REV. TIMOTHY L. MELTON, PASTOR
CHEROKEE PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH
“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NLT)
(“A right relationship with God leads to right relationships with fellow believers. Although we will not always feel loving toward all other believers, we must pursue peace as we become more Christ-like.)
(“A poisonous root of bitterness comes when we allow disappointment to grow into resentment, or when we nurse grudges over past hurts. Bitterness brings with it jealousy, dissension, and immorality. When the Holy Spirit fills us, however, He can heal the hurt that caused bitterness.”) (From the NLT notes.)
“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord.
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God that no one be like a bitter root springing up and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled.”
Hebrews 12:14-15 (GSB-NET)
As Pastor Melton explains, “Praise, Honor and Glory all belong to a Holy, Holy, Holy God. And we are also to follow peace, in holiness, with all of mankind—as much as we are able. If you knew Jesus was coming or even if you knew you were to die next week, you would begin cleaning up in every area of your life. We are to be cleaning up our lives in every area so that we can follow after Him in holiness. Holiness brings peace to us.
“Look what the Hebrew young people said to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:16, ‘We do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.’
“They had cleaned up their lives, pursuing holiness, and in the KJV version they said “We are not careful” because they knew they were approved of by God by making their stand—approved by serving and standing for Jehovah. They knew they were being holy and wholly dedicated unto God. The opposite of peace is to be in the turmoil that is caused by doubt—atheism. It is caused by doubt that God is able or unwilling to do what was needed—what these young people needed. They were totally convinced that they were following after their God by standing for Him. They knew that any doubt at all on their part would have also not have let Him move as their Savior. It was a test they knew they would have to pass as He was the only God who could save them,” Pastor Melton added.
“Knowing God was what gave them the courage to stand—that He loved them, honored their choice of following after Him in choosing to stand for Him. This brought peace to them in that they believed this without a doubt. Doubt breeds doubts. They were saying to God, ‘We trust You’—not those ‘what ifs’. Their pursuit of holiness brought this kind of peace to them, knowing that He would keep His promises to their people and themselves. Peace is real trust where one can sit back and relax. They knew they had done right so the promises of God would certainly become theirs. Their assurance of this had become their insurance card. The Lord’s Peace had become theirs. Read Numbers 6:24-25.
“In the same way these young people were assured, we can have that kind of peace—God’s Peace. We can dedicate our marriages, spouses, children, homes, cars, jobs, etc., to God, by our also pursuing His Holiness. Our portion of God’s Peace is only through Jesus, who told us to, ‘Fear not. I have overcome the world.’ We also know that sin can separate us from God. To get where we want to be, we must get in Christ, and hand all our cares over to God, the Father. If we dedicate all to Him, Who’d be better at keeping it? Pray prayers of supplication with thanksgiving. Put your faith in Him as it is to come out in your prayers, with the peace that passes even our own understanding.