To seek peace is to constantly and deliberately seek to fulfill the will of others. You cannot live a life that is self centered and truly seek peace; you will find only narcissism and empty spaces. This life has the potential for great things and the simplicity of it all is what gives me hope.
Common goals and interests are pivotal to the search for harmony but it is when we actually share with others as we find value in the lives around us that we begin to see harmony. Valuing others is a key but before we can do that we must discover the value in ourselves. We have it on good authority that we are loved and that we are valuable. Matthew 6:28-30 and Matthew 10:29-31 are good places to start.
Understanding value becomes critical. In math, a value is essentially a number. Zero is a number which carries a value of zero, one carries a value of one and so on. As humans we understand value differently and when we look at something we usually assign it a value greater than zero, because let’s face it, if it was truly a zero, we would not waste our time.
A life equals a value of one; it is an amount greater than no life. When a life ends, so does its value on earth. However, when we celebrate life, it becomes quite valuable to all of us. If life is valuable it is because we choose to make it that way. God chose to give life value. We have that choice today when we choose to value a life through encouragement and growth by way of accepting someone for who they are, and promoting their life in what they add to ours.
Valuing a life simply means assigning worth to any life. Is life really that precious? Let’s consider this from God’s point of view. Here is your quote for the day…
The apple came from the tree of life and it brought death to all that followed. Jesus was placed on a tree of death and brings life to all that follow. (Yes, I wrote that, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit).
In the beginning, God made man and woman and he gave them a breath of life that he did not give to all the other animals on the planet. He gave man a soul and a reason and a will. It wasn’t too long after creation that man made the epic failure of eating from the tree of life and evoking God’s wrath upon all mankind. For thousands of years man had to have struggled with that understanding of failure from his earliest ancestor. But man had hope of a savior.
Then God sent His son. (I have wondered about the span of time between creation and the fall and if it matches that of Jesus’ life from birth to crucifixion. Not that the span of time is critical but other similarities seem significant to me so maybe there are more that I don’t see.) The correlation between the apple being plucked from the tree in an act of defiance to God’s will and plan for His creation, and the crucifixion of Christ on the tree at Calvary is palpable. In God’s salvation plan, He gave His people something that was so much more valuable than that apple and yet they rejected it.
Adam took something from a tree that God had commanded he not touch. The consequences were banishment from the garden, the loss of immortality and a lifetime of pain and hard work that appeared to have no hope. After being banished from the garden, what hope of eternal life did Adam and Eve have? The gloom of that day created a dark cloud over humanity that lasted for thousands of years.
God never commanded His people not to eat of the tree of death; instead He created an antithesis to His tree of life by sacrificing His only son on a tree. During the last Passover meal, Jesus Himself said to take of this bread as if it were His flesh, and to drink of this wine, as if it were His blood. Jesus represented mankind’s second apple, our second chance to get it right.
In Christ we have been given a second chance at the garden. We have been freely given a chance to re-enter a life with God that was only possible if we obeyed God’s commands. Our apple is before us, it is Jesus. The value that God has placed on us is measureable by looking at what He gave us.
One life that is so precious that it provides value and worth to all that accept it. Jesus is that one life, and all we have to do is accept Him.
My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.