The Bible tells us that the human heart is the “control-center” of life: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). In other words, what rules your heart shapes your life!
What is ruling your heart and shaping your life these days?
For some, empty emotions—such as doubt, fear, or anxiety—have taken hold of their hearts and are shaping their lives. For others, vain pursuits—such as power, prestige, or prosperity—have taken hold of their hearts and are shaping their lives. Still others find that the applause of man or the affection of another have taken hold of their hearts and ultimately are shaping their lives. To be sure, the possibilities are as limitless as the depths of our sinful, self-absorbed, and self-centered hearts.
But this is not for you! Colossians 3:15 gives us the key to penetrating a sinful heart that is ruled by anything smaller than Jesus: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” This peace finds its power in one overwhelming Gospel truth: this peace is His peace!
The peace of Jesus is not found in silver and gold . . . not in power and prestige . . . nor in honor and high society. When Jesus walked this earth on His way to Golgotha’s hill, His estate was one of abject humiliation, for He had no earthly estate to give to His disciples. He frankly admitted, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).
It was the peace of Christ that overcame the temptations of the devil, the betrayal of Judas, the desertion of His disciples, the false accusations of the religious leaders, the denials of Peter, and the taunting of the crowds as He hung on the cross. This is the peace that we have been given through faith in the Prince of Peace.
You see, the peace that is to rule our hearts and ultimately shape our lives will never found in the stuff of life. It will only be found in our Savior. He warns us all, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19, 21).
It is only the peace of Christ that is unaffected by the circumstances of life. Storms cannot disrupt it. Trials will not disturb it. Challenges do not dislocate it. This is the peace that passes all human understanding, and it will guard your heart (Philippians 4:7). Our natural, sinful nature would rather try to find our peace in something tangible. But our new nature is empowered by the same peace that propelled the Prince of Peace. And this is the peace that is to rule our hearts and shape our lives.
This peace empowers us to care about more than the cares and concerns of our own lives. This peace allows us to lay our lives down and lift others up. This peace frees us to come out of hiding—to emerge from behind every flimsy fig leaf, knowing that God has accepted us in His beloved Son. A heart that is ruled by the peace of Christ is shaped like the cross: loving God (vertical) and reaching out in love to others (horizontal).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!