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Summary: Fruit of the Spirit is Peace. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). The source of peace is God. (3a)

(2). The discipline of peace is a steadfast mind (vs 3b)

(3). The secret of peace is a heart filled with trust (vs 3c-4)

SERMON BODY:

Reading: Isaiah chapter 26 verses 3-4

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.

• The opposite of love is hate.

• The opposite of joy is sorrow

• The opposite of peace is worry, anxiety, fretfulness, concern.

Ill:

• 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.

BACKGROUND TO CHAPTER 26:

• In Isaiah chapters thirteen to twenty-seven;

• We have a number of prophetic messages from the Lord;

• The messages are for a variety of nations, but primarily the nation of Babylon;

• Who will rise up to crush Judah and destroy Jerusalem.

• Isaiah first warns all these nations individually;

• That God is over them and will take away their glory because of their sins.

• Having delivered his messages to these particular nations,

• Isaiah then, beginning with chapter twenty-four,

• Looks to the much more distant future.

• He looks to the destruction and judgement of the whole world.

• But these chapters are not all gloom and doom;

• In Isaiah chapter 26 we are breaking into a ‘song of praise’ to God:

• The theme of the song is ‘Trust’.

• And the song can be summarised in four visual word pictures:

• Picture 1: A strong city (vs 1-6).

• Picture 2: A level path (vs 7-11).

• Picture 3: A woman in painful or excessive labour of birth (vs 12-18).

• Picture 4: A life-giving dew on the ground (vs 19-21).

• We are going to pick up on that first picture ‘a strong city’:

• And gain some insights regarding knowing God’s peace in our lives.

VERSES 1-6: A STRONG CITY.

• Isaiah is making a contrast in this song (chapter 25);

• And the previous song (chapter 25)

• In the previous song (chapter 25) Israel’s enemy Moab has been destroyed;

• Now in contrast in his song (chapter 26);

• The city of God is ‘strong’ (vs 1) and ‘lofty’ (vs 5)

• When this passage of scripture was penned;

• Isaiah and his contemporises mainly lived in an agricultural world of towns and villages;

• And the large cities were places of power and wealth.

• In times of war people fled to these walled cities for protection.

• Verse 2 reminds us that the ‘righteous’ may run through ‘open gates’ into the city;

• To find safety and protection from the enemy.

Isaiah lifts up his eyes and through the lens of prophecy looks to the future:

• In verse 1 he uses the expression ‘in that day”.

• Elsewhere in the Bible it is called “the Day of the Lord”.

• We do not know exactly when that day is,

• We do know it is an unspecified period of time in the future.

• The prophet Isaiah is encouraging these people with the knowledge that;

• One day God will set up his Kingdom;

• His enemies will be defeated and the New Jerusalem will be impregnable.

• Isaiah paints for the people a picture of hope and a time of peace;

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