Day 1: God is My What? (Peace)
I don't know if you have figured this out yet or not, but we have been looking at the Fruit of the Spirit for the past couple of weeks. The Fruits of the Spirit are the attributes that God's Holy Spirit wants to manufacture in our life. There is a list of what God wants us to have inside of us in Galatians 5:22-23. Those verses say:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
God would love to see a world where these attributes flow from us into others. He wants His followers to be the most loving, joyful, peaceful, patient people on the face of the earth.
So far, we have looked at love and joy, so today, we will look at peace.
Do you ever need a little peace in your life? For most of us, life has probably been anything but peaceful lately. Maybe your family has been fighting. Or your friends are tripping, your grades are slipping, and now you are flipping out.
Or maybe not. Maybe you are reading, and right now, life is good. Family is good, friends are good, grades are good, well, good for you. But maybe, even though everything appears to be going great, deep down inside, you know that something isn't right. There is a nagging in your spirit that won't let you go, and peace, true peace, seems elusive to you.
If we are honest, for many of us, peace has been hard to find, and yet Jesus tells us that He wants us to live a life of peace. So why don't more people experience a peaceful life?
I want you to hear what I am about to say. Are you ready?
You and I will never experience peace until we have made peace with God.
In the beginning, it all started peacefully enough. God had placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, and he lived with God in perfect peace. There was food to be eaten and animals to enjoy. There was land to be discovered and work to be done.
And then God gave Adam a beautiful wife. They were at peace with each other. They were at peace with themselves. They were naked and not ashamed. They felt good about themselves. There was no depression; there was no baggage, just peace.
Their marriage was perfect, and to top it all off, they were at peace with God. They walked with God and talked with God, but then sin brought chaos to their world. In Genesis chapter 3, Eve is standing next to the only tree that God told her not to eat from. The Bible says,
"Now, the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
Satan questioned what God had told her about eating from this tree. He questioned God by saying, "Did God really say you can't eat from this tree?" That is what Satan does. He takes our evil desires and turns us against God. He makes us believe that God is holding out on us.Did God really say…
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.
And then what did that woman do? She took the fruit to her poor defenseless husband, and what could he do but be supportive. The Bible says,
"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." Genesis 3:1-7
Sin destroyed their peace. The Bible says, "They made coverings for themselves." The writer of Genesis is trying to say that they were no longer at peace with themselves.
Depression and low self-esteem came to be a part of their world.
Adam and Eve were no longer at peace with each other. This was the beginning of marriages that were broken and torn. Later, there would be divorce and shattered families.
Adam and Eve hid from God among the trees in the garden because their sin made them feel guilty and uncomfortable in the presence of God. They distanced themselves from God. God called out, and they hid from Him.
Peace was gone. The Bible says that we became enemies of God, and that's why some of us have no peace because we have not made peace with God. Have you? Let's see.
1. Have you ever admitted that you are a sinner and repented by turning away from your sins?
2. Do you believe that Jesus is God's son and that He died for your sins on the cross and three days later rose again from the dead?
3. Have you committed your life over to God? Have you ever told God, "all that I am and all that I hope to be, I give it over to you?"
God says that we were once enemies with Him because of our sin. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be an enemy of God. I have to make peace with Him. Have you done that? If you say yes, you are well on your way to having a peace deep inside you that defies your understanding. If you have not made peace with God, you need to call your Student Pastor or Small Group Leader and wave the white flag and surrender your life over to Jesus.
1. When I was 15 years old, I surrendered my life over to God. When did you give your life to Jesus?
2. What difference has Jesus made in your life?
3. What one area of your life could you be more committed to God today?
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