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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 02/10/21

The Marriage of Love and Peace Is the Best Valentine

Love and peace go together like peanut butter and chocolate - kathy carlton willis

STORY: What Makes Chocolate Better?

“You’ve got your chocolate in my peanut butter.”

“No, you’ve got your peanut butter on my chocolate.”

That might be a throwback to an old commercial, circa 1970s but I sure like the marriage of chocolate and peanut butter. A classic combination.

Every once in a while I get chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I get brave and try new flavor combinations. I thought I’d hate chocolate and orange together, but I discovered they are a yummy duo. When we mix two wonderful treats, they are often more magical put together.

When love and peace are combined, that’s another terrific marriage of flavors. Not simply good tasting, but also a sweet aroma pleasing to the husband of the bride, Christ.

STUDY: Peace is Magnified when Love is Displayed

Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. (2 John 1:3 NLT)
  • Where do we find peace?
  • What three things in this verse come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ?
  • How do you think grace, mercy and peace work together as gifts from God?
  • These three things will continue to be with those who live in truth and love. How do you think truth and love partner together?
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. (John 14:26-28 NLT)
  • Jesus prepared his disciples for the coming events—his last days on earth and the transition to a new era. He promised them the Holy Spirit would come as the Comforter to equip them and give them peace of mind (and heart).
  • Don’t you know it must have been difficult for Jesus to say goodbye to these good friends? They weren’t merely followers at this point, they were closer than family. So, this speech helped to bring good cheer to all of them. They could anticipate the good things yet to come. That’s often what peace of mind and heart does for us—it gets us through the bad news because we have hope of the pending good news just down the road a ways.
  • Jesus called this peace of mind and heart a gift. How have you received and appreciated this gift recently?
  • On a different note, how do you feel about the Holy Spirit being called your Advocate? How does that fit with his role as Comforter?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22 NLT)
  • Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. When peace is manifested in our lives, it means we are yielded to the Spirit and he is at work in our lives.
  • We become the conduit for his attributes to shine through. The traits listed as fruit of the Spirit are produced in and through God. Mankind can never produce these traits in their purest forms—only God can.
  • As we open up our lives to God, he can pour out an increasing amount of these strengths—with his stamp of identity clearly visible all over our lives.
  • How do these spiritual “fruit salad” ingredients blend together to create a better outcome than when displayed individually?
May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love. (Jude 1:2 NLT)
  • I love this prayer. One “more” wasn’t enough! Instead it is a prayer asking God to give them more and more (an increasing amount) of peace, teamed up with mercy and love here.
  • How can a growing measurement of these three blessings make a difference in your life?
A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:8 NLT)
  • If this isn’t a time for love right now, I don’t know when is! How will you minimize the effects of hate by showing more love? What practical ways will you do this?
  • The same goes for peace. I don’t know when a better time for peace would be than right now! How will you minimize the warring going on and create more peace? What practical ways will you do this?
Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. (Ephesians 6:23 NLT)
  • What a beautiful benediction. Read it aloud. Receive it from God.
  • What does faithfulness have to do with peace and love?
  • What real-life way can you offer a similar benediction to someone else?

STEPS: Let’s Put Love and Peace to Work

  1. Receive God’s love. What new way will you look at God’s love for you, to help you with your identity in him?
  2. Receive God’s peace. What new way will you look at God’s peace for you, to help you have an increase in calm assurance, comfort and contentment?
  3. Love someone. How will showing love to someone else help you have more peace? Who will be the recipient of your extra dose of love?
  4. Provide peace for someone. How will offering peace in some way help you both experience more love? Who will be the recipient of your extra dose of peace?

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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