Life is quieting down a little here and it's time to get back to our Food for Thought Fridays. I'm going to start a series for us on peace. It'll take several weeks, so keep checking in each Friday. I'd love to have you join us for each one.
I've titled this study "Peace, the Prickly Fruit". Why? Because, this is a fruit of the Spirit that is impossible to cultivate without getting poked and scratched! We do not have peace despite the storm, we have peace through and because of it.
Peace is produced through adversity. A cactus can't bloom in a lush, tropical forest. It needs a dry, searing heat to reach its full potential. So do we. We are going to study together three points of peace--peace with God, peace with others, and peace with self. We can expect the going to be dry, hot, and dusty, but the fruit at the end will be sweet.
The first point for us to examine together is peace with God. We'll start off by turning to I Thessalonians 5:23. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." This verse tells us that He is the God of peace. Romans 15:33 also refers to Him as the God of peace. In Isaiah 9:6, one of the names ascribed to the Savior is Prince of Peace. And Matthew 5:9 says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
When we start to porduce the fruit of peace we are carrying on a family tradition. Peace is a family character trait. You can tell I belong to my mother's family by my eyes. Everyone on that side of the family has big, brown eyes. My children have those same eyes. The same should be true of us spiritually. We should be marked from birth. People should be able to take one look at us and tell we are from the family of God because we are marked by the characteristic of peace.
We have all the rights and privileges of a child of the King but we must remember that they are not our naturally. They are ours through adoption, through Christ. Turn now to Romans 5:1. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Without that justification through Christ, we could not have peace with God. It is only by the covering of Christ that we are able to stand before a righteous and holy God.
However, he does not stop here. He not only makes a place in His family for us, He presents a gift to us as well.
If you want to know what that is, you'll just have to wait until next Friday.
Have a wonderful weekend!