Week 4 – Day 1 Living Peacefully
Focus: finding peace with self leads to peace with others.
Scripture: After reading John 14:1-27, ask the Father to help you identify areas where you feel insecure and troubled.
A few words spoken by another can throw you off track and disrupt your peace. Jesus’ words had this effect on His disciples as He prepared them for His heavenly departure.
Identify a time when you experienced great pain from the words of another. Circle the words below that best describe how you felt.
Shocked judged angry sad
Mistreated condemned undeserving wounded
Frightened confused overwhelmed convicted
Surprised attacked wronged alone
Hurt betrayed embarrassed other___________
How do you think your feelings matched those the disciples experienced as Jesus explained His departure?
WHAT ABOUT ME?
The disciples left everything to follow Jesus. Then Jesus told them He was going away. He was actually leaving them! Philip and Thomas spoke for the group in verse 5 and 8. They desperately wanted to understand Jesus, and they wanted an answer to the question: “What about me?”
Self lies at the heart of many problems we face in dealing with people. We want to know: Why are you telling me this? What am I supposed to do? How should I feel? Who is going to help me? Why don’t you understand me? Don’t you care about me? What’s going to happen to me?
Think of a situation in your life when you asked similar “self” questions. What questions did you ask?
Sharon works in an office with five other people. They often have lunch together and chat during breaks. Recently Sharon realized that Alesa is acting differently toward her. She seldom speaks and when she does it’s with a condescending tone. Alesa’s unfriendly attitude is beginning to bother Sharon. She wonders what happened to cause Alesa’s actions.
Think of a time someone’s attitude made you wonder why he or she was acting a certain way toward you. Check the questions you asked yourself.
o Why am I being treated this way?
o What did I say or do?
o What did someone else say about me?
o What can I do to make everything okay?
o Other _____________________________________
JESUS OFFERS HIS PEACE TO YOU
“Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. 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
Circle the words in the above passage that describe how you felt in a recent unsettling situation involving another person,
Jesus said we don’t have to be troubled, afraid, agitated, intimidated, or unsettled. He has given us His peace! Just like the disciples and Sharon, we sometimes let the words and behaviors of others cause us to feel confused. It’s good for us to recognize our unsettled feelings, but it’s not, productive to get self-absorbed in the process.
When we move our focus from self to the peace that Jesus offered, we open the door to understanding by getting self out of the way. Take a look at John 14:16. Jesus told us we are not alone in achieving peace. He has sent a Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Strengthener, and Standby to remain with us in every situation we face.
Are you experiencing people difficulties? If so, write the initials of three people who come to mind.
1. _________________ 2. _______________________ 3. ______________________
Focus on one of the people you just listed. To what degree are you troubled in that relationship? Circle the number
1 2 3 4 5
Not troubled very troubled
We will continue to explore ways to achieve God’s peace in our relationships. Lift the particular person you identified to the Father. Ask Him to lead you to a place of peace so you may be a witness for Him in this relationship. Rest assured that the Holy Spirit is by your side to give you all the help you need.
What is God revealing to you in today’s study?
As you close today’s study, start your prayer time with this prayer:
Dear Father, Thank You that Your peace is available to me. I know You love me. I know You love all Your children. I realize it’s Your desire that I do my part to get along with _________________. Be my helper as I give this relationship to You. I love You.