“It is a gift of God . . . ” Ephesians 2:8
Salvation is an ongoing gift of God. It’s something we receive, not something we pry out of His hands with our good works. God graciously offers the gift of salvation in and through his son Jesus and wrapped up in that salvation gift is shalom. God desires to knead his shalom into our lives. He is kneading shalom into all of creation for he is in the process of reconciling all things to himself as he makes all things new. What is shalom?
According to Strong’s Concordance 7965, the Hebrew word shalom denotes completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.
Can we taste it? Can we even imagine it? It is a salvation gift that God wants to pour into our lives. As we humble ourselves, and turn (repent) away from the world and our own flesh and towards God, as we renounce all in us that is not of him (as we become aware of it), shalom breaks forth in our lives and spills into the lives and institutions around us. Imagine instead of a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, shalom spilling over and invading all things. It is happening. However, we might not be able to perceive it.
Even as I write, I realize that it is only through God’s grace that we can repent and renounce all in us that is not of him. So we must ask him for that grace, a sustaining grace that allows us to follow him and that unleashes shalom. As shalom fills us, it’ll spill over into our relationships. Ask God for this ongoing gift and be ready to continually receive it.
Here is a true story of shalom breaking forth in the midst of suffering–Maggie’s House of Shalom or Maison Shalom as it is called in Burundi. Click for the video.