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
We are to run the race “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:2). As we run the race of life, we are not competing with other believers, instead we will exert every effort so that others in this race would also be able to finish. The writer of Hebrews provided exhortations along this line of providing mutual help. “‘You must warn each other every day, while it is still ‘today,’ so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God’” (Hebrews 3:13). “God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it” (Hebrews 4:1). “Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true” (Hebrews 6:11). “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). The real joy of running the race of life is seeing others finish the race. Providing mutual help means we “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” (Hebrews 12:14). We can easily claim that we have peace with God because of our relationship with Him yet we struggle in obtaining being at peace with other believers. Commitment to Christ will result to being hated by the world. The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first” (John 15:18). But this enmity should not be taking place among the body of believers. Conflict within the church does not bring glory to God’s name. Pursuing a life holiness before God includes being at peace within the fellowship. The Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount provided a link between the pursuit of peace and holiness. The beatitude about pursuing holiness, “God blesses those whose hearts are pure” (Matthew 5:8a), is followed by the beatitude about being a peacemaker, “God blesses those who work for peace” (Matthew 5:9a). Both these pursuits characterize the life of believers who “will see God” (Matthew 5:8b), and who are the “children of God” (Matthew 5:9b). Finishing well in the race of life is to strain forward in obtaining peace with others and giving our best through God’s grace that strengthens us living out His holiness.