Peace

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What is peace?
What is your idea of being at peace?

Is it a place?

bulletBeing at home alone after the kids have gone to school
bulletFishing on a cool mountain stream during springtime
bulletA cool fall day on the golf course

Is it a circumstance?

bulletAll the bills are paid
bulletAll deadlines are met/no job pressures
bulletA night at home when no one has to be anywhere
bulletNo homework
bulletEveryone is healthy

Financial institutions advertise that peace is a result of wise financial investments.  Insurance companies advertise that having a medical supplement and/or life insurance policies will give you peace of mind.

These things are good and certainly can make life a little better but there is only one source of true peace.  Jehovah Shalom (The Lord is Peace).

Galatians 5:22 says peace is the fruit of the Spirit - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law."

Isaiah 9:6 says Jesus is the Prince of Peace - "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

In John 14:27 Jesus said - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Notice in the following verses how Paul (an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) greeted the saints in Rome:

bulletRomans 1:7  "To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
bulletI Corinthians 1:3  "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
bulletEphesians 1:2  "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
bulletGalatians 1:3  "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen."
bulletPhilippians 1:2  "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
bulletColossians 1:2  "To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father."
bulletI Thessalonians 1:1  "To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace to you."
bulletII Thessalonians 1:2  "Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
bulletI Timothy 1:2  "To Timothy my true son in the faith:  Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."
bulletII Timothy 1:2  "To Timothy, my dear son:  Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."
bulletTitus 1:4  "To Titus, my true son in our common faith:  Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior."
bulletPhilemon verse 3  "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

It is obvious that grace and peace are the common denominators in all of these verses.  Peace is to be evident in our lives.  It is the peace of God that transcends all understanding that Paul is talking about.  Let's look at Philippians 4:4-7:  "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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."

Now look at II Thessalonians 2:16  "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you."  According to this verse, what is the source of peace, the Lord or the circumstance.  Peace has nothing at all to do with circumstances, but everything to do with knowing our God. 

God's word commands that we have peace in our lives no matter the circumstances. 

bulletJesus said in John 15:27  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." 
bulletII Corinthians 13:11  "Finally, brothers, good-by.  Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you."
bulletColossians 3:15  "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful."
bulletI Thessalonians 5:13  "Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.  Live in peace with each other."
bulletI Peter 3:8 -12  "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.  He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
bulletII Peter 3:14  "So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."
bulletRomans 12:18  "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
bulletRomans 14:19  "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (Every effort is an intense pursuit leaving no stone unturned)
bulletHebrews 12:14  "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

Why do you suppose peace requires such an effort, an intense effort?  Now we know where peace comes from and that we are called to do it, why then does it require so great an effort?  According to Jesus as recorded in John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  Take note that Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world.  Sometimes we forget about the peace we have in God because we get distracted by the troubles of this world.  It is a question of focus, are we focused on the troubles of this world or the peace of God?  Also look at Isaiah 57:21 - "There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked."  Where do you suppose the wicked are who have no peace?  They are with us on this earth!  We were all born into a sin nature which is the natural state of man (no peace), at enmity with God.  This is what the world has to offer and it is what Satan accomplished in Adam.  Christ overcame what the world had to offer when He chose to die for you and me on the cross.  That is why Jesus said "But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  Now look at Romans 5:18-19  "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."

Peace requires an intense effort because:

bulletWe still live in earthly bodies which require us to choose each day whom we will serve.  Even though we have been saved by God's grace and are a part of the family of God, we still have to make a conscious decision each day as to whether we will serve God or chase after what the world has to offer.
bulletWe live in a world that offers earthly things, temporary pleasures but at a high price:
bulletwork harder, go faster
bulletmake more money, spend more
bulletsatisfy material cravings
bulletclimb the corporate ladder whatever the cost

How do we find peace in the midst of all the distractions?

bulletRomans 5:1-2  "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand."  So the first place to find peace is in Christ through receiving Him as our Lord & Savior because Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the God of peace.
bulletRomans 8:6-7  "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so."  Now look at Galatians 5:25 - "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."  So we choose daily to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires and we choose God's way.  We walk by the Spirit, we set our minds on the Spirit.   Isaiah 26:3 - "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."
bulletTrust God and take him at His Word.
bulletRomans 8:28  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
bulletI Peter 5:7  "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
bulletI John 4:4  "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater that the one who is in the world."
bulletJoshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified;  do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
bulletRomans 8:38-39  "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
bulletRomans 8:31  "What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?"
bullet Philippians 4:6-7:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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."
bulletPhilippians 4:13  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
bullet Philippians 4:19  "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
bulletII Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
bulletLamentations 3:22-23  "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

You see, God's mercies are new every morning.  He knows your heart and he knows your needs.  Take courage, no matter what circumstances surround you, no matter what your status in life, no matter what type of troubles you face, the Peace of God that passeth all understanding is there for you.  Look again at Philippians 4:7 - "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  When we come to Him in prayer with thanksgiving, he promises peace that surpasses all understanding.  He promises peace.  We must choose to accept that promise and take God at His Word.  We must appropriate that peace in our lives.  In other words, we must examine our life to see what is causing us anxiety or worry or loss of contentment.  In every circumstance, every situation you can choose panic, chaos, worry, speculation or you can choose peace that comes from God.  Whenever you identify an area in your life that is causing anxiety or worry, confess it to God in prayer and then apply God's peace to that specific area in your life. 

Conclusion

What will you choose to set your mind on?  Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

 

Bible verses referenced in this presentation
are from the following translation:
New International Version