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Another Side of Sunday: “Peace”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

Pastor Bonnie reminded us Sunday, peace is only one part of the fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is one fruit with nine different characteristics. We do not get to pick and choose from its attributes. It is one holy fruit.

Just as a peach is fuzzy, round, juicy, orange, sweet, fragrant, tender to the touch, edible, and tasty. The peach is all those things wrapped up in one. You cannot separate its elements from itself. So the fruit of the Spirit is identified in the same way, by all nine of its attributes in one.

She showed us the word for peace in American Sign Language. Watch the YouTube video to see what she demonstrated.

She saw in the sign a connection to coming to God in prayer, turning our anxieties over to Him, and letting them go…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

Yet I see something else too…

Watch the video again.

The hands start palms together, but crossed. As they rotate around they briefly come into the traditional symbol for prayer. They continue to rotate to a horizontal position, then spread apart and out from one another.

What I see is what happens in our relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

We start at crossed purposes with God. It is only Jesus who makes the way for us to be at peace with the Father where we can come to Him in prayer. [Palms together but crossed, then rotate to the position of prayer, hands pointing together up to God.]

Once Jesus brings us into peace with God the Father, we then can turn and reach out to the world, offering His peace to others. [Palms rotating to a horizontal position, then stretching out away from ourselves.]

Jesus as the Prince of Peace is the ONLY source of peace: spiritual, relational, physical, emotional.

He alone rules over peace. Who has it and who doesn’t.

Do you know peace in your world? your heart? your mind? your spirit?

Maybe it’s time to let the Prince of Peace rule in your life.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-17 ESV

[Feature Image Photo by Tamara Menzi on Unsplash]

December 23

[Just two more days until Christmas. We pray you are coming to know the indestructible joy He came to bring to those who believe. Begin by reading the December 23 devotional in The Dawning of Indestructible Joy.]

He shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.

Micah 5:4-5

Yes, there are enemies on earth that must be defeated if we are to have peace. But, oh, the great enemy called sin and judgment – that is the greatest and worst enemy. The gospel at Christmas is: Christ has trampled this enemy underfoot at the cross. So for everyone who trusts in him, their sins are cast into the depths of the sea.

– John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 71*

Inner peace. Peace with God. These are the blessings of Jesus’s coming to defeat the “great enemy.”

Have you found the peace He offers you? or are you still wrestling with fear of punishment? shame? condemnation?

Come before the Babe in the manger and see yourself as new in Him. Untouched by the temptations of the world. A future of new and good choices yet to be made. Your past redeemed for His use, for the good of His Kingdom.

Ask the Prince of Peace, the Good Shepherd, to rule in your heart and your life.

Lord Jesus, thank You for defeating the greatest enemy: my own brokenness, my own weakness when it comes to temptation, my own rebellion against the Father. Lead me, guide me, direct me in the path of peace. I willingly come under Your leadership and grace.

[Feature Image Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash]

*© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.