“Finally, brothers, good-bye. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV84)
Who of us doesn’t want God’s love and peace present with us at all times? When we experienced it the first time it was amazing, wasn’t it? Nothing that I have experienced in my 55 years of life can compare to the peace I felt when I first came to know the great love God has for me. When was the last time you felt that overwhelming presence of the Lord? Has it been awhile? Do you sense His love and peace around yourself?
There may be some obstacles in the way of the love and peace God has for us. Paul says in our verse for today that we should “listen to his appeal.” What appeal is that? That we should be of one mind and living in peace! There are two ways to apply these concepts to our lives. First, we need to be single-minded and at peace as individuals. James warns us not to be double-minded. We need to continually work to transform our minds into the likeness of Christ. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us through God’s word to unite us to God’s truths. The more single-minded we are, the more peace we will experience in our lives. The presence of the Holy Spirit within us will give us a peace that surpasses all human comprehension. Second, we need to be one-minded and at peace with one another. We need to see one another as God sees us. We need to let go of our judgmental tendencies. We need to see the same Spirit working in others as is daily working in us. We need to unite around the truths of God’s word. We need to admonish and encourage one another with God’s word. We need to be at peace with one another just as God is at peace with us. The root of that peace must be grace and forgiveness. We must forgive, just as we are forgiven.
If we will work to be of one mind and live in peace, God promises that His love and peace will always be with us.