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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#982. Go in peace (2/2/24)

This week, we continue in our Luke - Exploring Who Jesus is series. We will be reflecting on Jesus’ welcome to the sinful woman who anoints Him with perfume in Luke 7. If you find these devotionals helpful, do feel free to pass them on to others. 

‘Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”’ (Luke 7:48-50)

Lesson: We can experience the peace of God by coming to Jesus in worship and hearing Him speak His peace over us. 


You can listen to this devotional at:


How do we find peace in this life? We often look at other people and think that if I had more of that or less of this I would have peace. However, we know that winning the lottery, having the boat, having the palace, having the clothes and the ‘look’ never gave anyone peace. In fact some of the most miserable people are those that seem to have it all. Peace can be sought through mindfulness, through healthy habits, through mantras like having ‘the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ These and other things, of course, can be very helpful, however, any path to peace that excludes Jesus’ death for sin, our being justified in Him and being filled with the Spirit is missing the mark. Any peace that does not derive from God is missing God’s best.  


As we’ve been looking at the account of a sinful woman pouring out perfume, in gratitude, on Jesus’ feet, we read: 

‘Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”’ (Luke 7:48-50)

Jesus pronounces peace over her. A right relationship with Jesus is the path to peace with God and peace within ourselves. Many of us are burdened by other’s expectations; we are burdened with a sense of failing God and others and so get very busy trying to appease our consciences. God wants you, like this woman, to know His gift of peace and to live out of this gift. In every meeting with Jesus, we will experience greater peace. After meeting Him, we are to ‘go in peace’. This happens in at least two ways:


I. Peace with God

Firstly, there is the objective peace that comes through faith in Christ. As we saw yesterday, peace with God on the basis of the cross is an objective reality no matter how we feel. We read:

‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:1) 

Every day and in every meeting with the church, we must focus on the death and resurrection of Christ as the basis of our peace with God. I like to begin all my times of prayer with a remembrance of the gospel of grace. 


II. The peace of God

Secondly, there is the experience of the peace of God’s presence. This experience can be more or less intense and we are commanded: 

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:6-7) 

If we are to experience the peace of God, it’s important to build upon the objective peace and choose to pray and trust in all circumstances. 


Response 

We can experience the peace of God by coming to Jesus in worship and hearing Him speak His peace over us. Any meeting with Jesus in the Word and worship will lead to Him saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” The devil condemns, the flesh doubts and tempts us to trust in our performance, but the Spirit leads us to peace on the basis of Christ. It’s so important that we receive and live out of Jesus’ peace rather than seeking to attain it through our performance with God or people. Here is a great quote about our need to protect this peace: 

‘On a daily basis, the luggage of condemnation will show up on our doorstep, begging us to load it onto our backs.  In opposition to God, our pride will tell us that Jesus’ sacrifice couldn’t possibly be enough to secure the Father’s favour completely and forever.’ (C. J. Mahaney Living the Cross Centered Life, page 128)

This account ends without resolution; we are not told if the religious leaders accepted this woman into their community. Like her, can we ‘go in peace’ when we know that people reject us for our sin? Can we derive our peace from God’s forgiveness even when people may not forgive? Can we live with scorn? Does our peace depend on the validation of people or the validation of God? 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

This week is SIV Week so in this study, we will focus a bit more time on how we can bring our community to Jesus through Serving, Investing and inViting.


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals.


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

This week is SIV Week so in this study, we will focus a bit more time on how we can bring our community to Jesus through Serving, Investing and inViting.


What is SIV?

SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them, demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes showing hospitality and inviting them to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel. 


Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus.

Please read Luke 7:36-50

Note: Firstly, encourage the group to use the devotionals so as to cover more aspects of this text.

  1. Why were these religious leaders so unwelcoming to this woman and how can the church fall into a similar attitude?

  2. What does this account tell us about the gospel?

  3. From this account, what can we learn about bringing our community to Jesus?

  4. Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  5. How, as individuals and as a group, will you seek to bring your community to Jesus? Pray and talk about ideas in order to make a plan.

  6. Who are you regularly praying for to come to Christ?

  7. Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.

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