• Tony Birkhead

UNBOXED Week - 2



Stress is decreased as Peace is released!



INTRODUCTION

What are some of the biggest stressors during the holiday season?


How do you respond to those stressors?

KEY SCRIPTURE

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Exodus 18:14-17

When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray without ceasing

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

How does Praise and Worship help you?


Share a couple of your “go to” bible verses when you’re stressed.


Is it difficult for you to ask others for help? Why or why not?


What are some elements that benefit you to be part of a community of believers?


How much time do you spend in prayer each day? Does it come easily to you or more difficult? Why?


MOVING FORWARD

  • What are some practical steps you can take this week to release peace into your life?

PRAY TOGETHER

Lord give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

COMMENTARY



DAILY QUIET TIME GUIDE


HOW TO HAVE A DAILY QUIET TIME

The QT Guide is designed to help you MOVE with God through Bible Reading, reflection and prayer. It can be completed in about 9 minutes.

UPWARD: 1⁄2 Minute Preparing Your Heart:Invest the first 30 seconds preparing your heart. You might pray, “Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures. Make my mind alert, my soul active, and my heart responsive. Surround me with Your presence during this time.

FORWARD: 4 Minutes Listening To God:Take the next four minutes to read the Bible. Your greatest need is to hear a word from God. Allow the Word to strike fire in your heart. Meet the Author!

INWARD: 2 1/2 Minutes Talking To God (Prayer):After God has spoken through His Book, then speak to Him in prayer.

OUTWARD: 2 Minutes Preparing your Action:Ask yourself this question: How can I take today’s Quiet Time and put it into action throughout my day?


DAY 1

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:18

When it comes to how patient we should be with others, the Bible is pretty clear. In 1 Thessalonians (1 Thess 2:7 and 1 Thess 2:11), Paul compares the patience we should demonstrate to our own family to that which we are to show other believers.

Throughout the New Testament, Paul reminds us to seek peace. In Romans 14:19, he says, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” We find similar statements elsewhere in Romans, again in Ephesians, and in Colossians. Hmmm, I wonder if God is trying to tell us something?

Christ paid for our peace with His blood. This act of righteousness leads to justification and eternal life to anyone who places their faith in Him. When we do so, we are at peace with God, and when we find peace with God, we experience the peace of God, which allows us to extend peace to one another.

So if you find it difficult to live peacefully with those around you, start by turning to Christ. Believe in Him, accept the gift of salvation, and “search for peace, and work to maintain it (1 Peter 3:11).” When we learn to put aside our differences and work together in harmony, it’s a testimony to God’s power.

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.com


DAY 2

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:13-14

This Christmas season, if you keep one thing in mind, may it be love. All of this—all that God has been doing since the Garden of Eden—has been about love. More specifically, it’s been about God’s love-relationship with us. But also this Christmas, keep in mind peace. When you and I come to believe the love of God for us in Christ Jesus, we experience profound peace. At the end of the day, love and peace are inextricably intertwined. (Rom. 5:1)

TO BE HUMAN- Simply put, to be human is to be wired for perfect love. (Gen. 1:26) To be human is to be perfectly loved by God. (John 3:16, 1 John 4:16) To be human is to also have lost the intrinsic knowledge that we’re perfectly loved by God. (Rom. 3:23) To be human is to not know what we no longer know. (Rev. 3:17)

SO LAW CAME IN- Therefore, law came in so that sin would “increase.” (Rom. 5:20) Law literally came in so that people would feel more unloved. Hear me out. Sin is anything we do from doubt that we’re perfectly loved. The enemy (the sin in our flesh) takes advantage of us through the law. He deceives us into doubting God’s love and, in this way, looking to man for approval. We end up comparing ourselves with each other… to find validation… to find love. We end up seeking to earn perfect love from man… something no human is capable of giving us (Rom. 7:7-25). Which drives us to finally look vertically for perfect love.

BUT GOD SENT US CHRIST- The thing is, God knows us. And he loves us so much. He knows that we are enslaved to looking horizontally, to man, for love. So he came into our horizontal view plane. He came to be the singular human in all of history who could make another human realize perfect love. (Rom. 8:3) And in this way, mankind finally found her peace.

AND ON EARTH, PEACE- Christmas is so much more than ever we ever realized, isn’t it?! Friend, this Christmas season, do you know you’re loved? And if so, do you believe it? And if so, do you live perpetually in faith that you’re perfectly loved? Do you live in perfect peace? Never forget, you’re human. Struggling with this is part of our journey on earth. But also, remember Christmas. Remember the one Man who came to make you realize God’s perfect love. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you…” (John 14:27)

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.com


DAY 3

“..and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.”

Hebrews 7:2

God’s righteousness is what always precedes His peace. It is the garment of righteousness that protects against worry. The breastplate of righteousness guards the heart against enemy’s infiltration. In order for you to lose your peace, satan will aim to make you second-guess your right standing with God. Once he wins this battle of identity, it is easier for him to sell you deception and worry – a labyrinth of lies that always leads to destruction.

Beloved, your identity is righteousness. It is Jesus’ righteousness that God adorns you with. You did not work to earn it; it is a free gift. It is not until you accept this right standing that the peace of God can rule in your heart. Prayer for peace might bring momentary peace, but enduring peace will come from continually affirming and believing this reality “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (Romans 5:1 NLT)

The more you accept in your heart God’s verdict about you, the more peace you will have. The more peace you have, the more you will abound in grace; and the more you abound in grace, the more fruits of righteousness you will produce.

Beloved, you can’t produce works of righteousness in order for you to know that you are righteous. No, you KNOW and ACCEPT that you are righteous first; only then will you produce works of righteousness that lead to abiding fruits of the spirit.

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.com


DAY 4

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:15-18

God is always with us, even though we at times cannot sense His presence. There may be situations where we feel really close to Him, yet on other occasions, He might seem distant and uninvolved in our life. As believers, however, we can be certain He is our constant companion whether we’re aware of Him or not. This truth can empower and transform your life.

There are two statements in today’s passage that are the foundation for our confidence about God’s presence with us. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17). Then He added, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love Him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (v. 23). What an amazing reality—the triune God has taken up residence in those of us who have received Christ’s forgiveness and salvation.

With this truth anchored in our mind and heart, we can know that no matter what we’re going through—even the loss of a loved one—we are not alone. Being in Christ, we have His peace in the midst of storms. That’s because there are none more powerful or knowledgeable than almighty God, who indwells us and gives us His comfort and strength.

We must remind ourselves of God’s presence because, unfortunately, it’s tempting to forget. But the more we remember He is with us, the better we can discern His work and comfort in our life. Let’s pray to keep this aspect of God’s character at the forefront of our mind.

Adapted From: http://intouch.org


DAY 5

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3

If you want to overcome fear and worry, then you need right thinking. In other words, think about what you think about.

We’re told in Philippians 4:8, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). If you want personal peace, this is where it begins.

Why is the mind important? It’s command central. With our minds we reach to the past through memories, and we reach to the future through imagination. We need to learn how to think properly and biblically. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (NLT).

The next time you’re troubled, you might try talking to yourself. We need to tell ourselves to think biblically, because it doesn’t always come naturally. For example, we see the writer’s despair in Psalm 42: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” But then the writer continues, “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (verses 5–6 NLT).

Many of the Psalms are songs and prayers. They are honest. And as we read some of them, we may think, “I dare not pray that.” But go ahead and pray that. Go ahead and say, “Lord, I am hurting right now. . . . I’m in pain right now. . . . I don’t understand this right now. . . . I’m struggling with this right now.”

The next time you’re feeling down, the next time you think, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this situation,” quote the Bible to yourself. Remind yourself of the truth of God’s Word. That is what it means to think biblically.

Adapted From: http://harvest.org


MOVING FORWARD

One of the best ways to fight temptation and grow in your daily walk with Jesus is to memorize His Word. Begin to commit His words to your memory this week.

Memorizing may be as simple as repeating the passage aloud 10 times each day or writing it 5 times each day. It may be that you place a 3x5 card on your mirror to remind you each day. Whatever it takes you won’t be let down with His Word in your mind and heart. Consider this…


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

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