“I just want a little peace “I hear this kind of phrase almost every day. Even people who are really trying to make good changes seem to be addicted to chaos.
Peace is elusive yet we all long for it.
Starting Sunday, I will be leading you in a very practical study that will last five weeks. This study will be about finding and living a life of peace.
I know you are aware of the incredible level of conflict, stress, and alienation people are living with. People have elevated levels of anxiety and anger in their own lives, families and even in church life.
As we are looking around, hardly a week goes by where some angry and alienated soul is in the news venting their feelings with violence on others. Never does an hour go by where violence toward oneself is not perpetrated by someone with suicide. Often these are people who have attended churches but never deeply known Gods way of peace.
Addiction is so common a way to gain a measure of peace despite the damage it brings to long-term health and relationships. Abuse in families and in marriages is a way of life for many. Even among religious people, there are family cultures where bullying and abuse do lifetime damage. Often the Jesus who was Himself bullied and abused and who called us to be peacemakers gets the blame.
The time for a reexamination of the Gospel and to what it offers this world has never been more needed.
The study is called “THE PATHWAY OF PEACE”. This Sunday will be the introduction and each week will build on the other. If you are longing for a growing peace in and around your life, please make this a priority. If you have relationships where peace is nowhere to be found this could really help.
I can’t wait to share this and live it out among you.
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Why are we called to pursue peace?
2 Ti 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1 Pe 3:9-11 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For, “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. 11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
What could it mean to pursue peace?
What is peace?
How is the peace of Christ different from the peace the world gives?
Joh 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
Joh 6:313 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
How would you and your family living in a daily attitude of peace change your life?
What would be different?
Can we be walking in Gods path of peace and have people hate and attack us?
Why would they?
Mat 9:10-11 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and “sinners’?”
Mat 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Mat 10:22-25 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
Mat 10:34-36 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35-36 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
How can being a peace make others angry and be hostile toward you?
What can a lack of peace in a life show?
Rom 3:17 and the path of peace they have not known.”