Monday, October 20, 2014
What do you think of when you think of “Peace”? Are you filled with thoughts of the sixties and phrases such as, “Give peace a chance”? Do you think of today’s world and the incredible lack of peace around the globe? Or maybe your thoughts hit closer to home. Maybe you think of your own relationships and how difficult it is to maintain peace in them.
We certainly do not live in a time of peace. From individual families to communities to entire countries and beyond, peace is noticeably missing. And besides the daily reminders of strife and war across the globe, there is enough stress in our own lives to keep any feeling of peace far away. It seems like there is continually something new to worry about . . . something that threatens to destroy us, that scares us, that makes us want to shrink away and hide in our homes.
Yet, the Bible tells us that we can experience the peace of Christ in our lives. How is this possible? How can we possibly live with peace when there is no peace surrounding us? How can we possibly live a peace-filled life when there are so many legitimate threats to worry about?
How is this possible?
It is possible only through Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:4-7 states, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NASB)
When we turn our worries over to Jesus, He gives us His peace. This is a peace that the world cannot understand. It does not make sense to them why we should be living in peace when there is so much turmoil in the world. And, sometimes, we can’t understand it either. But it is there. It is peace . . . God’s peace.
Peace knowing that God will take care of us in the midst of terrorist threats, ebola viruses, political turmoil . . .
Peace knowing that God will take care of us in the midst of family tension, money shortages, and personal stress . . .
Peace knowing that God will take care of us . . .
even in our marriages!
It is only through Jesus Christ that we can experience a peace-filled marriage.
Only with Jesus at the center of your relationship will you truly be able to live in peace with one another and only with Jesus at the center of your lives will you be able to experience peace in the midst of the never ending stress invading your lives. Why don’t you let Jesus fill you with His peace today?
Scroll down and you will find a Bible study to do with your spouse over this very topic. There is also a pdf if you would rather print it off.
May you experience His peace today!
mondaymarraigemoment (downloadable pdf)
But the Fruit of the Spirit is:
ON YOUR OWN:
1. Read Philippians 4:1-9
2. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the amount of peace you experience in your marriage?
3. What do you think it would take to make your life and your marriage more peace-filled?
4. Spend time praying for your spouse and for peace in your home.
1. Read Philippians 4:1-9 together.
2. Who did Paul appeal to in verse 2? Why?
Notice that there were two people in the church who seemed to be having a difficult time getting along with one another. We don’t know what they were arguing about or how serious it had become, but it was obviously serious enough for Paul to address it in his letter to the church. Isn’t it interesting that a passage of Scripture that is known for talking about the “peace that passes all understanding” found in Christ, begins by talking about a different type of peace – the peace between two people? Why do you think this is the case? Is it possible to experience the peace of Christ when you are not living in peace with other people? Discuss this together.
3. According to verse 6, what are we supposed to make known to God? How do you think making our requests known to God (prayer) leads to a peace-filled life?
4. What do you think it means when it says that the peace of God surpasses all understanding?
Have you ever met someone who is going through an incredibly difficult and stressful situation, yet he is full of peace? He is not anxious or uptight about his situation, even though he would have every right to be worried. It is hard to comprehend how someone like that can be full of peace . . . but when Christ gives us His peace, it is enough! Christ can help us live with peace no matter what is going on in the world around us. This is a peace that the world does not understand. It is a peace that comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
5. Read Matthew 6:25-34. Make a list of the worries that you have as a couple and as a family. Then spend time praying for each one. Give them all over to God and let Him replace your worries with His peace. Spend time praying for these worries every day this week.
6. These songs always helps me when I need to experience peace . . . sing them together and be encouraged!
FOR FURTHER FUN:
1. The Scripture in Matthew 6 talks about how God will take care of your needs . . . we do not need to worry. There are many people in the world who need to hear this, and who may need us to be the hands and feet of God. Find some of those people this week and help take care of their basic needs. Example: Take a homeless person out for lunch, take winter coats to a shelter, go through your stuff and find some items to give away . . . Even if you are wondering how God will take care of your needs, you will experience peace by helping take care of someone else’s. Do this as a couple and see what happens!
2. If you are having difficulty getting along in your marriage, find another couple that can help mentor you. Invite them over and discuss how they have dealt with arguments in their marriage. Go on a double date with them and learn all you can from watching their marriage.
3. OR . . . if you are a couple that can mentor a younger couple who is struggling, do that! Find a couple that needs you and take them out on a double date. Show them how to have fun as a married couple. Show them how to learn to live at peace and how to experience a peace-filled life.
4. Make a list of all the ways God has provided for you in your marriage and spend time thanking Him.
5. And, since we can’t get through a study on peace without this song, sing “I’ve God Peace Like A River” together . . . and do the motions! Have fun!! After all, Philippians tells us to REJOICE!!
And one more fun one . . . simply for the “Peace that Passes Understanding” verse:
(Try making your own verses for this one . . . lots of fun and a great way to relieve stress!!)
I took a couple weeks off at Ministry Mom to work on publicizing my new book, “Banana Bread & Mismatched Socks: 100 Devotional Thoughts From My Every Day Life”. If you enjoy my blog posts, you might enjoy my book! It is available in both print and e-book editions (and the print edition features cute illustrations from two of my boys.) Check it out!