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The freedom of a peaceful life 2 Peter 1:2-4
Saved from a life of sin
The most powerful testimony I ever heard of was delivered in a prison. Speaking to hardened and seasoned criminals, a lone man stood and told stories that made their toes curl. The crimes he had been saved from were shocking in number. His story started at a young age and covered a lifetime of drugs, theft, murder, backstabbing, double crossing, lying, cheating, and espionage. By the time he was done, the inmates were feeling pretty good about themselves. Their crimes didn’t hold a candle to the sins of this guy. But then he paused, and in the silence, looked at each person in the eye before continuing. "These are the things God saved me from", he declared, "this is the person I would have been. But by God’s grace, I gave my life to Christ at an early age and have lived for him ever since. This is what kept me from committing any of these crimes, and spared me a life of misery.” The room was silent as the meaning of his words sunk in. How different their lives would have been if they could say the same thing. Now they realized that he was not one of them.
But he had their attention.
The secret to a life of peace
So how do we find a life of peace?
The secret is Jesus. 2 Peter 1: 2 – 4 “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
How? "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. "
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,
"so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
What does it mean?
Since Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sin, I have the ability to have a personal relationship with God. Knowing him gives me a life of grace and peace. His power gives me everything I need to live the life he wants me to live. Because of his glory and goodness, his promises throughout the Bible apply to me. I can interact with him as I get to know him better. This is done by talking to him (prayer), learning about him (reading the Bible), obeying him, and trusting him. As I fill my mind with him, I resist my natural selfishness and evil desires which helps me escape corruption. By not acting on my sinful tendencies, I preserve myself from the consequences that would ultimately make my life miserable. This helps make my life peaceful. It is a life free from fear, worry, and guilt.
The Benefits of a relationship with Jesus
I am free from fear, not that I am never afraid, but I know that God will get me through anything that happens to me. Hebrews 13:5b-6 - “Because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
I am free from worry, not that I won’t have anything to worry about, but I can trust God to take care of me. Matthew 6: 25 – 34 - “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?...Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I am free from guilt, not that I never do anything to be guilty about, but I know I am forgiven. 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The world may look at me and say I’m not free because I do my best to follow the laws of the Bible. But it is those very laws that are designed to keep us free from the chains that come with living by the whims of my own earthly desires. I will never be perfect, but through Jesus’ sacrifice, I am forgiven and God’s power sets me free.
Do not be ashamed
I didn't hear the opening testimony first hand. But I will not forget the impact it had on my life. I too gave my life to Christ at a young age and living for him has given me a life of few regrets. But when it comes to sharing my testimony, I can feel self-conscience. I don't have an exciting story of how much God has changed my life like many people I know. My story feels boring, and it's hard to imagine anyone being inspired by it. It is easy to forget the power of the peaceful life. But when I think of the life I have lived for Christ, it has been anything but boring.