By Brooke Holt
“As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)” (Acts 10:36).
2020 was quite the year, with the onset of a global pandemic and economic shutdown. Who could have imagined such a mess in our modern, civilized, and medically advanced world? As we struggled, we thought it couldn’t get much worse. Then racial division and civil unrest spread across America, and things got worse, much worse. And then a messy election, ensuing animosity, and legal challenges highlighted divisions in every state. So, things must be settling in 2022, right? Well, not really. Inflation is at a forty-year high, and war rages in Ukraine.
None of this is good news (and neither is much on our news stations these days). Is peace even possible in our world today? If so, how can we find it? Is there hope in these dark and difficult times? In Acts 10, as Peter continued to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Gentiles gathered at Cornelius’s house, he taught the way to peace—Jesus Christ. The peace that Jesus offered was not just for the Israelites or the Americans. The peace of Jesus was for all people, all people who would come to him. All things were made by him and for him. Jesus is Lord of all things and the only one who can bring true peace to individuals, communities, and the world.
Is there hope for reconciliation? Not if you are looking to the government, the Peace Corps, or any other worldly agency. It is not that all worldly systems are bad; it is just that the world has no true offer of healing and reconciliation. People are reconciled when they understand the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If Jesus can forgive you of all your sins, if Jesus can accept you as you are, then how can you not extend that forgiveness and acceptance to others regardless of their political views, race, economic situation, or background? As individuals are reconciled to the Lord through the cross of Christ, God calls us to be reconciled to one another.
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18–20).
Peace comes through the proclamation and acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one who can reconcile the people of this world and bring desperately needed peace. May we turn to him to receive mercy, forgiveness, and healing. Then may we become ones who lead others to reconciliation in Christ. Jesus is our only hope!
How can you be part of this reconciliation in the world today? Through the Gospel, how does the Lord offer you peace in your home, neighborhood, church, and city? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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