Grow Deep: Unlikely Outcomes Edition, Week 3

Week 3: April 15-21

Unlikely Peace

“As they were talking about these things, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace to you!’” - Luke 24:36

I remember as a child hearing my father say, “I need some peace and quiet in this house!” “Okay, Dad,” we responded and went on our merry way.

 While listening to a Christian speaker years later, I heard the same words with a slightly different twist. The speaker said, “There is peace, and there is quiet.” I began to realize I was quiet for many different reasons and not because I had peace. I was quiet because I was angry with something or someone and did not want to express that anger in words or couldn’t. I was quiet because I was frustrated with a situation or a relationship, and it didn’t seem worth the effort to resolve it right then. I was quiet because I felt insignificant or had fears of giving wrong answers to an ongoing discussion. The list could go on.

I know that in those times of quiet, I had no peace. However, in knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord, He is our Peace. My focus shifted from looking inward towards myself to looking outward towards God and His glory. He continues to bless you and me with His unlikely peace during trials and difficulties of everyday life. Our hope is in the Lord as it was for those Christians of the past.

 More recently I read a bumper sticker that helps me to fix my eyes on God, the author and perfecter of our faith.

NO JESUS, NO PEACE.
KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE.

As you read and reflect on the daily Scripture readings for this week, claim the peace that is yours in Jesus!

 

Sunday, April 15

Read: Luke 24:36-49

Jesus’ appearance in these verses of the Gospel of Luke reveals the unlikely peace that comes from the resurrection. The cross was so violent, but the resurrection brought peace. The power of the resurrection opens the message of peace and forgiveness to be shared with all people in all circumstances.

Reflect: Do doubts and fears ever creep into your heart and mind? What does this passage teach us about God? How do His words provide peace in spite of our doubts and fears?

 For the Family: Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection. They were startled and thought they saw a ghost. What was the first thing He said to them? How did He convince them that He was real? How do we know that He is real to us?

 

Monday, April 16

Read: Hebrews 10:1-18

Full and final forgiveness of sins is found in Jesus, the one perfect sin offering. No other sacrifices are needed; He paid our debt in full. Through His death and resurrection, He brings peace and makes our enemies His footstool and our hearts His tablet.

Reflect: How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is your final and perfect Sacrifice for sin? How does this knowledge restore peace in your own life?

For the Family: Jesus died and was raised again so that we would have forgiveness of our sins forever! Why is it important to remember that, especially when we are upset?

 

Tuesday, April 17

Read: Hebrews 10:19-39

Hebrews encourages us, as followers of Christ, to be confident in Christ and faithful to continue meeting together. We are expected to encourage one another in the faith and to refuse to shrink back from the peace and salvation that is ours in Jesus.

Reflect: What troubles/sufferings of life pull us away from Christ and other believers? How can we restore peace to our lives? What exhortations are given in this passage?

For the Family: What does it mean to shrink back? What feelings might cause you to shrink back from something? How does Jesus give us “peace” of mind when we are afraid? He wants us to share His peace and encouragement with others. Think of something you can do as a family that would encourage another person or family.

 

Wednesday, April 18

Read: Hebrews 11

This chapter of Hebrews is an all-star line-up of God’s faithful. In the face of difficult assignments from God, they had the assurance of “things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, they had faith! Though they had not witnessed the resurrection, the power of Jesus’ living, dying, and rising again gave them His peace in their challenging circumstances!

Reflect: The “Hall of Faith Heroes” of this chapter did not rely on physical reasons to believe God. They believed, even though they could not see. What person in this chapter most inspires you? Encourages you? Helps you experience “peace” in Jesus?

 For the Family: Do you think the heroes mentioned in this section of Hebrews were ever worried or afraid about what God was asking them to do for Him? Have you ever been afraid or worried about something you were asked to do? What did you do to calm your fears? What does God want us to do when we are afraid?

 

Thursday, April 19

Read: Hebrews 12

The author of Hebrews points out the role of God’s discipline and the necessity of enduring in the race of faith while looking to Jesus as our example. Jesus endured persecution and death by crucifixion to bring us into everlasting fellowship and eternal peace with Him. In the closing comments, Hebrews encourages us to be thankful for God’s discipline and to be obedient to the God that we serve. God’s Kingdom will never be shaken!

Reflect: Acknowledge and meditate on the thought that we are enrolled as citizens of heaven. What privileges do we have as citizens of heaven?

For the Family: Have you ever run a race? How does God tell us to run the race of faith? What does He promise us if we are faithful? How do His promises give us peace?

 

Friday, April 20

Read: Hebrews 13:1-19

In this section of Scripture we are given a picture of what the conduct of a true believer should be. We are encouraged to be content with what we have and to refrain from coveting, to be faithful and honor our marriages, to treat others with brotherly love, to show hospitality to strangers, and to pray for those who are suffering. Because of His resurrection, we are assured of His peace. Jesus promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that no man can do harm to us. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Reflect: How does verse 5 speak to your life right now? Have you ever felt like God has “forsaken” you? Did you struggle to know His peace because of those feelings? If so, what did/can you do?

For the Family: How does the writer of Hebrews tell us we should act as Christians? Sometimes it is hard to act the way that we should. But when we do, God gives us “peace” of mind. Talk with your family about why it gives you peace to know that Jesus will always be with you … no matter what.

 

Saturday, April 21

Read: Hebrews 13:20-25

These verses are a prayer on behalf of those to whom this letter was written. The author prays that God will make His people complete in every good work done according to His will. He also prays for them to be pleasing in God’s sight through His Son Jesus Christ, the God of Peace. In his final words, the author encourages his readers to show honor to all the saints, and he prays for God’s grace and blessing for them and for us.

Reflect: The book of Hebrews ends with a powerful prayer. How many times have we heard the benediction at the end of a sermon, at the communion table, or when we depart from worship? Are we tuned in to the words “and give you peace”? God is the source of our peace, not the peace of the world, but the peace between God and His faithful people. Tune In!

For the Family: Sin makes us “enemies” of God. But God sent His Son to die for us so that we would NOT be His enemies but could live with Him in heaven forever! That is why Jesus is called the God of Peace. Thank Jesus for who He is and for the love and peace that He gives.