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I Choose Peace

Daily Reading: 1 Kings 15

Scripture Focus: Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. (1 Kings 15.6)

Devotional Thought: Democrats and Republicans, Browns and Bengals, Buckeyes and Wolverines. Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Make America Great, Sharia Law and Western Culture, Threat of Terror and The Right of Privacy. The world seems to be driven by division, doesn’t it?

It has been this way from the beginning – or at least from the fall of humanity and the entrance of sin into our world. God created us to be in perfect fellowship with him and with each other, but sin destroyed that. Immediately upon the entrance of sin, humankind has been hiding from God and from one another. It has been necessary to take great pains to protect ourselves from each other, building walls and raising armies. It is tragic.

Division and strife are even more tragic when they exist among the people of God. The House of Rehoboam (Judah) and the House of Jeroboam (Israel) were brothers! They both were of the seed of Abraham. They both had been delivered by God from Egyptian slavery, through the Red Sea and across the Jordan River. Together they had conquered kings and liberated great areas of oppression. If for no other reason than their common history and deliverance, they should have been allies. They should have been working to bring about the blessings of God on earth. Instead, they were at war with one another.

By our words, we divide or unite; we bring strife or peace. By love and compassion and inclusion, we tear down barriers and bring people together. Through forgiveness, generosity, and turning the other cheek, we establish an environment of peace. Even when we must take measures to protect ourselves and our nation, we should keep in mind that after war there must be peace.

Today, do you choose division or peace?

Prayer: Lord, you prayed, that your disciples may be one even as you are perfectly one with the Father, so that the world may know that you are from God. Along with you, I pray for unity and peace in your Church. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 122.1-5

1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, 4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.

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