And let the peace of God rule in our hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:15-16)
Whenever a new life enters the world, a new heart enters the world. There is no life apart from a heart; a new life necessitates a new heart.
This holds true for physical life. It also holds true for spiritual life. Ezekial 36:26 says this clearly, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
A believer receives a new heart when a new life is received. It is a heart ruled by God’s peace. It is a heart full by thanks and rich with the Word of God.
The choice to have peace rule in our hearts is up to each individual. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” is a command that requires obedience. Only Jesus can give the kind of peace that says “God will take care of me regardless of my circumstances.” Peace is the deciding factor in all situations, circumstances, and trials of life. This is certainly something for which we can be thankful.
With hearts ruled by God’s peace, thankfulness should be easily expressed. Our Lord should never be short-changed with regard to our giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When we gather together, the air should be filled with expressions of thankfulness and praise to God. Not only is He good, He is worthy to receive all the glory.
Finally, we need hearts that are rich with the Word of God. A Sunday morning sermon is not enough. We want more than a visit from the Word of God; we want the Word of God to live in our hearts. It is up to us to make a home for God’s commandments, instructions, promises, and warnings. We would do well to follow Paul’s advice to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of the truth.”
As Christians, we have life — eternal life. Each of us can say, “I have life and I have a heart.”
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.