"15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
I have never noticed the word 'rule' before when considering the peace of Jesus Christ. One tends to think of peace as a passive activity that helps you chill out and relax. The passage here speaks of an active peace ruling our minds - essentially guiding us and refereeing us. I've noticed as well that the word of Christ dwells richly as a focal point for teaching, admonishing, praising and praying. Do we allow the Word of Christ to dwell richly - do we feast on our daily bread savouring it's taste and meditating on it so that the Holy Spirit can direct us?
GPS stands for Global Positioning Satellite. For the average driver, in the UK at least, we depend on our sat nav's and GPS systems. We have lost the sense of using a map and listen to every word our computerised voice commands.
God has a GPS which you can see at work in this passage. Firstly - Gospel. The Gospel tells us about Jesus the one who died for you and me. If we really want the words of Christ to dwell richly we need to know them. How can we begin our journey without an understanding of God's purpose for us during the journey. (As Pastor Wayne said in a conference, our aim is not to finish the race as fast as we can but to protect the flame). The Gospel helps remind us which way and why we are going.
P is for Prayer - 'Be thankful' - Thanks is becoming an alien concept in the UK - I know you think we are all polite and have cream teas every afternoon, this is untrue! Thank fullness and prayer is a direct submission to God's sovereign work in our lives. We submit to god our requests and he directs our paths - perhaps in a wholly different direction. Prayer is so important if we want to remain sensitive to god's will.
Finally S - Song - It's an unusual one perhaps. I sing when I drive - I can't help it and I get funny looks from other drivers. Singing connects us to what is happening in our heart and soul. Paul writes that we should sing spiritual songs with gratitude. I wonder if he had in mind his experience in the prison with Silas singing songs and worshipping God as they sat in that cell. Songs help us along the journey - not only to give thanks but to acknowledge that we know the work happening in our hearts. Songs help us along the hard road. The Army sing marching songs as they train, perhaps we need to contemplate Scripture with song as well.
There you have it God's GPS - by no means complete as there is so much more to God but I thought that this was quite helpful. It certainly has helped me trusting God for this past week. This is also a useful tool for 'peace' of mind.
Heavenly Father, we like to go our own way and have our own plans. We are sorry when we stop reading your word or listening to you. Please help us to trust in your guidance to let the peace of Christ rule our mind. May your peace speak into our lives, directing us through the storms of life. May we trust you during the storms so that we can learn what you are teaching us and believe that you are going to bring us safely to your destination.