Peace ..... April 19, 2020
Jesus said, “Peace be with you” Luke 24:36 & John 20:26 ESV
What does it mean to have peace? Some will interpret peace as the absence of conflict, or the reduction of stress in our daily lives, but the absence of these conditions by themselves does not bring true peace. Some refer to peace as a place or something that creates a feeling. For example, when we view a beautiful sunset, or hear the ocean waves, or feel the brush of a gentle breeze on our face, or the sound of water in a stream gently running over the rocks, or listening to birds singing.... these are just a few conditions that we might relate to being at peace, and to some degree, they can give a sense of peace. However, true peace is something we experience from God through Jesus Christ. After the resurrection and in the days that followed, Jesus appeared to different individuals and said these words... “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36.... John 20:26 ESV I believe God wants us to have peace in the middle of every situation in life, yet it can be so difficult at times because we can become overwhelmed with those situations in life that surround us. When we listen to the nagging life questions in our mind, perfect peace can slip away from us, leaving a void that fills us with worry, despair, and the dreaded question..... “What if?” Note that I said, “nagging questions that leaves a void.” I do not believe we live in a bubble of protection, and thus we do not experience the difficult situations of life, but in those times you must intentionally seek the working of the Holy Spirit in your life as a Christian. Jesus, even before his death, told of the promised Holy Spirit that would come. These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; MY PEACE I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:25-27 ESV While we have not heard Jesus speak words that our physical ears can hear, we can hear him by the Holy Spirit when reading the Bible. How else are we to learn how we should live? When we read the Bible, we can see how Jesus fulfilled every prophecy that was foretold concerning his life. We read about the miracles of walking on the water, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, and a host of other miraculous events surrounding his life. We also read his promises to all those that love him and are disciples / followers of Christ. Promises such as.... “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 20b ESV I will never leave you nor forsake you” Hebrews 13:5b ESV I want to touch on three areas this morning that may bring concern in our lives. By no means are these the only three, but for the purpose of this teaching .... of peace .... let us:
NOT BE ANXIOUS: This is not teaching us to be irresponsible, but rather to not worry about the “what if’s “of life. There is nothing more basic than food, drink, and clothing, yet we are told not to worry about these things. Jesus said, “I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about you body, what you will put on.... Matthew 6:25 ESV...... (read vs 26-32) But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will anxious itself. Sufficient for today is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34 ESV God sees all and knows all, and we are to trust him..... even if we are hungry. The most important thing to remember is that He is on his throne and nothing escapes his watchful eye. As a little slogan states on one of my coffee cups.... I Got This ~ God . And he really does. NOT WORRY ABOUT OUR HEALTH: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases. Psalms 103:1-3 ESV As I stated last week... there is a condition of which all the world is infected. It is call sin, and the result is death. We must remember as Christians, we will die a physical death. Whether we die from the coronavirus or some other condition, we are not to live and die as one who has no hope. When we remember that God, through His Son Jesus, has forgiven us all our sins, we can have peace knowing we are forgiven and healed /raised from death to life everlasting. This gives us peace that the world cannot give nor take away, for we are in Christ. Each day let us bless the Lord with all that is within us because of His wonderful gift of mercy and grace by which we have been saved.... from the disease of sin and death that allows us to walk in the marvelous light while remembering his words..... “Peace be with you.”
NOT GROW WEARY: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10 ESV If you are growing weary, it could be because your peace is waning. Renew your focus upon God, and the life you have in Christ. In a time when everything has changed, let us be careful to live in a way that is reflective of who we are in Christ. When a person becomes weary, they tend to slow down and start looking inward toward self and not look for the opportunities of ministry. We need to be building each other up in Christ and sharing Him with those who may not know him. The peace we have in Christ should be evident to all who are around us because we are not leaning on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledging him, that he can direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:6)
—If you find yourself anxious....thank him for today and all your blessings.
— If you find yourself worrying about your health... Sing the hymn.... Holy Holy Holy .... to bless his name. Then sing.... Amazing Grace... and thank him for the healing in your life of being freed from sin and death.
— If you find yourself growing weary.... remember this is just a season in life. Go find someone who is needing encouragement or assistance in some way and do it. Don’t turn inward but intentionally look outward for an opportunity of showing and telling the message of Christ. PEACE be with YOU!
Because of HIS Grace ~ Pastor David