What if every follower of Jesus were to be clothed with love, peace, and gratitude?
It is estimated that 2.56 billion people identify as being Christian. The total population is 8.0 billion people.
If nearly one-third of your hamburger were salt, would you notice?
If a third of the world’s population lived in love, peace, and gratitude, what would be the effect on the other two-thirds of the people?
Paul called the church to live in love, peace, and gratitude.
Colossians 3.14-15 – Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
What Paul Learned from Jesus
The idea of living according to Paul’s counsel is aligned with what Jesus taught.
(1) Jesus elevated love to the highest place.
— John 13.34-35 – “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The quality of love we are to extend to other people is defined by “just as I have loved you.”
The result of love is that “everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
Let’s pray that the 2.56 billion people who claim to follow Jesus will live in a Jesus-kind-of-love. Let’s pray that we live like that too.
(2) Peace was another important topic for Jesus.
Shortly before his crucifixion Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14.27).
Peace involves the cessation of hostilities. Paul explains how Jesus made peace with his enemies.
— Colossians 1.20-22 – Through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death.
The way God defeats his enemies is by making them his friends, but at a tremendous cost – the blood of Jesus’ cross.
When we experience the peace of God, it spills over and transforms our relationships with people.
— Ephesians 2.13-14 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.
Let’s pray that the 2.56 billion people who claim Jesus as their Lord will be truly reconciled to God.
Let’s pray that these people will make every effort to break down barriers of hostility among races, genders, nations, and more.
Let’s draw a circle around our place of prayer and ask God that he begin his work of peace within that circle.
(3) Thanksgiving in prayer was characteristic of Jesus.
The Gospels picture Jesus as a person of prayer. His prayers were punctuated by gratitude to the Father.
The lack of gratitude results in a “darkened heart” and “empty thinking” (Romans 1.21).
Jesus healed 10 lepers (Luke 17.11-19), but only one of them returned to give him thanks.
What was the state of their hearts? We don’t know, but Paul’s thoughts in Romans may give us some indication.
We do know what happened to the leper who returned in gratitude to give God glory. Jesus told him, “your faith has made you well” (Luke 17.19).
Jesus told his followers.
Matthew 5.13 – “You are the salt of the earth.”
Matthew 5.14 – “You are the light of the world.”
Let’s pray that the 5.26 billion people who claim Christ as their King will live as salt and light in the world.
Let’s pray that we live in love, peace, and gratitude as God’s “salt” and “light” in a troubled world.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage today on YouTube. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.