Sunday, 10 March 2013

Extraordinary Life Week 7 - Blessed are the peacemakers

Small Groups – Week of March 10, 2013

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

1. How would you define peace? [Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Evangelical Theology explains: In English, the word "peace" conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife. The biblical concept of peace is larger than that and rests heavily on the Hebrew root slm (salom), which means "to be complete" or "to be sound." The verb conveys both a dynamic and a static meaning "to be complete or whole" or "to live well."]

2. God is the original peacemaker. Through Christ we now have access to God and He took the cost of peace upon Himself. Read Romans 5:1 and 5:8. How does this knowledge impact you personally?

3. Peace making can be very costly. Why does God bother with making peace with us?

4. Pastor Bill said that it is hard to be a peace maker when we don’t have peace in our own hearts. Read John 14:27. How has the peace of Christ helped you be a peacemaker?

5. How can we be peacemakers? Pastor Bill suggests four ways: 

i. Be peacemakers in our whole lives, not just at work or in the public eye. We must extend grace in our homes to our parents, siblings, spouses and children. 

ii. Be peacemakers in the church. Purse the path of love and unity there, and not division. Forgive when offended and apologize when you offend. Welcome those who are different from you. 

iii. If there is oneness, there must be grace. Step into broken lives and refrain from being
afraid of the darkness and hurt that is there. Notice those on the fringes, pull back from
the crowd personally and minister into their lives. 

iv. Lead people to Christ. There is no greater peace than the peace God offers. This is both an objective peace (we are no longer God’s enemies) and a subjective peace (we feel internal peace).

Spend some time talking about each of these four categories. Have people in your group share experiences of when they witnessed or participated in peacemaking in any of these categories. What difference di d the peacemaking make in people’s lives? Are there any specific relationships that God is asking you to be a peacemaker in? Share some of the details.

6. Pray for each other, that we would both know the peace of God and spread peace in our many relationships.

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