Peace on Earth | Bible Study Strategy

And on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.

Peace on Earth? I look around and see nothing resembling peace on earth. How about you? Just look at politics, pandemic, and PEOPLE (not you… other people ;))….

Peace is defined as freedom from disturbances; tranquility; state or period where there is no war.

When people think about yoga they often picture a quiet, serene atmosphere where people are sitting calmly on their mats, eyes closed with a look of complete peace. There’s soft music playing or sounds of nature like water trickling to create an atmosphere of tranquility. No loud noises, no expectations, no judgements, only grace.

Yoga is many things: calming, unifying, strengthening, and above all peaceful. People seek yoga for stress, anxiety and tension relief in their mind, body and spirit. But does the relief and tranquility leave the mat with you?

Jesus said to His disciples on the day He was betrayed and given over to die, “Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

What is this peace that Jesus has given us?

Let’s unpack this verse and see what the Holy Spirit reveals as we dig a little deeper & linger a little longer.

One of my go-to Bible study methods is to unpack a verse, word by word or phrase by phrase. Whatever stands out to me as I prayerfully read and sit with the verse.

Peace… My peace: “Jesus brings us peace with God, the end of spiritual enmity and striving to secure right standing with God through good works. Jesus also brings us peace of mind and heart, a state of being at rest despite difficult circumstances because we know God is in control.” Asheritah Ciucia Unwrapping the Names of Jesus

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” Colossians 3:15

Right away there’s a difference I notice between the peace of Jesus and the peace known by the world. If there wasn’t a difference, Jesus wouldn’t have said MY peace. What is His peace?

Automatically I think about the storm and the boat from 8:23-27. He was sleeping while the waves swept over the boat and the storm roared on. He wasn’t worry, He wasn’t afraid, He wasn’t bothered by the storm. He knew His power and authority over the storm, over the winds and waves.

His peace fills us when we choose Worship Over Worry, Trust over Tensions, Faith over Fear!!

His peace is understood when we experience it rather than try to explain it.

I leave with you… I give you:

The Holy Spirit teaches and reminds us of the Truth of God’s Word, filling us with assurance that His Word is flawless, True and never fails. The Holy Spirit is our gift from God to be our peace on earth: our comforter, helper, intercessor, strengthener and standby (AMP).

A gift is given, not earned or necessarily deserved. A gift has to be accepted by our heart & mind.

our heart= holds the assurance of God’s power + reign

our mind= meditates on the knowledge of God’s power + reign

I do not give as the world gives: We defined peace at the beginning… it is simply freedom from disturbances, tranquility and no war.

Living in this fallen world means there will always be disturbances, war, fighting, disease, disasters… trouble.

The peace of Jesus if an assurance deep within us that what we see with our eyes is only temporary and that Jesus has already won the war. He overcame the grave, disarming the powers and authors of the enemy (Colossians 2:15)

When our attentions and focus stay fixed on His Truth the disturbances of life stay mole hills rather than growing into mountains. (Isaiah 26:3)

Picture the illustration of the yoga class we envisioned earlier… so much tranquility and freedom from disquieting thoughts as one embraces a mental space of stillness where there is no war of thoughts. Unfortunately this isn’t sustainable or lasting.

Life happens. We need Jesus. We need peace that transcends our human intellect and fills us with joy despite the storms, winds and waves around us.

Do not let your hearts be troubled: The word let stands out to me here.

Let= allow, give space to, embrace

but LET the peace of Christ rule in our hearts… (Colossians 3:15)

We have a choice in what we allow into our lives, our thoughts and our hearts.

The original word troubled means disquiet, restless, to cause one inward commotion, disturb one’s equanimity (composure and mental calmness).

And do not be afraid: afraid= fearful. timid, scared, intimidated, cowardly

it’s time to suit up!

Put on the full armor of God, take your stand and woman UP! If God is for you, who can be against? (romans 8:31)

The Bible says fear not or do not be afraid 365 times. That’s a significant amount.

To imagine this moment when Jesus was talking to His disciples about His time on the earth coming to end. They loved Jesus and didn’t want to live in a world where He wasn’t with them. In this moment, Jesus reassures them that He is sending someone better, someone that can be with each of them at one time to help, strengthen, comfort and empower as they continue to spread the Gospel.

This life offers many, MANY opportunities to fear. There’s so many uncertainties and unknowns.

so, LET the peace of Christ rule in our hearts...


Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lisa TerKeurst

Flowing with Joy Through Advent | Breath Prayer

Breath prayer is an active, reflective prayer linked to the rhythm of our breath. 

We are encouraged to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We can do this with a breath prayer in the stillness of our quiet time and in the business of the day. 

Breath prayer brings our awareness and attention to the nearness of God, revealing the Truth that God’s Holy Spirit is closer to us than our own breath. 

In celebration of the Advent season let’s use Luke 1:46-47. This was Mary’s response to God’s call on her life and the unknown road ahead. Let it be our response too. 

Inhale: my soul

Exhale: glorifies the Lord

Inhale: my sprit 

Exhale: rejoices in God my Savior

In 1719 Isaac Watts, a minister and hymn write, wrote the famous Christmas song Joy to the World. But it didn’t start out as a song. He wrote it as a poem based Psalm 98. Ironically. This famous Christmas carol wasn’t even written about the birth of Jesus, but about His second coming. 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love

Before Jesus’s birth, the whole world waited in great anticipation. They waited for the promised Savior to come. Now that He has come we are no longer waiting for the promise, we have the promise. The promise of salvation and forgiveness of sins. 

Now, we are waiting for His second coming- the time when He comes back to make everything new, wipe away every tear, and to make His home with us. The new heaven and the new earth. 

This season offers us the opportunity to share in the ancient longings for the coming Messiah and the current anticipation for His second coming. During this advent season let’s prepare our hearts and make room for Him by remembering His first coming in view of His second. 

Take some time to pause in His presence this holiday season… practice the breath prayer as you sit in the stillness and as you go through your day.

Colossians 3 | Meditation

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

As we get started, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit. 

  • Simple Seat

Begin with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to His leading, guiding and teaching. May the words of our mouth and mediations of our heart be pleasing and acceptable, Oh Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. 

  1. READ: take a bite
  • Listen slowly to each word, be open and attentive to whatever stands out to you.

When your Words came, I ate them; for they were my joy and my hearts delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

Consider these words & definitions to help you dive a little deeper into this passage. 

Peace of Christ: tranquility of the soul assured of its salvation through Christ; fearing nothing, content with its earthly lot. (related verses: John 14:27, Ephesians 2:17)

Rule: from the greek word brabeuō, which means to govern, to guide or act as an umpire.

Message of Christ: the message Jesus came to preach and teach to us about God’s grace (God’s love and mercy= salvation) for us who believe in Him. (related verses: Romans 10:17, Ephesians 2:17) 

So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing the Word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Dwell: from enoikeō, which means to inhabit, to live, reside and abide in a specific place permanently. (related verses: John 15:5-17)

Gratitude and Thankfulness: the quality mentioned the most in this passage- the attitude that grows from a life filled with God’s word and peace, our response to God’s grace (God’s love and mercy= salvation). (related verses: Ephesians 2:5-10)

Do it all: from the smallest, ordinary to the greatest, extraordinary – all for God’s glory!

In the name of Jesus: in harmony with His identity, in His presence and power, doing things the way Jesus would do them. 

  • Neck rolls 
  • Seated cat/cow
  • Body rolls

Begin with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to His leading, guiding and teaching. May the words of our mouth and mediations of our heart be pleasing and acceptable, Oh Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. 

  • Seated twist
  • Forward fold
  • Butterfly (cobbler) Pose
  • Seated twist (leg over leg)

2. REFLECT: chew 

  • Now “chew” on the words that caught your attention.
  • Linger here.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17

  • Standing Forward Fold 
  • Halfway Lift
  • Plank to Downward Dog
  • Low lunge
  • Lizard (Open Lizard)
  • Plank to Downward Dog
  • Warrior 1 —> Warrior 2 —> Reversed Warrior —> Warrior 2 —> Extended Side Angle
  • Crescent Lunge
  • Forward Fold
  • Mountain
  • FF —> Halfway lift —> Plank —> Downward dog
  • Plank
  • Cobra (inhale LIFT, exhale LOWER)
  • Child’s pose

3. RESPOND: Savor

  • Now “savor” the essence of God’s Word
  • Respond in prayer to what you heard from the Holy Spirit and how the words spoke to your heart.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17

  • Cat (INHALE)
  • Look Overs (EXHALE) 
  • Cat/Cow
  • Plank
  • Yogi Squat
  • Plank —> Downdog
  • Pigeon 
  • Knees to chest 
  • Happy Baby
  • Savasana 

4. REST – Digest

  • Finally, “digest” what God has spoken to you, embedding in deeply into heart.
  • You may want to journal your experience so you can see ho God is moving in your life. 

DECLARATION:

The peace of Christ rules in my heart, since I am a member of the Body of Christ, I am called to peace. I am thankful. The Word of God dwells in me richly. I live Scripture out loud, expressing myself with God-given wisdom as I interact with others. I always have a song on my lips, smile on my face and a heart full of gratitude. Whatever I do, whether in word or deed, I do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, I’m so grateful to God for Jesus. 

image courtesy of YouVersion


Psalm 94:19 | Yoga Meditation

Pair this meditation with your yoga practice along with your favorite worship music. Get your worshipful flow on!

Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight. Psalm 94:19 TPT

Thoughts

In the original language this word means more than simply thinking. It focuses on those disquieting thoughts, those thoughts that keep you awake at night or in the early morning hours, the ones that creep in when everything else becomes quiet. 

Anxious is the word most translations use to describe the thoughts of the Psalmist. Anxious is defined as experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Anyone experience anxious thoughts? 

So how do we experience the soothing comfort of God’s Presence that can calm us down and fill us with delight? 

Hasten to the Lord, 

Hurry, run and be quick to acknowledge the busy, anxious thoughts then strong-arm anything that blocks us from running to the feet of Jesus. 

What anxious thoughts have you been carrying around? Write those down. Give them to God.

Pause in His Presence- Worship, journal & Pray

Psalm 94:19 AMPC

In the multitude of my anxious thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!

God’s comfort:

God’s presence is His comfort. In John 14:16  Jesus tells His disciples that He is going away and God was going to send His own Spirit to live in us. The Holy Spirit is out comforter, helper, advocate, strengthener, standby and intercessor. We have access to God’s comfort and presence at any moment. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laid in bed, unable to sleep, flooded with swirling thoughts that build anxiety within me. I’ve often felt like I’m riding the inside of a tornado- getting hit by flying debris and unable to find my footing because the high winds toss me to and fro. 

I hasten to the Lord. 

The moment we acknowledge these whirling thoughts is the moment we look u and see the hand of Jesus reaching down to pull us out. He lifts us up and out of our disquieting thoughts and comforts, strengthens and  fills us with His peace.

#KeepPacewiththePrinceofPeace

Write out Psalm 94:19. Circle comfort of your presence. Keep circling it as you worship.

Pause in His Presence- Worship, Journal & Pray

Psalm 94:19 TPT

Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight. 

Delight: 

A delight that deeply satiates our soul. This delight is soul deep, internal to external. When we acknowledge the anxious thoughts growing within us and we quickly turn to the Lord, there is great, fulfilling soul deep joy waiting for us. 

Our circumstances may not change. 

Our situations may not be different. 

Our struggles may not be gone.

BUT, we have confidence and peace to face every obstacle with joy because our feet are planted in Jesus not being tossed to and fro by our thoughts. 

The original word for delight, in this verse, means to sport or to wear, to put on. You can see when someone is delighted. They “wear” their joy in their physical appearance. Like a championship sports team displays their accomplishments by wearing special, commemorative shirts or hats, we display the joy that is unshakable and eternal. 

Let that Jesus flag fly high!!!!

Praise Him OUT LOUD! Let your praises be louder than those anxious thoughts.

Pause in His Presence- Worship, Journal & Pray

💭Meditate&Reflect: 

“For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. For he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!” Psalms 95:3-5,7 NLT

Hope & Expectations | Ep. 15

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“God formed Man out of the dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive- a living soul! Genesis 2:7 (MSG)

We were created to worship God alone… take a listen and find out how God showered me with His love and peace as i surrendered all my fears to Him && put my hope and expectations in Him alone.

I feel seen, completely known and loved. 

Enter in. Sink deep. Surrender all to the one who holds the stars in place.

“Holy Yoga is about removing the barriers little by little, seeking to know Him rather than to know about Him, and to experience Him as fully as possible.” Brooke Boon, Holy Yoga: Exercise for the Christian Body and Mind. 


Scripture to Read

Genesis 2:7

Joshua 1:8

Psalm 10:4

Isaiah 43:1-7

Matthew 5:14

1 John 4:4


Podcast

Click Here to Download on Podbean


Resources

Holy Yoga: Exercise for the Christian Body and Mind. 

Experiential Worship 

Interested in what Holy Yoga is all about? Check this out! 

Holy Yoga Morning Flow


Ways to Follow & Stay Connected to the Rising Oaks Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

Podcast

Tired of Waiting? | Ep. 14

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God is methodical, strategic and absolute. He is always working when our natural eyes cannot see. However, it can be hard to wait when we are excited and full of expectation for what’s to come. Are you tired of waiting? Do you find the wait difficult to remain faithfully consistent in your current season? Me too!

Today’s episode we will dive into 1 Samuel 17 and gain wisdom from David, before he became king of Israel. There are three things David does that, I believe, propel him from being stuck in the wait. He was already anointed king of Israel, yet we find him in the pasture tending his father’s sheep while King Saul’s army is fighting against the Philistines.

How does David rise to the challenge or the battlefield?

How does David remain faithful during the wait?

How did David become the right person when opportunity came knocking?

Take a listen to this week’s episode to find out.


Scripture to Read

1 Samuel 17, Mark 11:24, Mark 6, Psalm 27:1-23


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Wait and See by Wendy Pope

God is Working in Your Waiting by Jade Mazarin

Worship in Your Waiting by Kristen Tabb

Interested in what Holy Yoga is all about? Check this out! 

Holy Yoga Morning Flow


Ways to Follow & Stay Connected to the Rising Oaks Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

YouTube

My Momma Heart to Yours | Ep. 12

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Scripture to Read

James 5:16 amp


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson

31 Days of Praying Scripture over Your Children 


“One of the greatest dangers of family relationships is that we become bind to beauty and mystery simply because we live in such close proximity. 

You need a vision for your children…. with your spiritual eyes you can see what that person can be.” Mark Batterson, Praying Circles Around Your Children

A Jesus Perspective | Ep. 10

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Scripture to Read

John 9:1-3, John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Colossians 3:1-3, Hebrews 3:1, 2 Timothy 1:10


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Article: Three Ways to Overcome Gun Violence in the United States by Dawn Sutherland

Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful 


Questions for Reflection

  1. What are you focusing your attention on? What are you thinking about? What do you notice?
  2. Are you more concerned with the eternal or temporary? With the internal or external?

Memorize & Meditate

Write out 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Meditate on this Truth.

Memorize this Scripture, let it renew your mind and change your heart.

I will fix my eyes on Jesus, to see the unseen and eternal. 


Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your word. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Your Word breathes new life and into dry and weary bones. Help me to see people the way you see them. Increase my love for people and You. Fill me with hope in the eternal to overflow onto others and be a light in this word. Thank you for the cross and for Your love, that’s everlasting. Please give me a Jesus perspective.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Good Wife | Ep. 09

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Scripture to Read

Genesis 2-3, 1 Peter 3:1-2 & 4, Proverbs 31, James 5:16, Ephesians 6:18, Ephesians 5:33, Proverbs 5:18, 12:4, 13:3, 19:13, 21:9, Psalm 62:5, Ecclesiastes 9:9, Titus 2:4


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

His Needs, Her Needs

Love & Respect

Balance Study by Beth Jones

Power of a Praying Wife

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband  


Questions for Reflection

  1. What was your biggest take away from this episode?
  2. What steps can you take today, right now, to love your husband better?
  3. What Biblical truth can you hold onto as you trust God to walk with you through this process?
  4. What activities can you and your hubby do together?
  5. Why do you want to be a better wife? How can this benefit others?


Memorize & Meditate

Write out 1 Peter 3:1-2, 4.

Meditate on this Truth.

Memorize this Scripture, let it renew your mind and change your heart.

I trust in God to make my husband holy, I will be a woman who reverently and worshipfully lives as an example. I will be a wife who honors my husband and lives with a  gentle and quiet spirit. 


Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for my husband. Thank you for the precious, wonderful gift of marriage. You have shown me your love through the union you joined together. Help  me be the wife that my husband needs. Help me love him well, showing him the love of Jesus. Fill me with You more and more so that I can serve my family well, being a light that shines for you. I love you Jesus.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spiritual Gifts

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Scripture to Read

1 Corinthians 12:4-6-11; 27-31, Romans 12:3-8 & Ephesians 4: 11-13


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Research & Define

Your gifts. Study what it means to have the personality and gifting that are you.


Questions for Reflection

  1. Take the Spiritual gift assessment: here
  2. What drives you? What do you really love to do?
  3. Why?
  4. How is God using your gifts where you are currently?

Related Scripture

Psalm 139

Philippians 1:6

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (Paul’s example of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within him.)

1 Timothy 4:14

2 Timothy 1:6

Colossians 3:23-24


Memorize & Meditate

Write out Colossians 3:23-24

Meditate on this Truth.

Memorize this Scripture, let it renew your mind and change your heart.

It is the Lord you are serving. 


Prayer

Father God, thank you for creating me and calling me your masterpiece. Help me to see You in everything and become more aware of how you are and can use my gifts right where I am. Renew my mind and heart with Your love. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. How mighty are your works and how vast are your thoughts. I love you Jesus!

In Jesus’ name! Amen.