Summer Sabbath Devotional~ Week 3
I had little Jewish boy in my Kindergarten class a few years ago. He was really a smart and very funny little guy. One day he said to me, "I'm a Hebrew boy." And I said, " I know." To which he responded, "Shalom." I laughed and said, "Shalom." And that was how he continued to greet me all year.
I have looked at the meaning of the word ‘shalom’. It is a good word. It is a nearly perfect wish to offer those you are greeting. The apostle Paul thought so; he almost always starts his letters with 'grace and peace (shalom) to you'. What is it about grace and peace (shalom) that Paul felt was so significant that he included it in nearly every greeting he wrote (see Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and 2 John)? Well, it means peace and who doesn’t want more peace in their life? But it means more than just peace, it means a deep and real peace, completeness and wholeness, to restore, to make good, to make amends. Pair it with grace, which is the FREE gift of being made right and accepted by God. Together, you have a pretty wonderful greeting. And one we all would want over the door of our homes and hearts.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
22-23 …the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
1. In what areas of your life would you like more of the ‘shalom’ of God? (relationships? financial? anxiety and fear about the future? self acceptance?....)
2. In all the places where Paul wishes us ‘grace and peace’ he says, may GOD GIVE YOU grace and peace. How do you think you can RECEIVE this from God? ***
3. It is the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit that can manifest in us the character qualities listed in the verse above. Which of these qualities really stands out to you right now? Which one would you like to ask God for more of?
4. How would your life be different if you had the grace and peace of God more fully in charge of your heart and mind?
***Note: This is a trick question, because you should already be thinking ‘By abiding with God and spending time hearing His voice.’ of course.
May God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ, give you grace and peace! And may you receive it fully.