Peace - (Audio Recording)
Your Deepest Needs
(Advance Slide #1)
A famous Japanese Christian said that in the cross he found Christianity’s greatest uniqueness.
- He said, “I am grateful for Shinto, for Confucianism and for Buddhism...I owe much to these faiths.
- Yet these three faiths utterly failed to minister to my heart’s deepest needs.
- The deep need of a Savior and all of the spiritual blessings that are a part of being his
(Advance Slide #2)
This next month I want us to study a series of lessons titled, “Your Deepest Needs”
- Last week we studied FORGIVENESS as a deep need.
- We need our sins forgiven.
- Why? So that we can be justified…live righteous before God.
- We know the alternative is that we are eternally lost and are subject to His wrath.
- Also, so that we can experience and live the “forgiven life.”
- Forgiveness is also an expression of love…we accept love and we give love.
(Advance Slide #3)
- We need peace, not just the absence of conflict, and we will define this words better.
- Why do we need peace though?
- The peace that God gives eases and comforts us.
- We will see that the peace of God is a bi-product of our joy/rejoicing.
- Anxiousness is ingrained in us…Jesus taught this.
- Through His grace and mercy we can have peace!
- Just as we can live the forgiven life as can also live the life of peace!
- Understand our need for the Father’s peace.
- More than that that though, so that we can experience the freedom that comes only from Him.
- Jesus himself said,
- "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”John
- "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John
(Advance Slide #4)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:4-7
Paul begins these verses with the challenge/blessing of joy.
- He then instruct (once again a blessing) of bringing every bit of your concerns or anxiousness to God in prayer.
vs. 7 begins with the word “and” this word is more important than it looks.
- It doesn’t just add to vs. 4-6
- Rather it gives the results of the thankful prayer that we read about in vs. 6
Paul says, “If you follow my advice you will have “peace with God.”
- This is a peace that transcends all understanding
- This is a peace that stands like a garrison over our hearts/minds
What is the peace of God?
- Is it an overwhelming sense of contentment?
- Is it the serenity that characterizes God himself, who is never anxious?
- Is it the result of God’s redemptive/justifying work in Christ
- "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
It seems that the peace here is contrasted by the anxiety mentioned in vs. 6.
- This is an inner sense of contentment supplied by God.
- The peace that is greater than “all understanding.”
- Paul, anticipated a reaction of anxiousness by the Philippians and their persecution.
**In this text Paul supplies (actually God does) an attitude that doesn’t fit into normal categories.
- People would normally be anxious, but God offers another alternative…PEACE!
We need the peace of God in our lives!
- We may not think so, before we make a snap decision let’s try to see this as the Philippians would have.
Think about this, anxiety was a way of life for many in the pagan world.
- What do I mean?
- They had a multitude of gods and goddesses to keep happy.
- There were those that they knew about and those that they might not know.
- They saw danger around every corner.
We are lucky…we don’t worship god’s and goddesses today…right?
- We may not call them such but there are things that are pushing, pulling, combating us.
- What does it create….anxiety!
(Advance Slide #9)
God revealed Himself in the person and work of Jesus.
- He forgave us and age us grace and mercy.
- He also gave sanctified, justified, and made us righteous.
- We also receive the deep need of a “peace of God.”
- A certainty (peace) that God is in control…that he hears and answers prayers.
Paul has just announced/blessed the Philippians with this:
(Advance Slide #10)
- Pray to God about EVERY area of your life.
- Prayer and peace like that means that He will keep guard around two targets that create worry.
- In the heart - wrong feelings
- In the mind - wrong thinking
(Advance Slide #11)
What is a deep need that we have?
- We become overwhelmed by anxiety…it’s going to happen.
- We try to fell a void that can only be filled by God.
- Through our justification by faith we can have “peace with God”
- A peace that is beyond our understanding.
- A peace that guards our hearts.
BE AT PEACE WITH GOD!
In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ.
- On the night before Ridley's execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort.
- Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life.
- When asked why and how he stated.
- Because he knew the peace of God.
(Advance Slide #12)
Are you at peace with God?
- Through God’s grace, mercy, sanctification, and justification we received His peace.
- Just as we can live the forgiven life we too MUST live the life of peace!