“Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.”
St. Luke 2:14, MSG
People who know their God-given purpose are determined to hit the target God has set for them.
This point reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown was practicing archery.
In addition to his bow and arrow, Charlie Brown took a paintbrush and a bucket of paint with him.
Pulling an arrow from his quiver, he drew the string back firmly and let it slide from his fingers, hurling the arrow toward its destination.
Approaching the target with his bucket of paint in tow, Charlie Brown painted a bull’s eye around the arrow.
Frustrated by this nonsense, Lucy asked Charlie what he was doing.
Charlie Brown answered, “This guarantees I will always hit my target.”
Sadly, this is the way many Christians live their lives. Wherever the arrows of life happen to land, they claim, was their destination all along!
Jesus knew what His purpose was, and thus, He could not be distracted, detoured or offended.
Nevertheless, He still had to keep His attitude right when dealing with difficult people.
Psalm 34:14 says, “Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it.” (TLB)
Jesus kept peace with challenging people even though they didn’t return that peace. He knew their actions weren’t His responsibility.
Jesus also knew that His response determined His destiny, and it was this knowledge that empowered Jesus to resist attacks.
One thing is certain: Our actions and our attitude toward attacks and insults have a great deal to do with whether we reach our God-given destination.
The questions we must ask ourselves are these:
• How badly do we want the blessings of God in our lives?
• How committed are we to reaching our God-given destination?
• To what degree do we want to enjoy “the good life” that God has promised us?
Keys to the good life
Psalm 133:1-3 holds one of the keys to achieving the good life:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” (KJV).
Notice that something is required of us if we want to enjoy a good and pleasant life.
We must become committed to living in peace and unity.
The Rev. Billy Sanders is senior pastor of Northpointe Church in Copperas Cove.