Mature Class Study, teacher Leslie Crain.
Peace in our hearts when we’re saved is a special blessing. Christ came that we might have peace with God.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Peace is a state of tranquility, a state of being calm or quiet. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. Strong’s concordance says it means completeness, soundness, welfare. The root word means making amends, making whole or at peace. It is quietness, rest, to join, to tie together as a whole. Peace comes when we’re tied together in a whole with God where he wants us to be. The describing words of peace are: completeness, soundness, quietness, rest. The action words of peace are: making amends, to join, to tie together, to bring multiple parts together to form a whole, to set as one, unity with God. The enemy likes nothing better than to disturb our peace. We need to be aware of how he tries to work in our lives.
I Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Sometimes we feel “it’s not fair.” We get into trouble when we think it’s not fair because it’s not going my way.
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
To do justly – to be impartial or fair in our actions. To do justly doesn’t mean we’re the judge. We each have an idea of what we think is right and wrong in situations. That’s the problem – it’s our idea or opinion of what’s right and wrong. Mixing in our idea of what’s fair, disturbs our peace and oneness with God. What’s fair and just to God is different than our idea. Our peace is going to be disturbed if we look at a situation from a distance, many times not even knowing the facts, and judge it by our own opinion of right or wrong. Unless a situation involves me, I have no business to judge the situation or voice my opinion. The situation is not under my control. God is judge and only he can bring peace to it. The servant had a problem but Paul knew that only God could make him stand. We can only pray and leave those situations in God’s hands.
Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Peter was asking what the other would do. This was after Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him. Each time Peter said yes and Jesus said to feed his sheep. We aren’t to be so concerned about others but give the concern to the Lord and leave it.
John 21:20-22 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
To love mercy – The Latin word for mercy means Christ paid. It implies forgiveness, benevolence, leniency, forbearance, and kindness. God showed mercy on us when he allowed the sacrifice of his Son Jesus on the cross to pay the price for our sin. Loving mercy is showing love when it isn’t deserved and being kind when the other isn’t kind to us. Sometimes it means choosing not to complain when service was less than desirable at a business. We show mercy so God can lead others by not pointing out their shortcomings. Do we point out their shortcomings because they didn’t measure up to what we think they should? If we build a case against someone for their faults, we disturb our peace not theirs. Sometimes showing mercy is not making it difficult for someone who offended you to apologize. If our attitude is if they don’t come to me in a certain way and say certain things and change their attitude in a certain way, then I really don’t think they’re sorry. Sometimes the mercy of grace means correcting someone gently and not acting vindictive. Our peace will be disturbed when we hold on them what we think, instead of letting God deal with them as he desires. The golden rule in Luke 6:31 says, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” How do we want people to show mercy and longsuffering to us? David knew he was wrong and asked for God’s mercy to forgive him. Mercy doesn’t keep track of wrongs.
Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Walk humbly with thy God – For walking humbly the Amplified Bible says, Setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self righteousness. When we let our uplifted self get in the way, peace will be disturbed. To walk humbly, we must have faith that God will lead us in the right way. We can’t hold onto any strings or try to guide it like controlling a horse. We have to be humble to walk with God. We have to believe God will lead us in the best way to live and will guide us in what to avoid. We can’t deceive ourselves to think we have some right or opinion that supersedes God’s. We lean on his understanding, wisdom, and divinity. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). God’s way is so exalted above ours, to know what his next step is way beyond our understanding. God humbles himself to be with us and help us.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him…of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
We need to trust in the Lord as the ruler of our lives. If we start thinking we know better to do than God, we’re leaning on our own understanding. Our peace will be disturbed when we start leaning on our understanding. The enemy is wise at making things look like we know better. By stepping into a situation, our interference can hinder someone or make it harder for someone to serve God. Like the rings in a pool when you throw in a rock, many things can be caused by interfering.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Part of our job is doing things that secure peace and actively pursuing what makes peace. Most of the time, being a peace keeper is by keeping our mouth shut.
I Peter 3:10-11 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
God help us to pursue peace!
I Peter 3:8-12 (Amplified Classic) Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as…of one household], and humble in spirit; and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection]. For, The one who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good – whether apparent or not], Must keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from speaking guile (treachery, deceit). He must turn away from wickedness and do…right. He must search for peace [with God, with self, with others] and pursue it eagerly [actively—not merely desiring it]. For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favorably] upon the righteous (the upright), And His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer), But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil.