(From a radio sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi).
The Fruit of PEACE
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Gal.5:22-24).
I want to talk about the fruit of Peace today. I was reading the passage above and I desired to exhort on each of the fruit of the Spirit. I have written or preached on gentleness, faith, in so many versions, and I have written or preached on Meekness or humility, and temperance which is self control.
Then the Lord said, "talk about peace". I said to myself "let me see what the dictionary even say about peace." The dictionary explanation of peace is so simple that I thought everybody knows about these. But there are some things we can apply to ourselves and exhort one another from the various descriptions of peace listed in the dictionary.
We may say we have peace as Christians, but I realize there are some aspects of peace which we can still pray about. Here is the dictionary description of peace (I think this is from the small Webster dictionary).
It says PEACE: freedom from war -- That is when a country and another country are not fighting. When we look at individuals now, freedom from war implies a lot. Do you know that Christians are actually at war against the devils? When devils attack Christians in many ways, through diseases or troubles, that is war. When we have freedom from war, as an individual, it implies freedom from attacks by the devils. This is application of the dictionary meaning of the word to ourselves, and not just peace between a country and another country.
Peace: An agreement to end war -- this is still between two nations. If the Lord says to the devils to cease from troubling you, that is an agreement to end war. The scripture says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee". (Isa.26: 3). This is for an individual. The scripture also said "When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him". (Prov.16: 7). It means there had been a war between the two people. So when God says "peace between the two of you", he makes even the enemy to be at peace with the man. That is agreement to end war. When God intervenes in our situation, he is not just going to beat down our foes before our face now, but he is going to command peace between us.
Peace: Law and order -- If there is law and order in a city there is peace. What about applying this to ourselves? When I am obeying the law of God, I have that peace. When there is law and order even in individual household -- husband love your wife. God commands it. When we begin to obey that law there will be peace; wife, submit to your husband. When we begin to obey that law there will be peace. Children obey your parents. When you begin to obey that law, there will be peace. That is law and order in the family. In the city, when there is law and order there is no rioting, no crime.
Now let's look at the law and order even in a single individual. There is what is called dietary laws --Eating well, what you should eat or not eat. Health laws of the body also-- rest and sleep, exercise often. When you break those laws then there is lack of peace within the physical body. Some elderly ministers who had regretted their lack of exercise over the years had even testified that believers must not neglect the body.
When we obey those laws of health and diet, we will have peace in our body by way of longevity, or good health. You can see that even from the dictionary, the meaning of peace can be applied to our life. Putting ourselves under the law and order of the body will bring peace to our body.
Peace: Harmony --- We always pray for harmony in our families.
When the husband loves his wife, and the wife obeys her husband, and the children are at peace, there is no yelling and screaming. It is called harmony in the household. That is peace. You may say "I have peace in my heart", but if you and your spouse are arguing and yelling at one another, is that complete peace? It's not complete. When there is harmony there is peace.
Peace: Serenity --- Serenity is when you look upon the landscape and there is peace, no mighty wind nor storm, the vegetation is beautiful and calm in the forest. That is serenity. We can apply it to ourselves also. Look at someone sleeping on the bed. When a little baby is sleeping, just breathing smoothly, everyone will say the baby is sleeping peacefully. But if someone is having problem,-- kah, kuh, kah, rah, rah, -- snoring in the sleep with croaking throat like someone being strangled on the bed, you want to rebuke the torment. Or if someone is having nightmares, sudden spells and screaming out of bed, everyone will say the fellow needs deliverance. The bible said "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety". (Psa.4: 8). The scripture also says "Thou shall lie down and thy sleep shall be sweet". So if somebody is having problem with his sleep, a little peace is missing.
I am simply applying the meaning of peace, described from peace between nations, to the peace in individual family and then to peace in your own body. This will help us to know what to pray for and how to command peace for ourselves.
A friend prayed for me in 1981 and said, "let there be peace in his heart in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ". I could feel a sudden calmness came upon my skin as he prayed. That prayer worked. That was a taste of peace on the body. There is still something we have not tasted yet which is the perfect peace which Christ promised. But we can begin to enjoy a measure of the peace from now on as we appropriate it in our lives. The Lord said "peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." (Jn.14:27). When we realize that there is a great peace God has promised us, like a rest, we should desire it. As He said, "this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary soul to rest; and this is the refreshing." (Isa.28:12). We can begin to enjoy the rest. Even the rest within the family. Rest from the troubles and wars. It is war when there is pains and sorrows of life, not to talk of unemployment, indebtedness, and so on, which rob somebody of his peace of mind. We can pray and command the peace of Christ into our life.
The peace of God, which he promised, can go a long way to keep us healthy, and to keep us in good provision.
How can we get this peace?
In Isa.26: 3 & 4 we read "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." That means we can get the peace by keeping our minds on the Lord.
Psa.119:165 reads "Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them". It means if I want to have the great peace, I must love the law of the Lord. We must love and obey the word of God, yearning for more of God.
Also in Psalm 37:7 we read: "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him".
How can we get this peace? We must put ourselves under the law and order of the body to
gain peace in the physical body. We must keep our mind upon the Lord. We must love his word. Peace means freedom from wars. As Moses was quoted to have said (in the movie -- the ten commandments) "there is no freedom without the law", we must obey the dietary laws -- right kind of food, and at the right time; we must obey the health laws -- rest, sleep, exercise, eat well; there is also a law of sowing and reaping -- there are some behaviors and habits that bring repercussion. This is the law of sowing and reaping. "He that sows to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." Do you want peace in your body? Keep yourself away from those drugs, and cigarettes, and alcohol, and adultery, and prostitution, etc.
Col.3: 15-17 read: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
Finally the Lord said "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (Jn.14:27). The Lord Jesus himself is the Prince of Peace. When we have Jesus in us, we can always impart the peace of God into every part of our life easily.
May the Lord give us the grace to abide in that law and order of the word of God so as to have the peace we desire, as the Lord said, "If ye abide in me and my word abide in you, then ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." AMEN!
Words of the Wise
"There is no peace, saith the Lord, to the wicked". (Isa. 48 : 22).
"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness." (Isa. 57:1-2).
"I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isa. 57:19-21).
"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven, there shall no evil touch thee.
In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.
Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.
For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.
Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in, in his season.
Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good." (Job 5: 17-27).
Yea, when God extended peace to thee like the river, these shall be thy portion.
As said earlier, you obtain peace when you put yourself under the law and order of the word of God such as these:
"You were taught to leave your old self -- to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse and worse because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do.
But you were taught to be made new in your hearts. You were taught to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God -- made to be truly good and holy.
So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth because we all belong to each other in the same body.
When you are angry, do not sin. And do not go on being angry all day. Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.
If a person is stealing, he must stop stealing and start working. He must use his hands for doing something good. Then he will have something to share with those who are poor.
When you talk, do not say harmful things. But say what people need -- words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will help those who listen to you.
And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God's proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the time comes. Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.
Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ." (Eph. 4: 22-32). (NCV)
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." (Eccl.11: 1-6).
May the Lord give you wisdom to run the race and to sow into his kingdom.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix AZ 85046
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