Tom Prophet | The Voice of Zion May 2023 - Home and Family Article --
Since the beginning of time there has been unrest and violence. We live in a time when there seems to be little peace on earth. People and leaders strive for wealth and power, which causes turmoil. When we listen to or read the news, it seems that it would be better not to be involved since much of the news seems so negative, causing distress and anxiety.
We children of God pray that there would be peace among nations. We know and pray that God will protect us, come what may.
When I think of the peace that a child of God experiences, it reminds me of the heresy in God’s kingdom 50 years ago. At that time I supported the wrong spirit that was causing a division in God’s kingdom.
I recall a visit to Arizona where I visited with my aunt. She said to listen to the Spirit speaking in God’s kingdom. I returned home from the trip to Arizona with services scheduled that same day. I attended the services at which Finnish minister Lenna Anttila spoke. The services touched my heart. I believed he spoke from the Holy Spirit; I heard the voice of the Good Shepherd. After the service, I told my wife that I wanted to visit with the minister, which I was able to do the next day.
After our discussion, I was able to believe this wrong spirit forgiven. The peace of God came to me. I remember from the book of Acts how Saul was blinded on the road to Damascus (9:18). When Ananias laid hands on him and forgave him his sins, it was as if scales fell from his eyes and he was able to see God’s kingdom.
This is how I felt when the gospel was preached to me: I also could see the beauty of God’s kingdom. The gospel brings heavenly peace to the undying soul.
When we struggle in faith, we have a difficult time greeting one another with God’s peace. But when the gospel frees us from sin, we joyously greet our dear brothers and sisters in faith with God’s peace, that godly peace that comes from our heavenly Father.
We have now experienced another heresy, and we want to thank God for protecting us from the sin of heresy that can lead to eternal damnation. We also wish to pray for those who have been deceived, that they could once again have God’s heavenly peace in their hearts and consciences.
We Wish Each Other Peace
Duane Pirness | The Voice of Zion May 2023 - Home and Family Article --
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22,23
The Apostle Paul, in his Letter to the Galatians spoke of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we travel as God’s children, believing our sins forgiven in Jesus’ name and blood, we are united in love, which is the first fruit of the Spirit which Paul lists. Paul reminds us that if we live in the Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit. Thus, if there are no fruits of the Spirit in the life of a person, there cannot be any faith either.
In my endeavor of faith, I see and marvel over the fruits of the Spirit which so are evident in my brothers and sisters in faith but seem to be so lacking in me. However, I find comfort in this that if I began to see these fruits in myself; would I then be able to see them in other believers anymore?
Peace is one of the fruits of faith listed by Apostle Paul. I often feel that I don’t understand how to be sufficiently thankful for the fact that the Heavenly Father allowed me to be born into the peace and security of a believing home, a secure refuge in this world surrounding me. As a child in this home, it always felt so good when believing visitors came or we went to visit other believing families. I grew up hearing the greeting of “God’s Peace” during these occasions; also when we went to services, or met believers at other occasions, we greeted each other in the same way.
Why do believers use this greeting with each other? Is it just a routine greeting, a tradition which we continue to follow? We own this peace, when we own faith in a clean conscience, and when we greet another believer we acknowledge this along with our joy that we are united in faith through the Holy Spirit. Greeting a fellow traveler in God’s Kingdom with “God’s Peace,” wherever we meet them, does bring us joy and a feeling of unity.
I have often experienced this when I have been somewhere where I may not have known there are other believers present or even have expected to see other believers; like in a store, for example. I have been so happy to see another believer there, and to be able to greet them with “God’s Peace.” When we are traveling with sins on our conscience, a fellow believer’s greeting of “God’s Peace” is a reminder to us to hasten to put sin away through the grace privilege of confession, believing the gospel of the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name and blood.
It is good to ponder whether we are becoming lax in greeting each other. As we enter and leave services, at haps, or in home visits, do we greet those we encounter? A greeting even in passing can strengthen our connection with others and even serve to erase loneliness one may be feeling. Older ones can serve as an example to younger ones in this seemingly small act which nonetheless serves to spread God’s love and peace. During the time of COVID restrictions, a general greeting of God’s Peace not accompanied by a handshake came more into use. Certainly we have complete Christian freedom in whether to shake hands as we greet, but where possible this small physical connection with another believer also can be appreciated by many.
Without peace, a person has feelings of unrest, distress, fear and lack of trust. Let us continue to be watchful that we remain in the peace of God’s kingdom through believing the gospel of the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name and blood.
Questions for Discussion
Describe the feeling of peace. Is it the same for every person?
How does peace come to someone who is given grace to repent?
Believers greet one another with “God’s Peace.” How did this come to be? Has it always been so?
How does it feel to say “God’s Peace” if you are not feeling peaceful inside?
What brings us peace amid a restless world?