“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart” (John 14:27). Ask to experience Jesus’ peace through today’s reading.
Read ROMANS 5:1-11
 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat are the "benefits" of suffering that Paul lists?
Google “inner peace” and you’ll have millions of results. A deep sense of serenity is both highly desirable and frustratingly elusive. Inner peace belongs to every Christian who has “peace with God” (1). Our most fundamental relationship is with God. When that relationship is right, our core dynamics are correctly aligned and inner peace bubbles up from the center of our being and flows into every relationship.
Does it sound too good to be true? Why should God accept a broken person like me? Paul says it’s because God loves me so much. The proof is that “Christ [died] for us while we were still sinners” (8). I don’t like making sacrifices. On occasion I will do so for those I love. Would I lay down my life for them (7)? I don’t know; I hope so. But I wouldn’t for someone I’d never met, especially if they didn’t deserve it.
Jesus died for me before I was born and despite knowing how flawed I’d be. That love, not anything I’ve done, is what assures me of God’s welcome. It’s what makes this elusive peace both real and attainable. I need simply accept it.
Try repeating this all day: “Though I’m broken, Christ died for me. God accepts me as I am. I am at peace.”
God of peace, I thank You for Your peace which only You can give. Keep me in Your perfect peace, I pray.
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