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Peace -- Upper Campus

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Chapel Upper Campus


Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, / gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Song we sung “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford

First tragedy: The Great Chicago Fire

On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city. Horatio was a prominent lawyer in Chicago[2], and had invested heavily in the city's real estate, and the fire destroyed almost everything he owned.

Second tragedy: The wreck of the Ville Du Havre

Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. Delayed because of business, he sent ahead of him his family: his wife, Anna, and four children, daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie, and Tanetta.

On November 21, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel[3] and two hundred and twenty-six people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford's daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning "Saved alone."[4] Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters' deaths. According to Bertha Spafford, a daughter born after the tragedy, "It Is Well With My Soul" was written on this journey.

What is Peace?? How do we get it??

The Bible has at least 5 different ways where it talks about peace.

1a state of tranquility or quiet: freedom from civil disturbance

2 state of security or order within a community provided for by law

1 Chronicles 22:6-10 charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon, "My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. 8 "But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood, and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. 9 'Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 'He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'

2 freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

John 14:25-27 5 ¶ "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. 26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

3 harmony in personal relations

Ezra 9:10-12 10 ¶ "And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Thy commandments, 11 which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity. 12 'So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.'

4 a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity

Ecclesiastes 3:7-9 7 A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace. 9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?

5 used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm

Mark 4:37-39 KJV 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

6. as a greeting or farewell

James 2:14-17 14 ¶ What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

7. Peaceable -- Freedom from strife or disorder

Numbers 6:22-26 22 ¶ Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'

Isaiah 9:6 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

“Speaking peace” (10:3): “Peace,” shalom, is defined as completeness, wholeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. It comes from a verb meaning “to be complete, perfect, full.” Thus, shalom is the absence of war and conflict which the entire human race seeks. Jesus is the ultimate “shalom”—the great peace-bringer. At His birth, the angels rejoiced saying, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14–17; compare Is. 9:7).7

Like Mordecai, you too have opportunity to seek the good of others. How are you seeking the welfare of your employer? Fellow employees? Community? Church? Family?

Though Mordecai worked for the good of the people of Persia and the king, his greatest sense of responsibility was to his own people. His motivation to seek their good affected generations of Jews. How do your priorities line up with this order of things? Are family and church at the top of your list?

Do you “speak peace” to those around you? How are you letting Christ live in you to bring wholeness to your spouse? Children? Church?

Are you a balm which takes away discord? A “safe harbor” for broken and hurting people? One who enhances others with intentional and sincere edification? Confess areas where you fail to create unity and wholeness. Ask God to speak His peace into your life in a new way that you will truly be a peace-bringer in these relationships and situations. God will begin to work in these areas. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and yield yourself to God’s work.

Pick one family member and one church relationship to whom you will intentionally “speak peace” for the next two weeks. Ask God to give you insight into needs, areas that require preventative care, ways in which you can encourage, build up, and bless those persons. Record your insights and experiences in a journal so you can see the hand of God more clearly and testify of the “shalom” God brings to you and flows through you.

(εἰρήνη, 1515) “occurs in each of the books of the NT, save 1 John and save in Acts 7:26 [‘(at) one again’] it is translated “peace” in the rv. It describes

(a) harmonious relationships between men, Matt. 10:34; Rom. 14:19;

(b) between nations, Luke 14:32; Acts 12:20; Rev. 6:4;

(c) friendliness, Acts 15:33; 1 Cor. 16:11; Heb. 11:31;

(d) freedom from molestation, Luke 11:21; 19:42; Acts 9:31 (rv, ‘peace,’ kjv, ‘rest’); 16:36;

(e) order, in the State, Acts 24:2 (rv, ‘peace,’ kjv, ‘quietness’); in the churches, 1 Cor. 14:33;

(f) the harmonized relationships between God and man, accomplished through the gospel, Acts 10:36; Eph. 2:17;

(g) the sense of rest and contentment consequent thereon, Matt. 10:13; Mark 5:34; Luke 1:79; 2:29; John 14:27; Rom. 1:7; 3:17; 8:6;

in certain passages this idea is not distinguishable from the last, Rom. 5:1.”*

“The God of peace” is a title used in Rom. 15:33; 16:20; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20; cf. 1 Cor. 14:33; 2 Cor. 13:11.

The corresponding Heb. word shalom primarily signifies “wholeness”: see its use in Josh. 8:31, “unhewn”; Ruth 2:12, “full”; Neh. 6:15, “finished”; Isa. 42:19, marg., “made perfect.” Hence there is a close connection between the title in 1 Thess. 5:23 and the word holokleros, “entire,” in that verse. In the Sept. shalom is often rendered by soteria, “salvation, e.g., Gen. 26:31; 41:16; hence the “peace-offering” is called the “salvation offering.” Cf. Luke 7:50; 8:48. In 2 Thess. 3:16, the title “the Lord of peace” is best understood as referring to the Lord Jesus. In Acts 7:26, “would have set them at one” is, lit., “was reconciling them (conative imperfect tense, expressing an earnest effort) into peace.”

Two Men, Two Martyrs

April 27

April 27 belongs to two martyrs. They never knew one another, never met, and indeed, lived centuries apart. One was married on this day, then killed shortly afterward. The other marks this as the day of his death. The latter was a Christian named Pollio in the town of Gibalea (modern Vinkovce, Hungary). On April 27, 304 he was hauled before a judge who demanded his name. “Pollio,” he said.

“Are you a Christian?”


“What office do you hold?” Pollio replied that he was chief of the readers in his church, one whose duty it was to read God’s Word to the congregation. For that offense, Pollio was promptly burned to death.

Sixteen hundred years later, another Christian named Roy Orpin, a New Zealander, considered missionary service. He had been deeply moved by the martyrdom of John and Betty Stam in China. He went to Thailand, and there, on April 27, 1961, married an Englishwoman named Gillian. She was also a missionary in that country. At the reception the two sang a duet, the hymn “Calvary.”

The couple moved into a shanty in a Thai village and spent their first year of marriage amid growing danger. Violence was escalating in Southeast Asia. Gillian became pregnant, and Roy became afraid. “I had no peace,” he wrote friends, “until I remembered 2 Corinthians 10:5.” Gillian moved to a regional town having a missionary hospital while Roy stayed in the village of Bitter Bamboo to work with a small band of Christians. Suddenly three robbers appeared, demanded his valuables, and shot him.

He was taken to a government hospital, and Gillian rushed to his side. He lingered four days. His dying wish was for his wife to join him in singing a favorite hymn. The two lovers raised faltering voices and sang, “Jesus! I am resting, resting In the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness / Of thy loving heart.” Then Roy, age 26, passed away. They had been married less than 13 months.

Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. April 27

I Will Still Celebrate

Jerusalem, we pray that you will have peace, And that all will go well for those who love you. May there be peace inside your city walls And in your palaces. Let’s pray for peace in Israel! Psalm 122:6,7;128:6b

Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. July 15

The London plague of 1665 was terrible. Most shops closed, orphans roamed the streets, parents wailed, and the dead were borne out daily. On July 16, 1665 businessman Walter Petherick, a widower with four children, took his family to the parish church. The sun was brilliant, the Thames smooth. But the heart of London was sad, and the somber church was packed. The minister read from Habakkuk 3: Fig trees may no longer bloom, or vineyards produce grapes; olive trees may be fruitless, and harvest time a failure; sheep pens may be empty, and cattle stalls vacant—but I will still [rejoice in the Lord].

That evening a horror fell over Petherick. He feared his children would die. He called them together, read Habakkuk 3, sent them to bed, then knelt and prayed earnestly for the first time in years. He cried over each child, saying, “If my children were snatched from me—my fine boys and lovely girls—the treasures that she left me—how could I rejoice in the Lord?” He continued praying in anguish, “Spare him, oh, spare him. Spare her, O Lord; have pity!”

As he prayed he realized he had long neglected prayer and the Lord. He had been more concerned for figs and olives and cattle and harvest than for the things of Christ. He wept, confessed, prayed on—and found peace.

The next year as the Great Fire consumed London, it threatened Petherick’s warehouse containing practically all his earthly substance. This time, however, there was no anguish, just simple trust in God’s will. He later wrote, “Lord, thou hast been pleased by pestilence and fire to redeem my soul from destruction. Thou didst threaten me with the loss of thy choicest gifts that I might set my heart’s affections once more upon the Giver. But the fig tree did not wither; the vines did not perish; the olive not fail. The pestilence did not touch my children; the flames did not destroy my goods. Accept the thanks of thy servant this day and help him, all his days, to rejoice in the Lord.”

Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. July 16

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