September 9, 2012
"The Peace of Christ"
Read John 14:27 and 16:33.
"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" (John 14:27). "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."
The peace of Christ has four aspects to it which I want to share with you.
First, there is the peace of salvation. 1) "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He himself is OUR PEACE." (Ephesians 2:13-14). When we invite Jesus into our lives to be our Lord and Savior, we can have this peace. 2) (Ephesians 2:14-22 teaches that the church is the place where peace and reconciliation should be taking place. A right relationship with Jesus Christ makes possible peace with others. Illustration: Augustine and Martin Luther.
Second, there is the peace of security (knowing where we will spend eternity). "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16; cf. (John 14:1-6). Illustration: 1) Story of an old man who was asked by the young pastor to speak to the congregation one Sunday .... 2) Hymn: "It is Well with My Soul."
Third, there is the peace of Godís Unchanging Love in the Midst of Inevitable Change. Knowing the brevity of life, we should seek to please God and serve one another. "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORDís great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:19-23). A simple philosophy from a prayer by Dr. James Dobsonís father: "Thank you, God, for what we have ... which we know we cannot keep."
Fourth, there is the peace of faithfulness in prayer. "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" (Philippians 4:6-7). Instead of worrying, pray; and the peace of God will be with you. Prayer is the vehicle God uses to bring peace into our lives.
Do you know Christís peace? Are you enjoying that peace? Are you sharing that peace with others? "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).