June 20 – Peace – Let God’s Peace Control Your Heart

Read Colossians 3:12-17

When our minds are set on the truth of what God has done — His love, His power, His mercy, His grace — we know the peace of God. And it changes everything.

Peace. It means wholeness. Like when all the parts of a whole are complete and working together in unity.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says this about the kind of peace that Paul writes about here: “According to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, (it is) ‘the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoerer sort that is.”

Jesus Christ let Himself know death. He died. Then He conquered death — for Himself, for us — so that you and I can know peace. Now He lives, having conquered death, making a way for us to live in this assurance of salvation, unafraid of whatever may come.

We have this peace. We know His peace. But until we let it rule our every passion, desire, and heart-intiated thought, we will not live as He designed us to live.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (v15).

That word “let” means something like “act as an umpire”. So we let the peace God secured for us be the filter through which we experience life.

How might your life change if you were to let God’s peace make every call for every part of every moment of your life?

Would it change the way you relate to your spouse in the midst of dealing with a wayward child? Maybe it would transform your drive to work, even when you’re running late and everyone else on the road seems to be taking a leisurely Sunday drive.

If you were to allow the peace of God actually rule in your heart, how might it affect your next doctor’s visit? The phone call you’ve been dreading? Lunch with your co-workers?

When we filter all we encounter through the peace that God has made a way for us to have, our lives are different. We start doing things in His name, finding purpose in the mundane, freed up to stop worrying.

Give it a try. Start today. Let God’s peace be the umpire for every part of everything you do. Then take note. And thank Him.

Bria Wasson

June 19 – Peace – Peace No Matter What!

Read John 16:25-33

The verses you just read are situated at the end of what has been called “The Upper Room Discourse.” To fully appreciate their value, let’s attempt to understand the setting of these instructions Jesus gave to His disciples.

The location of the instruction is two-fold. It began in an upper room owned by a man who had allowed them to use it. But, even though theologians describe it in terms of the upper room, much of the teaching continued beyond that room (John 14:31), presumably enroute to the Garden of Gethsemane.

The occasion was the Passover. This was one of the most important celebrations in all Judaism. Through it, Jews reflected on a time centuries before when God delivered His people from Egyptian captivity. In the celebration, they remembered the protection their Heavenly Father provided to all who had placed blood on their doorways.

But there was more to this occasion than just the Passover. This was the night prior to the crucifixion. Jesus understood that (Jn. 13:1)…and His disciples were struggling with the reality and the imminence of His departure (Jn. 13:36-14:8). Consequently, the disciples were moved with sorrow and confusion and Christ’s instruction was filled with encouragement and hope.

While the disciples were troubled in their spirits, the Lord assured them that His absence was a necessity. It would allow Him to prepare a place for them (14:1-6). And even in His absence, He would send another Counselor/Comforter (14:16, 17). He confidently pointed out the advantages of the Spirit’s indwelling presence over His own physical presence (16:7).

The “Upper Room Discourse,” you see, was designed to speak peace to troubled souls. But its truths reach beyond a dozen men on a journey from a second story room to a garden. The promise of peace extends through the centuries and around the globe to all who face the tribulation that is so much a part of life in this world. It is a peace in the world’s tribulation made possible by the very One who has overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33)

Steve Kern

June 18 – Peace – Know Jesus, Know Peace. No Jesus, No Peace.

Read Romans 5:1-11

There are often times that I think to myself of what my life would be like without Jesus. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in my life, how much different would my life be? How would I handle conflict? How would I handle stress? How would I handle the unknown? When I look over my life, the choices I have made, the things I have done, and the places I have gone, I am so thankful for the work God has done in my life. It’s nothing short of miraculous.

Have you ever thought about how different your life would be without Christ? I can tell you that when you do that, you become so thankful for Christ in your life. Perhaps you are not a follower of Christ. Maybe you are thinking to yourself, “I just don’t get what’s so important about Christianity? Why would I want to give control of my life to a man in the clouds?” Let me tell you.

One thing that you have with Christ is hope. Romans 5:3 says, “…But we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…”. With the events that are taking place in our world today, it may be easy to say that the world is falling apart. However, we know that with Christ, we praise God in the midst of tribulation because we know that God can work in those times to make us better. Ultimately, He can use hard times in our lives to bring about hope. What kind of hope? Hope that there is a better life coming, hope that because of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, we are destined for eternity in Heaven.

What makes Jesus so amazing? How do we get peace through God? It is because we revel with what He has done for us, and not just us, but humanity. Verse 6 tells us that when we were helpless, when we were enemies of God (v. 10), when our lives were destined for Hell, Jesus died for our sins. Although our lives were plagued with sin, Jesus looked past that. Even though we openly reject God and sin against Him, He still died for us. The punishment for your sins has already been paid for. Because of that, we are reconciled to God, we have hope and peace because we know that after this life, there is another one waiting for us and it is one that will bring us eternal joy and happiness. Will you join?

Jake Lawson

June 17 – Peace – Prince of Peace

Read Isaiah 9:1-7

For many, verses 6 and 7 were very familiar. In fact, you may have read them or heard them in the days leading up to Christmas. They were prophetic statements about the birth of Jesus…and yet, they were made nearly 700 years prior to His entrance into the world.

This was a time of animosity between the Jews themselves. The once unified nation had split into 10 northern tribes called Israel and 2 southern tribes called Judah. What’s more, there was animosity between the northern tribes and Assyria. In addition, Isaiah predicted future conflict between Judah and Babylon. In many ways, “peace” was a foreign concept.

It can certainly be said that animosity describes our world today. Over the last years, racial issues have arisen that I thought had long been in the rearview mirror. Threats of terrorism have us on edge. There is an undercurrent of fear that has forced people to introduce precautions and protocols in schools, sporting arenas, and other public places. Tensions between nations bring with them bloodshed and accusations. Yes, “peace” is in many ways a foreign concept for us as well.

Isaiah’s prophecy, however, pointed to a light on the horizon for the nation of Israel. It was a coming day when God would fulfill his promises extended to Abraham and to David. It was a day when conflict would be foreign. It was a day when a child would be born who would be God in the flesh, King over Israel, and Prince of Peace.

But the Prince of Peace will not only benefit God’s chosen descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This peace will not only permeate a relatively small parcel of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It will be universal and endless.

But there are two important details about this peace that we must understand:

  1. That peace is not for all. It will only be those who have come to faith in Christ that will experience it. Will you experience it?
  2. That peace is yet future. Although the Prince of Peace entered the world 2000 years ago, at His second coming He will reign and bring with Him this harmony and tranquility. Are you anticipating it?

Steve Kern

June 16 – Peace – The God of Peace

**Peace. It sometimes feels hard to find. But God promised us peace throughout His Word. In fact, He offered Himself in the form of humanity and conquered death so that you and I can know peace. He is the God of Peace. He gives peace. He calls us to peace. That’s why we will spend the next 5 days reading His words about it and pondering them.**

Read Judges 6:1-24

I sat in traffic the day after my grandma died listening to Christmas music. She loved Christmas.

God of Peace

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” started playing, and I listened to the words for what felt like the first time ever.

(I)n despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

I found myself agreeing with the anguish of the song, even though I knew my grandma would be spending this Christmas with Jesus in heaven.

Where is the peace?! What’s the point of Christmas bells that ring loud and strong and proclaim peace on earth when hate and evil and sadness and terrible things happen and make living here on earth so hard?

Then in what felt like a whisper from God, the despairing lyrics turned to hope.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep . . .”

God whispered hope through my car radio that day. God is alive. He is with me. This is peace.

Jesus was born on earth in the form of a baby. God took care of the desperate status of mankind when He gave His Son to death and brought Him back to life, having conquered all that threatens our peace and our life.

God is with us. He does not sleep.

He assured Gideon of this in an Israelite winepress. We read it today.

Hiding from the Midianites, Gideon was afraid and discouraged. I guess he figured they wouldn’t know about his wheat harvest if he took it into the winepress to thresh it there.

That’s when God told Gideon he had all he needed.

“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior!” (v12)

Don’t you love Gideon’s honesty? “Pardon me, my lord, but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (v13)

It’s a question I asked that day in the car. I’ve asked it more than once. Maybe you have, too. If the LORD is with us, how can we be in this mess!

But God assured Gideon that He was with him. Therefore, he had all he needed.

We have that strength, too. God is with us. He is not dead! He does not sleep!

The God who is Peace lives in those of us who trust Him to lord our lives. And we can be sure we have all we need for all we face. Because God is peace.

Bria Wasson

January 16: Abigail the Peacemaker

Read 1 Samuel 25

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

Peacemaking, I imagine, had become a lifestyle for Abigail. After all, she had lived with a man who’s name means fool for who knows how long. No doubt this was not the first time she’d had to smooth things over.

But this time it was more than just a smoothing over. God was about to use Abigail to bring peace to her home as well as to protect the peace David had in his heart.

David and his men, about 600 in all, hid from Saul in the Wilderness of Paran. As such, they provided protection for their countrymen and their livestock. Protection from hoodlums who might try to steal from them or harass them.

It was customary for those being protected to offer some sort of tribute or gift of thanks. That’s why David sent his men to Nabal. He merely expected what was known to be a common courtesy.

Nabal, though, in his arrogant selfishness, refused to share his abundance, even with David. That made David angry. It made him so angry, in fact, that he readied his men for a vengeful attack against Nabal the fool.

I find it interesting that just one chapter ago, we find David refusing to take vengeance against Saul. David chose, instead, to trust the God of peace for that revenge. But here he is, ready to take matters into his own hands, unwilling to trust God with the fool named Nabal.

Indeed, such revenge would have disrupted David’s relationship with God and the peace he’d enjoyed from fearing Him.

I believe God had prepared Abigail for this very day. When she heard about her husband’s foolishness, she made a plan. And God used her to make peace for her home even while protecting the peace David knew in his heart.

When we trust God for life through Jesus Christ, we have peace with Him. You and I can live in God’s peace.

It’s what we’ve been studying for the last three weeks.

So what does peace look like for you?

Does God want to use you to help bring peace to others? Are you willing to risk humiliation like Abigail was? Do you look to protect the peace God gives? Are you willing to let Him use you to be the peacemaker He has called you to be?

Will this year be the year of peace for you? It can be!


January 15: Pursue Peace with Others

Read Romans 12:9-21

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  (v. 18)

When it comes to family life (not to mention all relationships), the above verse is one of the most important you and I can seek to apply. It is simultaneously a call to responsibility and a call to relaxation; a call to work and a call to wait.

Peace is the goal towards which the Spirit of God is directing us. His desire is that we experience peace with everyone:  peace with a spouse, peace with children, peace with parents, peace with siblings, peace with grandparents, peace with coworkers, peace with neighbors…peace with everyone. Peace is much more enjoyable than tension. Being able to converse with another person is preferable to avoiding him/her. Having a real smile in an encounter is better than one artificially pasted on. God wants genuine heartfelt concern rather than the fake, “how are you?” when we don’t really care. Peace is the goal.

With that as the goal, God calls us to responsibility. We are to do everything we can to pursue peace.  When tension, conflict, and disagreement arise, we are called to action. What will that look like?  It could be any number or things. Give up the avoidance. Let the other person know how much you were hurt. Apologize for what you said. Forgive from your heart. Those are just a sampling of possible responses. The key, however, is that you do your part. Don’t necessarily wait for the other person to make the first move.

But then here comes the relaxation part. When you have done all that you know to do…all that you can do…all that the Spirit of God prompts you to do, you can put your head on your pillow in peace.  Words like “if it is possible” and “as far as it depends on you” make clear that there is more to experiencing relational peace than just your response.  You cannot control how others respond to your peacemaking efforts. When you have done your part, you can wait, pray…and relax.

With whom do you need to take responsibility? Are there relational tensions, where you, having done all that you can, need to stop trying to control and start to relax?


January 14th: Pursuing Peace with Others

Read Romans 14:13-23.

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.” (NIV, Romans 14:13)

The context of this whole passage begins a few verses earlier with Paul’s encouragement to us to not argue with people over disputable matters.

The challenge for us always is that we are usually fully convinced we are right and that the issue isn’t disputable. However, the more you learn about any area, the more you learn there are good people on both sides of every matter who disagree–and disagree from carefully thought out positions.

Paul is telling us that wherever we go and whomever we meet, we will always be dealing with human beings. Humans tend to be well-meaning but fallible. None of us knows all the truth there is to know about every subject. On top of that, there are people who are at all different levels of maturity and knowledge in their faith.

Paul tells us to take all of that into account when dealing with people. Rather than setting them straight all the time, we are to “make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” (v. 19)

We don’t always have to prove ourselves to be right. We all have it wrong to some degree as we have not yet reached perfection. We all need grace. We all need understanding. We all need the very thing we need to extend to each other. God’s grace.

Why not take a moment right now and ask God to show you any ways you may have become argumentative with others, insisting on showing that you are right rather than showing God’s grace? Thank him for his patience and understanding with you as you have learned and grown in your faith and ask for the wisdom it requires to do the same for the others in your life.



Jan 13 – Sometimes Peace is Not the Plan

Read  Matt 10:34-39  and  John 16:33

Thinking about it in human terms, it must have been difficult for Jesus to imagine being betrayed by his friends.  He, and He alone knew full scope of what was about to happen and Jesus was overcome with anguish by the weight of it.  Being God, Jesus had complete understanding of the fullness of human sin he was about to accept punishment for.  We cringe at the horror of what the Romans did to Jesus physically, but as finite beings, we have no way of comprehending the breadth and depth of the punishment Jesus was dealt in the spiritual realm after His earthly death.  Jesus understood it all completely, thoroughly, with perfect foreknowledge.

Had it been you or I in that situation we would have been tempted to question God; to ask God why.  We would have probably wanted to know why after living life devoted to God, obeying Him, honoring Him, we could end up in such an awful predicament.

Following God’s plan sometimes leads to hardship in the life of a believer.  Just as was the case with Jesus, there is an enemy seeking our destruction.  Following God’s will only makes us that much more a threat to that enemy, and therefore, a bigger target.

If you were in Jesus’ shoes you would likely be very angry at Judas and Peter, wondering how after all you had been through together, they could turn their backs in your time of need.  You would also be angry at the rest of the disciples who, having been told of your impending betrayal and death, and having been asked to pray with you were found sleeping not once, but three times!

We cannot control the actions of others.  We are all sinful and weak, prone to fear, and generally consumed with a need for self-preservation.  Following God means involving yourself in the lives of others who are likely to hurt you at some point.

Finally, you might have been tempted to question God’s motives.  How could a loving God, a God who is perfect in love, cause such pain?

The truth is, and this might be the most difficult truth to grasp, that sometimes God’s plan involves our pain.

Jesus’ prayer in the garden did not end with the words “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”  His very next words were; “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Jesus, in perfect submission to the will of the Father, knew that it was the will of the Father that He pay the penalty for our sin through His suffering and death.  And so, Jesus did not consider his own desires, He accepted that of paramount importance God’s will be done and He completed it.

It would be rash and inaccurate to assume that God intends you harm or trouble, likewise it would be foolish to assume that no harm or discomfort will befall us in our lifetime simply because we believe.  Jesus said it best Himself in John 16:33  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”



January 12: Peace Promises

Read John 14

When I stop and really listen to all that goes on, I can get overwhelmed with the possibilities. My peace feels threatened as my trust in God wavers.

A 22-year-old woman has a stroke and passes away. A fire burns down a home and all its belongings. A car accident leaves a friend’s husband in a coma.

Overwhelmed constantly lurks in the dark when what-if threatens the happy of what is.

But God’s always-companionship stays steady and strong. This side of heaven is hard. But it’s temporary. God’s Spirit is always with us — to strengthen us, to give us courage, to give us peace.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:26-27).

  • Colossians 2:9-10 says, “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and (we) have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” So — the fullness of Holy, Almighty, Creator God lives in those of us who call Him Lord. We can access His power and strength in any situation! Peace is ours because of Him.
  • Psalm 74:16 says, “The day is (God’s), and (His) also the night; You established the sun and moon.” It’s all in His hand. So we can sleep and truly rest on our pillows, because it’s all under His authority.
  • I Peter 3:10-11 says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must . . . seek peace and pursue it.” Because when we seek and pursue real and true peace (the kind that only He can give), we will be able to rest and consequently love life and see good days.


The command to “not let (our) hearts be troubled”, you might notice, comes only after Jesus gave us His promise. He goes with us. He walks us through.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” (John 14:27, Amplified).

So when car accidents and sickness happen, He walks us through them with the very fullness of Himself and in His strength.

We can settle in and rest in Him, the Giver of Life. The Giver of Peace.