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 word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 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.
My thoughts… such as they are:
Let the peace of Christ rule – So it would seem that we have a choice as to what we allow to rule in our hearts. Many allow worry to rule. Many allow hatred to rule. Many allow jealousy to rule. Many allow greed to rule. Given the choice, peace is a much better option. Don’t you think? But how do you get there?
since as members of one body you were called to peace. – When we really get the fact that at one time we were enemies of God but that through Christ and the cross we have been reconciled to Him – that is that Christ has made peace between us and God – then we have a chance of letting peace rule in our hearts. In other words, until we grasp the gospel it will be impossible to experience true peace.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly – That’s what this pondering thing is all about – letting the Word dwell in us. It’s way to easy to let Scripture go in one ear and out the other. Don’t just read the Word, think upon it. Talk about it with others. Memorize it. Journal about it. As God works it into your life He will use it to work sinful habits and behaviors out of your life.
The thing about this passage that immediately caught my attention was the emphasis on being thankful. Each of the 3 verses mention this. Why would Paul seem to harp on this? Perhaps because even back then people lived as if they deserved to be blessed, deserved to have happiness, deserved to have good things happen to them. Not much has really changed in that regard. We live in a culture that feels deserving. When what we really deserve is for the wrath of God to poured down upon us. What we need is to develop an attitude of gratitude that permeates our lives. Living a life that oozes thankfulness in everything remedies the selfishness that so easily creeps in… and makes us creeps.