Summary: Advent Themes: Peace. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
God of Peace:
“May the God of peace…” (vs 20a)
God of Protection:
“…that great Shepherd of the sheep…” (vs 20b)
God of Power:
“who…brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,” (vs 20c)
God of Provision:
“…equip you with everything good for doing his will…” (vs 21a)
God of Purpose:
“... …and may he work in us what is pleasing to him” (vs 21b)
• An elderly Christian lady attended a Christian conference gathering;
• Similar to Kewick/Spring Harvest etc.
• For her it was really the first time she had mixed with Christians from other denominations,
• It was a brand new experience;
• The week really blessed her and opened her eyes to the richness of Christian traditions
• She especially liked it when the preacher suggested;
• Instead of using the normal greetings,
• Why not use one popularised by the early Church.
• He pointed out that the first Christians were so eagerly awaiting the return of Christ;
• That they used the word ‘maranatha’;
• An Aramaic word meaning ‘the Lord is coming’.
• The elderly lady took this idea on board;
• And the next day when people were on route to the restaurant for breakfast;
• She stood by the door enthusiastically greeting everyone with the words;
• “Marijuana, brother, marijuana”.
• TRANSITION: she was close phonetically;
• And yet not really close at all!
• The verses, the benediction, the doxology we read in Hebrews chapter 13;
• Is not a teaser, it is not a leg-puller, an unattainable expectation;
• Speaking of something we all want and need but actually we can never attain!
• In Jesus Christ we can enjoy and experience the ‘peace of God’ in our lives.
• These verses instruct us that the peace of God;
• Can and should be the experience of all God’s children.
• God does not want us to be consumed by worry, anxiety, fretfulness, concern.
• A very worried, anxious, fretful looking Native American Indian walks into a bank;
• He looked at the bank manager and said;
• “Grass gone, well dry, sheep dead”
• The bank manager took him into the back room & the Indian opened up his security box;
• It contained a number of gold nuggets.
• The Indian the replied:
• “Grass green, well full, sheep happy”
• Now the man’s circumstances had not changed;
• But now he realised he had the resources to overcome his circumstances.
• That knowledge removed his worry, anxiety, fretfulness and concern.
• Quote: The Scottish preacher George Morrison defined peace as:
• “The possession of adequate resources”.
• ill: In other words if there is enough money in your bank account;
• You don’t worry when the postman delivers bills.
Now earthly resources are important:
• That is why we go to work to earn enough money to buy these assets;
• But in themselves earthly resources are never enough;
• They may make for a comfortable lifestyle;
• But they cannot bring into our lives that quality of peace that we are need in our lives.
• And of course they were never meant to!
• That is why the Bible calls us foolish when we look to earthly resources;
• For satisfaction, for quality of life and as a means of attaining peace;
• God himself is the source of our peace!
• And apart from him we will never experience true peace of heart and mind.
(1). God of peace
“May the God of peace”
• The apostle Paul uses the title “God of peace” six times in this letter;
• Quote: Charles Swindoll:
• He suggests a practical paraphrase of this term would be: ‘Mental health’.
• For God desires that there be a calm, a tranquil, a peace within our hearts;
• And not a panic or strife or discord.
• ill: Market stall lady; “You haven’t got any peace of mind for sale have you?”
• This benediction reminds us that we cannot buy it or earn it!
• But we can experience it!
• Quote: Ajahn Chah (Reflections)
• Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache:
• You won't be able to find it.
• But…when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you!
• The New Testament teaches that every Christian has “peace WITH God”;
• And as a result we can experience “the peace OF God”.
• This type of peace is divine in origin “Not as the world gives”;
• It is sourced in the very nature of God.
Many Bible commentators suggest:
• The reason the apostle Paul uses this title for God;
• Is because there was conflict and not peace in this Church fellowship;