Altogether Peace November 21-25
During this time of year, we sing about “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” But the reality is it seems that we don’t have peace on earth. There are conflicts around the globe, there are broken relationships in our lives, and there is a lack of peace in our hearts. Our “almost” peace seems far away from an “altogether” peace. What we believe about peace directly influences how we seek it. Peace doesn’t come through denial, avoidance, or distraction, but rather through acknowledgement, engagement, and disruption. If you want peace at Christmas, make peace at Christmas.
Day 1 Isaiah 9:6-7
Reflect: How would you describe Jesus’ style of governing and the peace it brings? How do the names of Jesus transform your perspective of life in this fallen world?
Apply: What do people around you think about peace? What kind of peace do they long for in life? How can you allow room for Jesus to be the “Prince of Peace” in your life?
Pray: Jesus, I claim Your promise of abiding peace by steadfastly trusting in You. Thank You that all my soul is longing for can be found in You.
Day 2 John 14:23-27
Reflect: How is peace connected to obedience? How is Jesus’ peace different from worldly peace? How is His peace received? What blocks Jesus’ peace in someone’s life?
Apply: How open and welcoming is your “home” for the Holy Spirit? What helps you focus on God and appreciate His great love for you in Jesus? When has His peace blessed you?
Pray: Thank You, Father, for Your words of comfort. Give me discernment so that my obedience will not simply be the obedience of Your words, but a longing to live according to Your will. May I shed abroad Your wonderful peace to all I meet today.
Day 3 Romans 5:1-11
Reflect: God’s view of peace is that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, our war with Him is over. In your life, what does it look like to find your confidence and joy in what God has done?
Apply: How has God’s peace changed the way you live? To what “unpeaceful” circumstances do you need to apply His peace? Who do you know who needs God’s peace?
Pray: Thank You for justifying me through faith, so that now I have peace with you through Christ. Bring peace into my soul that surpasses all worldly understanding, and make me a light for others to see Your strength.
Day 4 Ephesians 4:1-6
Reflect: What does Paul mean in verse 1? How would you define this peace (verse 4)? Why is it needed? How does Paul describe peacemakers?
Apply: How can this passage help you during holiday family gatherings? For what differences of opinion or controversial topics do you need to be ready?
Pray: Lord, through Your grace, I want to live a holy life, in unity with Your Spirit. Help me have a humble heart and gentle spirit, so that in me, others see Your peace.
Day 5 Colossians 3:12-17
Reflect: How does embracing peace with God (Romans 5:1) impact living in peace with others? Reflect on how love is the underlying factor to both of these callings from God.
Apply: If not peace, what would you say rules your heart most often? What would living a life of peace look like for you? What steps can you take?
Pray: Holy God, thank You for loving me. Clothe me with compassion that radiates from my actions toward others. Give me a selfless spirit that seeks to serve others as an example of Your love.
Put It Into Practice
Week 1: Paul gave the Ephesians practical instruction for living in unity and peace that is especially helpful to practice during the holidays. Look for opportunities to speak truth. Watch your anger. Don’t steal—including someone’s dignity. Practice empathy. Watch your language. Guard your heart. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.