At our weekly EHBC Church Staff meetings, we are going through the book LEAD by Paul David Tripp. Tripp shares 12 Gospel principles for leadership in the church. We are in Chapter 2 discussing what must a “Gospel Community” be in a leader’s heart for their church family.
This past week’s discussion centered around humility, patience, and forgiveness.
Let me start by saying this, I love how God works in and around our lives. For the past couple weeks, I have been doing my planning and preparation for a breakout session I’m teaching for ministry leaders about their “Soul Care.” What God has taught me these past years is that my attitude towards others, how I display Christ’s love, is directly proportional to my relationship with Christ, my trust in Christ, and the peace I receive and accept from Christ.
With that being said, I would like to share with each of you what I shared with the staff that morning. It’s the fruit of Peace.
“Peace, I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27.
When I read the words Jesus speaks in John 14:27, it brings be comfort and encouragement. See, one of my “unloving” attributes is that there are times I’m impatient and, in those times, I can become unkind. I set my heart and mind on what the world says is the standard, not what Christ says. However, I don’t travel far on that self-centered path before I’m reminded of that promise from Christ. Yet, it’s now my choice as to what I will do with that promise.
It’s the promise of His Peace. Jesus leaves it and gives it for each of us. It is ours to receive and apply to our hearts.
This word peace, in the original Greek, means “freedom from worry.” Freedom. We have freedom from worry when we are enveloped with Jesus Christ’s Peace. Freedom. I read that and I also know that we have Freedom from sin through Christ. Freedom from pride, anger, bitterness, jealousy, impatience, and so much more that turns my focus from Christ.
The world’s peace is selfish. It has you focused on your feelings and what you want and need so that you can get your way. Your agenda will be accomplished by the world’s peace at anyone’s cost. The world’s peace is the deeds of the flesh that Paul writes about in Galatians 5:19-21. There is no freedom in the world’s peace.
I close with my observation of what scripture revealed to me from John 14:27. In that verse, God’s peace is threefold:
-First, it is Peace with God. Jesus leaves us His Peace through His sacrifice on the cross. By that we now have Peace with God.
-Next, it is Peace within Ourselves. By receiving His Peace, our hearts are no longer troubled. We now have that Freedom from fear and worry.
-And last, it is Peace with Other People. When we allow His Peace, His Love, to permeate and infuse our soul, we reflect His Love. We begin to display a 1 Corinthians 13 love.
Yes, there is so much more to be revealed in this study of Christ’s Peace and I’m willing to continue to learn and glean more each and every day. However, it is my choice whether I will receive and apply His Peace or allow the world’s definition of peace to control me.
Here’s to praying we each choose His Peace.