Fruits of the Holy Spirit – Peace

87/365 days of blogging.

Introduction: Galatians 5:22 tells us that another fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace. Is your life peaceful? Are you at peace with your spouse? At peace with your children? At peace with your boss? At peace with your health? How valuable is peace to you? What would you pay for it? What do you think it would take to bring peace into your life? This evening, we’ll look at how to obtain peace from the Word!

  1.         Peace With God
    1. Read Romans 5:1-2. Are some people at war with God? Why would you rather not be at war with God? (I recall a couple of comedians, now dead, who would openly challenge God as part of their comedy routine. It made me shudder – what foolish and dangerous behavior.)
      1. These two clowns I’m thinking of were deliberately challenging God. Have all of us challenged God in some way?
    2. Read Ephesians 2:13-18. You might want to read the entire chapter to get the full meaning of this, but what do you think is meant by those (verse 17) who were far away and those who were near?
      1. Does it matter whether we are near or far from God, are we still “enemies?”
      2. What does it mean (verse 18) to now have “access to the Father by one Spirit?”
    3. Do you remember misbehaving as a child and being told by your mother that when your father came home he would administer your punishment? How did it feel to wait in dread of the time your father came home?
      1. Can you imagine a world in which we are waiting for God to punish us for our sins?
  2.     Peace in Life
    1. When I was a young child, I had to worry about the Soviets launching nuclear missiles and blowing us all up. If you can relate to this, how much of a worry was that for you?
      1. Would that worry be comparable to the kind of worry we would have if Jesus had not died for our sins?
    2. Read Romans 5:3-5. Does suffering cause worry for you? If you tend to dismiss long-term problems, what about daily issues that cause you to suffer?
      1. Let’s look again Romans 5:2-5. What does this say is the cure for day-to-day problems?

3.  Peace and Pride

  1. Read Matthew 11:28. To whom is Jesus speaking?
    1. What kinds of burdens and weariness is Jesus speaking about?
    2. Read Matthew 11:29-30. If I already feel weary and burdened, how is it going to help to have someone else place yet another burden on me – a yoke?
      1. What does Matthew 11:30 suggest will be the result of sharing our burdens with Jesus?
      2. Let’s explore how this happens. Is Jesus just offering to lift part of our load? Or, is there more to it?
      3. Why does Jesus tell us that He is gentle and humble in heart? What has that to do with His ability to pull part of our load?
        1. How much of your burden in life comes from trying to impress others?
          1. How would your life be different if your only goal was to promote the Kingdom of God?
          2. How much of your burden in life comes from being tough with others?
            1. How would your life be different if you decided to be gentle with others?
      4. Jesus suggests that humility and gentleness bring peace to our life. Does that seem right to you?
        1. I once heard a pastor tell a story about how he kept his car windows up on a hot day just so it would look to other drivers like he had air conditioning. I had to admit that I had done that myself on at least a couple of occasions when I was driving a nice car with broken air conditioning. What kind of silly pride wants to impress people we do not even know? Are there examples like that in your life?
  1.    Peace with Difficult People
    1. Read Romans 12:14-16. Do we bless those who persecute us? Or do we curse them?
      1. There is the story about a Christian attorney a few years back who closed his e-mails with the word “blessings.” Opposing council who responded to him seemed to be friendlier and more apt to work with him in difficult cases. Can we follow the same example?
      2. Can we live in harmony and still enforce what is right?
    2. Read Romans 12:17-19. Do these instructions apply in a marriage? Do they apply in dealings with our children?
      1. How do you balance enforcing what is right and living in peace? Should you balance them?
        1. Why does Romans 12:17 say “what is right in the eyes of everybody?” Is doing right a matter of taking a vote or having a consensus?
      2. I have heard Christians say that if you are obedient to God, you will have trouble with the world. Is that true?
      3. Why not revenge? Don’t the “bad guys” deserve to get punished?
    3. The Bible gives us a path to peace. Will you determine by the power of the Holy Spirit to take it today?

V.        Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Patience.

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