BE FREE INDEED! – Finding Peace

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For three weeks, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder unwrapped the life-giving series Finding Peace during a time when peace has been in short supply. He explained that God’s love is not circumstantial but provisional. He spoke about how, without God’s love at the center of our lives, our actions and reactions can be motivated by fear instead of love. The great news is that God’s love has the ability to drive out all fear, in every event, circumstance, and uncertainty.

Ben pointed out how our inner anxiety—based on our fears of not being in control, not getting what we want, and not knowing what to do—not only has a damaging effect on us but also on those around us. Anxiety is contagious … just check your news feed.

Here’s the good news—There is no need to fear.

We have a choice: we can accept fear as our motivator or embrace love as the center of all our responses. Not just any love but God’s unconditional love in all circumstances.

How? We accept the gift of salvation through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our perfect Savior. Because of our faith, we become recipients of his perfect, unconditional love. In Greek, “God’s love” is called agape. Without it, we are running on empty.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Never forget that “… God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16). No need to fret. We who love the Lord are children of the King of kings. He promises that all things work for our good, even the scary, painful stuff. Isaiah 26:3 promises, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Thank you, Lord!

Over the weekend, Perrysburg Campus Pastor Josh Whitlow completed the series by explaining how we can live a life of peace at all times. Remember, God’s peace is provisional—it doesn’t go away when times are tough. But the noise in our heads can separate us from that peace. Josh explained how to stay in the rhythm of living out God’s peace every minute of every day. Over the next four days we will be taking a closer look at Numbers 6:24-26 and how we can live in a rhythm of non-anxiousness. I invite you to journey along with us as we look at practical steps we can take to create a rhythm of peace.

Questions:
How peaceful are you? What do you spend your time thinking, talking, and worrying about? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Next Steps:
Pray. Bring your concerns and anxieties before the Lord multiple times a day. Recite Numbers 6:24-26 while remembering this is God’s special blessing for you:

“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.”

Purposefully read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Substitute the word “agape” where it reads “love.” When we learn to turn down the noise and pray, this love saves us and keeps us in peace all the days of our lives.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with your perfect peace through my relationship with Jesus Christ who is my Savior, and the only one who is truly righteous and brings me before your throne to hear and answer every prayer I pray. Lord help me to live a peace filled life by making good noise canceling decisions in good times and in hard times.  In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.


This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.


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