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#240 – Pursuing Peace (Romans 14:19)

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Romans 14:19: “So, then let us pursue what makes for peace, and for mutual upbuilding.” What a great exhortation here in Romans chapter 14. These chapters in Romans are just filled with one-liner encouragements. Exhortations to live, and to love, and to serve, and to care, as God has called us to. Here in verse 19 to hear God say, that “We should pursue what makes for peace, and for mutual upbuilding.”
We are sinners, and we are prone to disagree. We are prone to get into conflict, and experience tension with one another, and we’re prone to tear one another down. Just the pride, and sinfulness, and selfishness, in each of us, is often times we’re looking to advance ourselves, often times at the expense of others, and so we need to hear this verse.

We must strive to honor God in our relationships, not being quarrelsome but pursuing peace and building up others.

In a variety of relationships. In our relationships at home, I think about marriage. I think about kids. I think about parents with kids. I think about kids with one another. I think about when my kids are having some tension with each other, and I think “Oh, this is a good verse.” Let us pursue what makes for peace, and for mutual upbuilding, and the same, again in marriage.
I think about relationships at work. I think about relationships in the church. Let’s pursue what makes for peace, and for mutual upbuilding. This exhortation to us is a good reminder that God is honored when we are pursuing peace, and when we are pursuing that which builds up one another, not when we are pursuing strife, or being, even, okay with strife, and tension that’s unhealthy. We want to pursue peace. We want to keep from that kind of strife and conflict, and we want to build one another up. God’s not honored when we are always looking for what is best for us.
So we pray God help us. We’re prone, in so many ways, toward that kind of selfishness. Toward conflict, and unhealthy tension in relationships with one another. We’re not perfect people, and it’s evident in the way our marriages look. In the way our parenting, and relationships in the home look. It’s evident in the way our work relationships look. It’s evident in the way our relationships in the church look.
We need your help, so help us, we pray, to pursue what makes for peace. Lord, help us to be peacemakers. You say, Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Help us to pursue what makes for peace. Help us to pursue mutual upbuilding. God help us to think of ways to encourage one another. To build one another up. Help our words, I pray for my words today, for our words today, that they would all be aimed at building others up. Keep us, we pray, from tearing others down. Help us to live for mutual upbuilding and peace in a way that brings glory to you, and in a way that is good for us.
In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt is the president of the International Mission Board (IMB), Teaching Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington D.C., and founder of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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