June 23, 2010

Peace and Holiness and Grace

Hebrews 12:14-15

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be

holy …
Hebrews 12:14


While I was reading Hebrews 12 the other day, I wondered, “Is it more difficult to live in peace or to be holy?” Of course, when God tells me to do two things, I must try to do both.

Then I read, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Does that mean I will not see the Lord unless I am holy? Or that others will not see the Lord unless I am holy? And is living in peace also required in order for me and others to see the Lord?

If others will see the Lord only through my peace and holiness, that is an overwhelming responsibility. If I won’t see the Lord unless I am peaceable and holy, that is a terrifying threat.

The next verse, however, speaks about grace: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God.” Of course! Without grace, none of us can live peacefully together, and none of us can be holy. Without grace, we can’t be a peaceful, holy influence on others either.

That made me feel better. Living in peace and holiness are important and necessary—and what a comfort it is to know that God’s grace empowers us to live that way for him.

And when we fail, that same grace will forgive, accept, and encourage us to “make every effort” again. It always comes down to grace.

God of abounding grace, we pray that today we and those around us will see your peace and holiness alive in us. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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