24th June 2014

Fruit of the Spirit—PEACE

(Part three of a series on Galatians 5:22-23)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is…Peace…”
Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)

Let There Be Peace On Earth, is the title of a well-known spiritual song often sung around the Christmas Season. Some of the words are as follows:
Let there be peace on earth, and let it be begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony…

Peace has long been the desire of nations and individuals. Unfortunately, it is a quality that seems to remain elusive to many. Those who have studied the history of war and conflict estimate that over two billion people have lost their lives as a result of violence down the centuries! That is an appalling estimate, and is testament to man’s apparent inability to solve problems with his fellow man.

As we enter 2014, we witness a number of ‘civil’conflicts raging in various parts of the world. As is usually the case, thousands of innocent men, women and children get caught up in these conflicts and, sadly, end up losing their lives. The world nervously looks on, seemingly powerless to do anything to stop the carnage. What is certain is the fact that warfare is not the way to produce peace. It only serves to harden attitudes further.

A lack of peace is not only confined to physical warfare, but can include strife and conflict within marriages, among families and between neighbours. Unfortunately, our television soaps have a tendency to play-up this fact that plagues society today.

Thankfully, the Bible sheds much light on the subject of peace. The above scripture tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit [of God] is peace. An important title of Jesus is Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The prophet Isaiah, writing hundreds of years before Christ, said, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You” (Isaiah 26:3). Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (or, peace of mind, Matthew 11:28). When we put our trust in Jesus, he promises to give us peace during our struggles and trials.

Individually, we also have a part to play in this pursuit of peace. David points this out in Psalm 34:14: “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

As we live in a world that doesn’t view the way to peace as God does, we will encounter opposition from time to time. Even Jesus didn’t escape ridicule and anger from the ruling religious leaders of his day. However, he never let that opposition steal his joy and peace–and neither should we.  With the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can follow Jesus’ example and be filled with that beautiful fruit of the Spirit – PEACE.

Prayer
Thank you heavenly Father for revealing yourself in your word as a God of Peace. Please help me to follow in the footsteps of your Son, Jesus, who was and is the perfect example of peace.
Amen

Study by John Magowan

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johnmagowanAbout the Author:
John Magowan is a member of the Pastoral Council at Grace Community Church, Lisburn, Northern Ireland, a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Lisburn
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
129A Saintfield Road
LISBURN
BT27 5PG

Meeting time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Stuart Foster
Phone: 07764336760
Email:  bobbbeggs@hotmail.com

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