Nothing’s worse than trying to fall asleep with knots in your stomach. We all know the feeling- when we refuse to forgive others, anxiety and bitterness can tie us up. But God has provided a way for peace!
PEACE: An untroubled heart that comes from trusting God
MEMORY VERSE: “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” JOHN 14:27 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Trusting God Allows Me to be at Peace with Others
Paul wrote a letter to a man named Philemon (we now know this as the book of Philemon), who had been hurt and wronged by Onesimus. Paul was playing the peacemaker role, urging Philemon with this letter to forgive Onesimus, and to welcome him back as a brother in Christ. After being reminded of the forgiveness Philemon had received through Jesus (vs. 8-9), he is urged to forgive out of love. Sometimes we are offered an opportunity, out of love, to forgive our brothers and sisters who have wronged us. It’s never easy, but God invites us to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). We have been forgiven much (Romans 5:8), and we are invited to extend this forgiveness further to share His good news! God is always good, and we can always trust Him. He is FOR us, and He wants to bring us peace.
- Read Philemon. How would you feel if you were Philemon reading this letter?
- Notice how Paul is encouraging peace and forgiveness between two people. Have you ever been a peacemaker before?
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. What do these verses say about how we are to treat others? Why?
- Even when being a peacemaker sounds crazy, can we trust God? Why or why not?
Bring It Home Activities
1. Create the opportunity for peacemaking practice.
Carve out some time for art in your home, but only bring one coloring book and one of each color maker/crayon. This should lend itself to great conversation on compromise, sharing, and waiting patiently. Be sure to color along with your children while modeling how to make peace with those at the table.
2. Peace Racing!
You will need at least two children to complete this activity. You may choose to incorporate it into a playdate with another family. Take two children to a large room or outdoors if possible. Put a treat or an appealing toy an appropriate distance away from them. Tie their legs together three-legged-race style and tell them they need to work together to reach the treat. If they succeed WITH PEACE, they get to enjoy the treat after you have prayed and thanked God for the blessing of friends and harmony.
If they experience conflict, tell them they can try again after they have prayed. Pray, requesting that God would send His Holy Spirit to enable them to work together cooperatively. Try the three-legged approach to the toy or treat again. Celebrate by saying Psalm 133:1- How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
3. Significant Summer
All throughout the summer, we are challenging parents to make the time they have with their kids significant. Take time this summer to intentionally disciple your kids in 4 areas: Grow, Play, Serve and Rest. You can download a free copy of our Significant Summer booklet filled with ideas for you and your family to not waste your summer. Track the fun things your family did on the Significant Summer chart and tell us about it on social media using #sigsummer14.
When we ask in prayer, God will help us live at peace with others.
Next week we will look at how trusting God can give us peace in all circumstances. We will be looking at Paul’s story in Acts 20:17-24.
How have you and your family been having a Significant Summer so far?