace and rest, b) peace as a state of reconciliation with God, c) peace is the salvation of the whole man in the eschatological sense.† The world wishes shalom Jesus give the salvation secured by Him.† In verse 18 of Romans twelve Paul commands us that if it be possible, live peaceably.† The word possible means the power or ability to alter or control circumstances.† The word peaceable means: to live in peace with no fighting or quarrelling.† The world does not have peace because it does not have self-control or the mature behavior that shows itself in peaceful behavior.† What takes away our peace?† Our peace is the lack of seeing each other as God sees us.† In Genesis 1:26 we find that man is made in the image of God.† Sin has marred the image; even though flawed we still bear the image of the diving.† Looking at each other without recognizing the image of God each of us possesses causes the anger and chaos of the world.† Paul reminds us that we are Christians because of the indwelling presence of Christ within us and we can live peaceably with all men.† We know that God has loved us when we were not worth loving.† His love changed us, saved us and now we find it is possible because of Him within to let that love show itself to the world.† Will we?
H. Scott Latimer