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Family Matters

Today's Devotional

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone. Hebrews 12:14

My sister, brother, and I flew from our separate states to our uncle’s funeral and stopped to see our ninety-year-old grandmother. She’d been paralyzed by a stroke, had lost the ability to speak, and had only the use of her right hand. As we stood around her bed, she reached out that hand and took each of our hands, placing one atop another over her heart and patted them in place. With this wordless gesture, my grandmother spoke into what had been our somewhat broken and distant sibling relationship. “Family matters.”

In God’s family, the church, we can grow apart as well. We might allow bitterness to separate us from each other. The writer of Hebrews references the bitterness that separated Esau from his brother (Hebrews 12:16) and challenges us as brothers and sisters to hold on to each other in God’s family. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone” (v. 14). Here the words every effort convey a deliberate and decisive investment in peacemaking with our brothers and sisters in God’s family. Every such effort is then applied to everyone. Every. One.

Family matters. Both our earthly families and God’s family of believers. Might we all invest the efforts needed to hold on to each other?

What would it mean for you to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone” in God’s family? Is there a particular person you might need to approach for reconciliation?

Dear God, thank You for drawing me to Yourself. Help me to make every effort to live at peace with everyone in Your family.


In Hebrews 12:14, the phrase “make every effort” translates one Greek word: diōkō. The range of meaning includes ideas such as “to pursue” good or not-so-good things (see 2 Timothy 2:22); “to press on”; “to persecute” so as to harass or mistreat (see 3:12 [persecuted]). Three times in Philippians 3 diōkō is used when Paul shares his personal testimony: “as for zeal, persecuting the church” (v. 6); “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (v. 12); “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (v. 14). The English Standard Version’s rendering of Hebrews 12:14 highlights a twofold pursuit: “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” As it concerns our relationships with others, harmony and holiness are worthy of our pursuit and prayers—even when such efforts aren’t reciprocated.

By |2024-04-20T02:33:14-04:00April 20th, 2024|
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