Day 1: Read John 14:27. Jesus speaks these words the night before He dies. His followers in the years ahead, these very men He is talking to, would be torn apart by lions in the gladiator pits, they would be burned as human torches in Nero's gardens, they would be crucified upside down, but they weren't to worry. They weren't to be troubled or afraid. He would give them peace. Their world would fall apart, but Jesus would keep them together. Where have you experienced Jesus holding life together? What pieces of life do you need to give Him today? Whom can you pray for today to have a sense of Jesus’ peace and presence with them?
Day 2: Read Romans 5:1. As the Spirit works such peace in our lives, we recognize the power of God’s love at work. I experience peace when I find peace in the Source of Peace. How does faith fuel your peace-perspective in life?
Day 3: Read Psalm 34:14. Dr. John Schindler wrote that of 500 people admitted to one clinic, 77% were suffering emotionally from what he called the C.D.T.’s, by which he meant the Cares, Difficulties, and Troubles of Life. Do you have the C.D.T.s today? The Psalmist’s remedy for such peace amidst the C.D.T.s of his life is to surrender life’s pieces and pursue God’s peace. What C.D.T.s do you need to offload to God today?
Day 4: Read Numbers 6:22-26. These words are frequently used at the end of our worship service. What do they mean for you when you hear them each week? How do all the phrases piece together to give you peace?
Day 5: Read 1 Peter 3:9. When life squeezes you, whatever is inside comes out. That sounds like a bad thing, but it can be something quite good. In a culture of intolerance, how does Peter describe a better way? How can such an approach transform a relationship, a family, or a friendship?
Day 6: Read Ephesians 2:14. In a world that builds walls, we are invited to build the bridge of the cross, for Jesus is the key to make us one. No matter how diverse we are, we all have a common need for a Savior. We all need His peace, and we all need to share the peace that makes each other whole. Who is someone of an opposite viewpoint, background, life experience, that you need to remember God wants to use to build a bridge instead of the world’s walls? Pray a prayer of blessing for that person(s) today.
As shared during this week’s message -- THE SERENITY PRAYER (Part 1) starts off with: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This is what is usually shared.
However, THE SERENITY PRAYER (Part 2) continues with: “Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,. Taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.” -- Reinhold Niebuhr
You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following books: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.