The apostle Paul wrote to the church of Galatia and said, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." The message of Galatians 5:22-23 still resounds today. If we are born of the Spirit (John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Romans 8) it is natural for us to bear the fruit of the Spirit. What does that mean? In this space today, I would like for us to consider "PEACE" as a fruit of the Spirit.
The Bible uses the word peace 397 times. It conveys some wonderful concepts. Some definitions include "a state of harmony, tranquility"…. Another says PEACE is "the absence of hostility, the absence of mental stress or anxiety." The Bible uses this word is translated from two very interesting words: Shalom (in the Hebrew) means completeness, soundness, welfare, PEACE. Eirene (in the Greek) which often refers to the inner tranquility and poise of one who whose trusts in someone or something. In this case, it would refer to one who trusts in God. In Matthew 5:9 called His disciples to be PEACE-maker, not a PEACE-faker! Why? As a disciple of Jesus, the Son of God, I need to emulate Him. He is called the Prince of PEACE (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus wants to reconcile us to have PEACE with God (Romans 5:1). The God of hope once to fill you with all joy and PEACE (Romans 15:33). That PEACE that God provides can surpass all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). The Lord of PEACE gives PEACE in every way (II Thessalonians 3:16).
How many of you know atheists and agnostics? How many of you know people who have drifted from the faith? They will argue that God, if there is a God, then He is one of wrath and destruction! Heard that before? Let me tell you what kind of a God we have… The God we serve dreamed for eternity about creating humans in His image. He spent six days creating the perfect paradise so we could live in PEACE. And He only gave them one rule! Don’t eat from one tree! Unfortunately humanity sinned, and yes death came into the world, but it was humanity’s choice, not God’s! Then, this loving God spent a few thousand years trying to make it right! He sent His One and Only Son! Why? Because He wants us to be at PEACE with Him. We sinned. We fell. But He loves us enough to bring us the PEACE we don't deserve.
Our world is not for PEACE. The opposite is the reality. Have you watched the rioting and violence on television. We hate watching the news because of the darkness that is overwhelming in this world. You can listen to people all day long talking about PEACE and equality. But that’s not what many worldly people want. You know what they want? They want freedom… they just don’t want YOU to have it. Sure they want freedom of religion, as long as it’s a religion of the state. They want certain lives to matter, as long as other lives are less valuable. They want to avenge the deaths of innocence, as long as we turn a blind eye to child sex trafficking and abortion. They want freedom of speech, so long as you don’t offend them with what you say. They want freedom of the press, so long as you are politically correct. They want to tear down statues, as long as they can keep the ones that agree with their political point of you. And freedom of petition and the freedom to assemble PEACEfully… are you kidding me? More respect is given to corrupt politicians and looters than the victims. As we watch the violence taking place in cities all over this country it seems people have lost their minds. No, they haven’t lost their minds… Just their consciences. Seared with a hot iron (I Timothy 4:2). If you want to live in slavery or under a dictatorship, that’s your choice, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what our founding fathers had in store for this country. And I know it’s not what God wants for His people.
What does God want for His people? PEACE. A life of PEACE. A church of PEACE. Relationships and homes filled with PEACE. You and I can't have it without Him. PEACE is a product of heaven and cannot be bought, manufactured, inherited, or stolen. PEACE is a gift from God it is the fruit of His Holy Spirit, and you need it! May God bless you and keep you! Choose PEACE.
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds