DECEMBER WEEK 4
Biblical peace is found in its purest form as shalom. This Hebrew word encapsulates more than just peace as the institutions of the world would define it. True shalom is experienced in wholeness and completeness. This wholeness can only be found in relationship with King Jesus. YHWH’s family will experience shalom in its fullest expression when Jesus Christ ushers his family into eternity.
THIS WEEK’S VIDEOS
Instructions for Daily Reading
Each day as you engage the Scripture, we recommend following this pattern of devotional reading.
[Take a brief moment of silence to quiet your heart.]
- Read the Scripture aloud.
- Seek out where King Jesus is at work in the Scripture.
- Pray over the Scripture.
- Discern how this Scripture impacts your life.
[Demonstrate loyalty to Jesus in one tangible way today.]
MONDAY - 12/20
Monday: Proverbs 16:1-13
Group Discussion & Reflection: The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus afforded us the ability to have an eternal peace on the inside of us. We are asked to extend that peace to everyone on earth in hopes of bringing unity to all people. In verse 7 it says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” How can we bring peace to others today?
1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. 3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. 5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. 6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. 9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 10 An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11 A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. 12 It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.
TUESDAY - 12/21
Tuesday: Psalm 85:1-13
Group Discussion & Reflection: The biblical definition of peace is rooted in the person of Jesus who afforded us an eternal peace. We can choose a peace that sustains us through times of turmoil and chaos. In verse 8 it says, “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.” Has God provided peace for you in seasons of difficulty? How did that change your circumstance?
1 Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. 2 You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin. Selah 3 You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger. 4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!
5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? 6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. 8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. 10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. 12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. 13 Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.
WEDNESDAY - 12/22
Wednesday: Hebrews 12:3-17
Group Discussion & Reflection: The current state of our peace is not predicated on the season of life we are in but rather the future that is promised by the Lord. When we endure a crushing, our hope is in the promise of a better future as expressed in verse 11, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” How has difficult seasons prompted peace in your life? Why do you think it is so difficult to have peace?
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
THURSDAY - 12/23
Thursday: 1 Peter 3:8-22
Group Discussion & Reflection: Peace is not so easily defined in the world we live in and can often confuse how we interpret it. In verse 11 we see Peter stress the importance of seeking peace, “let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it”. How can we actively seek peace today? Are there things in your life that prevent peace?
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
FRIDAY - 12/24
Friday: Psalm 29:1-11
Group Discussion & Reflection: The sacrifice of Jesus gave us access to the presence of God whenever we want! Isn’t that great news!? We have a direct line to the giver of peace which the author of Psalms 29 recognizes, “May the Lordgive strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” What area of your life do you want peace in? How can you invite God into that area and ask for peace?
1Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
VIDEO CONTENT COURTESY OF THE BIBLE PROJECT