We are in our third week of our sermon series called Peeled on the fruits of the Spirit. In Paul’s letter to Galatians, he mentions several different virtues that are signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. These qualities include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Each week of the series, we will peel back these spiritual fruits to see if they are sweet or sour. We will discover what each of those fruits are, why they matter, and how we can cultivate that fruit in our lives to become sweet, juicy fruit.
This Sunday we talked about the fruit of peace. Our news channels show us how much we need peace in our world and in our relationships. We often set up walls in our hearts to create a false sense of peace. Sometimes we think an absence of conflict is peace, but peace is so much deeper than that. Peace involves total well-being, and it is not dependent on circumstance. Peace with others starts with peace within our own hearts.
As Ephesians 2:11-22 articulates, Christ is our way to peace. Christ ended the feud between the Jews and the Gentiles at the cross. When we continue to have dissension with others, we keep fighting a war that is already over. Jesus came to break down walls and bring peace. The time that Jesus lived was a time of the pax romana, which meant Roman peace. This peace was a false sense of peace that caused people to live in fear. Jesus countered the pax romana by bringing true peace- a holistic peace with God, within ourselves, and with others.
There are three things we desire you to remember about peace. 1) The peace that Jesus offers is available to us right now through the Holy Spirit. 2) We can nurture peace through our prayer life. Pastor Bill Hybels says we are “too busy not to pray.” We find peace through taking everything to God in prayer. 3) We are called to share this peace with the world. We are called to work for justice, reconciliation, and peace in our community, nation, and world.
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. What are examples of false peace in our world?
2. Is the fruit of peace in your life sweet or sour? In what ways?
3. How is God calling you to share peace this week?
Monday- Ephesians 2:11-22
Tuesday- Matthew 5:2-12
Wednesday- John 16:25-33
Thursday- Isaiah 53:1-12
Friday- Psalm 4:1-8