“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are already facing the end of October and the end of the year. What kind of attitude do you have while passing through the last days of the year?
Diligent farmers have growing hope and expectations as the harvest time approaches.
It’s because they will be repaid for all their effort and hard work with comfort and joy.
But lazy farmers do not have the joy of the harvest. They will only have shame and other people pointing fingers at them.
Towards the end of the year, we also check our fruits just like the farmers at the harvest time.
We look back to check how much we prayed and worked hard for God, how we worshiped and how we made our offerings to God, how much we glorified God, and what kind of aroma of the heart we gave up to God to make it acceptable to Him.
But the most important thing is to what extent we followed the desires of the Holy Spirit and circumcised our hearts.
Those who follow the desires of the Holy Spirit will certainly bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
John 15:8 says, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
I hope you will diligently follow the desires of the Holy Spirit, cultivate your heart, sow the seeds of truth and bear abundant fruits.
I pray in the name of the Lord that in this year you will enjoy the joy of harvesting abundant fruit, and more harvest in the years to come, so that you will boldly receive the Lord who is coming back.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the 3rd session of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, and I will talk to you about the fruit of peace.
Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Also, Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
Children of God who believe in Him must pursue peace with all men.
Not only with those who love us, but also with those who hate us or give hard time to us, we have to have peace.
But even though we are believers, if we still have our ego, we cannot have peace.
If we think our ideas are better and right, we are apt to ignore other people’s opinions and become rude.
Even for a matter that is decided by the majority of people, we may keep on complaining if it is not beneficial for us.
Also, we are likely to see the negative points of other persons or other matters and speak in words that malign their names.
We may speak negatively causing people to alienate one from another.
When we are around such people we may feel like we are sitting on a bed or thorns and have no peace.
Also, problems arise and tests and trials are caused where there are peace breakers.
Whether it is in the country, family, workplace, church, or in any organization, the passageway of blessing is blocked and difficulties arise if the peace is broken.
Especially in the church, it is very important to maintain the peace.
Peace must never be broken when we accomplish the works of God.
God cannot work if the peace is broken. It is only giving a chance to Satan to accuse us.
So, we cannot receive blessings or give glory to God.
Then, how can we bear the fruit of peace?
First, we must have peace with God.
The most important thing in having peace with God is that we must not have any barrier of sin between God and us.
When he ate from the tree of the knowledge, Adam couldn’t see God, and so he hid himself from God.
Before sinning, he experienced a very friendly and close relationship with God, but after sinning, he became afraid of Him and distanced himself from God.
It means the peace between Adam and God was broken.
When you act in the truth, you have peace with God and you are confident.
Of course, to have perfect peace without having any barrier of sin, we must cast away all sins and become sanctified.
But even though we are not perfect yet, we can still have peace with God as long as we diligently practice the truth in the measure of our faith.
When we try to have peace with God, we first have to do that in the truth, maintaining peace with God.
We must not break peace with God to have peace with men.
For example, what if we were to bow down before idols or violate the Lord’s Day to have peace with unbelieving family members?
It may seem that we have peace for the moment, but in spirit, it is to break peace with God greatly by creating a big wall of sin before God.
Finally, it will only cause trials and tests, and we cannot have true peace with family members either.
To have true peace among men, we first have to please God.
By doing so, we have to let God accomplish peace.
It is just as written in Proverbs 16:7, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Of course, sometimes other persons may keep on breaking peace with their evil even though we try our best in the truth.
But even in these cases, if we treat them only with the truth, God will work for us.
It was the case with David and Saul.
Saul tried to kill David, but David pursued peace until the end.
Finally, God worked in a way to bless David for his good deeds.
Brothers and sisters, to bear the fruit of peace, secondly, we have to have peace with ourselves.
To have peace with ourselves, we also have to cast away evil and become sanctified.
If we have evil remaining in us, that evil will be agitated according to situations.
If hatred, anger, envy, greed, and such things come up from our heart, how uncomfortable it is!
Also, if the heart of truth and the heart of untruth have similar strength in us, we will feel even greater affliction because the two hearts fight against each other.
As Paul said, “Wretched man that I am!” It is the same for us, we too have trials in hearts.
But if we have firm determination and pray fervently to continually choose the truth, we will finally be able to have peace in heart.
But some people say they are pursuing peace with God acting in the truth, but they don’t have peace in their own heart.
It’s because of their self-righteousness or wrong frameworks in the personalities that they made with the truth.
For example, there are some people who have no peace because they are bound by the frameworks of legalism.
Just like Job before he went through the trials, such people pray hard and try to live by the word, but they are not really able to do it through their love for God.
Instead, they do it with a nervous heart out of the fear of possible punishment that might come if they do not practice the truth.
So, at some point in time if they do not act in the truth, they become easily depressed thinking they may receive punishment.
So, even though they diligently act in the truth, how burdened their heart will be! It means the growth of their faith does not take place either.
In this case, rather than having just the actions and deeds of practicing the Word, they should try to have heartfelt love for God.
They can enjoy true peace to the extent that they love God from the depth of their heart and realize the love of God.
Let me give you another example. There are some people who do not have peace with themselves because of the pessimistic frameworks of their thoughts.
They try to diligently act in the truth, but if they don’t get the satisfactory results they expect, they blame themselves and suffer in the heart.
They feel ashamed before God, and they also get discouraged and lose strength thinking, “Why am I like this?”
They may also lose peace fearing that people might be disappointed in them, or that others will stop loving them and so on.
Such people have to become spiritual children. Children are very simple in believing in the love of their parents.
Even though they do something wrong, they do not hide from their parents. They just go to the parents.
If the children say,”I am sorry, I won’t do that again,” with lovely smiling faces, even if they wanted to scold their children, the parents may also just smile back at them.
This doesn’t mean that you should just pay lip service saying that you will do better and keep on doing wrong.
If you truly want to turn away from wrongdoings and do better, God will not forsake you.
Those who have really repented will not lose strength blaming themselves or get discouraged thinking about what other people may think.
Of course, they may have to receive punishment according to justice, or they may temporarily be held in lower esteem.
Nevertheless, if they are certain of God’s love, then punishment can be received with joy and they don’t have to be self-conscious of other people’s eyes.
Therefore, first of all, we have to believe that God surely loves us and makes us perfect even though we are not perfect yet. That is, if we are really trying to change.
We also have to trust in God that He will lift us up when we humble before Him.
We should not be nervous desiring to be acknowledged by others, but instead we have to keep on storing up the deeds of truth with truthful hearts and deeds.
This way, we can have peace with ourselves and spiritual confidence.
Third, we have to have peace with everybody.
To have peace with everybody, above all, we must be able to sacrifice ourselves.
To have peace, we should not act unbecomingly or try to flaunt and boast of ourselves.
We have to humble ourselves from the heart and lift others up.
We shouldn’t be biased, and at the same time, we should be able to accept different ways of others, that is, if it is within the truth.
We should not think with the measure of our own faith but from the viewpoint of others.
Even though our opinion is correct or better, we should follow others’ opinions unless they are untruth.
To accomplish such peace, we have to sacrifice ourselves for others, even to the point of sacrificing our lives.
Next, to have peace with everybody, we must not insist on our self-righteousness and frameworks.
Each person has different personalities for they are raised in different environments. Each one has received different education and measures of faith.
So, each one has a different standard of judging what is considered right or wrong and good or bad.
Let us talk about the relationship between a husband and a wife for example.
The husband wants the house to be always maintained neatly, but the wife doesn’t do it.
The husband bears with it with love in the beginning and does the cleaning himself. But as this goes on, he gets frustrated.
He begins to think his wife didn’t get proper home education. He wonders why she cannot do something that is so simple and proper.
He believes that when her husband advises her many times she is supposed to change even though she never used to do it. So, he doesn’t like the fact that she doesn’t listen to him at all.
But on the other hand, the wife has something to say as well.
She feels disappointed by her husband thinking, “I’m not living just to clean. Besides, if sometimes I cannot do the cleaning, he ought to do it himself. Why does he complain about it so much? He is really narrow-minded. It seemed like he was willing to do anything for me before, but now he complains over such trivial matters, and now he’s even talking about my family education!”
If each of them insists on their opinions and desires, they cannot have peace.
Peace can be established only when they think from the other’s viewpoint and serve each other, not thinking from their own viewpoints.
Jesus told us that, when we give our offerings to God, if we have something against one of our brothers, we first have to be reconciled to him and then come back.
The offerings can be accepted by God only when it is given after reconciliation.
Those who have peace with God and with themselves will not break peace with others.
They wouldn’t quarrel with anybody because they must have already cast away their greed, arrogance, pride, and self-righteousness and frameworks.
Even when others are evil and they cause troubles, these people would sacrifice themselves to finally make peace.
You church members here often tell me the following kind of testimony.
When your sales in your company increase by the blessing of God and you are loved by your directors, your colleagues may become jealous of you.
Even then, you do not just ignore them thinking they are evil and you can’t help it.
Even though you didn’t do anything wrong, you try to thaw the hearts of the others.
You serve them with more humbleness and do your best.
Finally, they are also moved in their hearts and have peace with you and love you.
When you overcome with goodness as above, you receive even greater blessings.
But during the process of accomplishing peace in this way, we can realize a couple of things.
First, if it seems that the other person breaks peace with you even though you don’t have any hard feelings, you have to check whether it is really the fault of that person.
Sometimes, you do things that give them reasons for them to break peace, but you just don’t realize it.
Because of words or an inconsiderate act, you may unknowingly hurt the feelings of those people.
But if you just think from your standpoint that you don’t have any hard feelings against them, then peace cannot be made.
You can neither realize a fault with yourself nor can you change yourself.
You should be able to discern whether you are really considered by others as a peacemaker.
Also, sometimes, those who are in higher positions may think they have peace, but their subordinates have real difficulties.
They cannot openly express it, but their feelings are hurt. The same thing can happen among coworkers.
Another thing you should think about when accomplishing peace is that true peace must be accomplished within the heart.
Even those who do not have peace with God or with themselves can have peace with other people to some extent.
In fact, if you listen to the Holiness Gospel in this church for a couple of years and accomplish some church work, few of you would openly break peace.
Furthermore, because you learned and heard so many times that you must not break peace doing God’s work, you do not confront others, even though you have differing opinions.
But we cannot say you have born the fruit of peace just because you didn’t act in evil.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is born in the heart that is inside us, not only on the outside.
For example, if the other person does not serve you or recognize you, you feel resentful, but you may not express it outwardly.
You may think, “I have to have just a little more patience!” But suppose the same thing happens again.
Then, you may accumulate resentment.
You cannot directly express the resentment thinking it will only hurt your pride, but you might indirectly criticize that person.
In some way you may reveal your sense of being persecuted.
Sometimes, you don’t have peace in your understanding of others. You just close your mouth fearing that you may have quarrels if you go on arguing.
You just stop talking to that person looking down on him thinking, “He is evil and so self-insistent that I cannot talk with him.”
This way, you do not break peace outwardly, but you don’t have good feelings towards that person.
You cannot agree with his opinions, and you may even feel you don’t want to be around him.
You might even complain about him by talking to others about his shortcomings.
You mention your uncomfortable feelings saying, “He is really evil. He did this thing that cannot be understood. But acting in goodness I still endured with him.”
Of course, it is better not to break peace in this way than to directly break peace.
But in order to have true peace, you have to serve others from the heart.
You should not suppress it and still want to be served. You should have the willingness to serve and to seek the benefit of others.
You should not just smile on the outside while passing judgment on the inside. You have to understand others from their viewpoint.
Only then can the Holy Spirit work. Even while they were seeking their own, they will be moved in heart and change.
When each person involved has shortcomings, they can each assume the blame. Eventually, they can have true peace and be able to share the heart.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who have peace with God, with themselves, and with everyone, have the authority to drive away darkness.
So, they can accomplish peace around them.
As written in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” they have the authority of the children of God, the authority of light.
For example, if you are a church leader, you can help the believers to bear the fruit of peace.
Namely, you can feed them with the word of truth having authority and power, so they can depart from sins and break down their self-righteousness and frameworks.
When synagogues of Satan are created that alienate people from one another, you can destroy them with the power of your word.
This way, you can cause peace to be made among different persons.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, John 12:24 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus sacrificed Himself and died like a grain of wheat and bore countless fruits.
He forgave the sins of countless dying souls and let them have peace with God.
As a result, the Lord Himself became the King of kings and Lord of lords receiving great honor and glory.
If we sacrifice ourselves, die, and seek others’ benefits, it does not mean we will suffer a loss.
We can gain abundant harvest only when we sacrifice, but not when we try to avoid self-sacrifice.
God the Father wants you to sacrifice and die like wheat to bear abundant fruit just like Jesus did.
He wants you to lead numerous souls to God and to be acknowledged as true children of God to enjoy great honor and glory.
I hope you will quickly have the heart of truth, self-sacrifice and service to others in all matters to bear the perfect fruit of peace.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you may enjoy the spiritual authority as the sons of God on earth and become precious persons in heavenly kingdom.