Summary: We are called to be people who give great service for Jesus Christ, and I believe this quality we are going to look at today will have a great effect on whether we do or don’t.
Great “In-Flight” Service
Introduction: We are one week away from finishing our series of messages on the importance of love and unity in the Church. We began back in July looking at the key to unity within the Body of Christ. What we discovered was that Paul offered a powerful challenge in Colossians 3:14—“Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity.” We put that key into practical terms by saying:
Love and Unity go “hand-in-hand” without Love there will be no Unity.
We have looked at 8 distinct qualities that can bring UNITY within the Church, and today when we read the next two verses of Colossians 3 we are going see that there are two more from this beautiful passage of scripture. We are going to focus on one today and then next week we will look at the final one and see how Paul brought all these qualities together.
I have chosen one final “airline” image to help us embrace these important qualities. Today I want to focus on: Great “In-Flight” Service. Can you imagine what the service would be like on an airplane if the flight attendants were fighting over control of that drink cart that comes down the aisle? One of them pushing…one of them pulling…one of them taking all the ice…and the other taking all the cups. The fact is if they weren’t working together, if they weren’t at peace the passengers would get lousy service, if they got any service at all! I want to challenge us today to be people who give “great” service for Jesus Christ, and I believe this quality we are going to look at today will have a great effect on whether we do or don’t.
Text: Colossians 3:14-16
The Results that Christ-like Qualities will bring
Our final two qualities in this study are really results more than character qualities. They are expressions that come from a life that has been surrendered to Christ and is committed to following Him on daily basis. When LOVE, COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS, PATIENCE, ACCEPTANCE, & FORGIVENESS become practical realities, then we as Jesus’ disciples will experience PEACE & THANKFULNESS. Today we are going to look at peace.
15…let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts.
Peace at its most basic definition means, “the absence of conflict.” It can refer to “national peace” when people are not “at war” with one another, and it also is used to describe “inner peace” within an individual. That is how it is most often used in the NT. To understand peace as described by Paul we need to realize the importance of peace from a Jewish perspective.
You are probably familiar with the Jewish word for peace—Shalom—which was used as a traditional greeting in Jewish life. That is why you see it included so often in Paul’s opening words in his letters along with the word grace. This letter that we have been studying began with that familiar phrase:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
The Jewish thought of peace included: “wholeness,” or, “well-being.” It pictured being in right relationship with God as a people and as a person. David spoke of this inner peace in the psalms:
I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, LORD, make me live in safety.
Psalm 119 is a challenge for God’s people to be obedient to His Word. Within that challenge we see that peace is a result of obedience:
Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing makes them stumble.
The Prophet Jeremiah gives us a picture of the fleeting nature of peace in his Lamentations—his tears for the disobedience of God’s people and the discipline that the Lord has brought:
My soul has been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is. Then I thought: My future is lost, as well as my hope from the LORD.
Because there is no peace within, Jeremiah begins to believe that there is no future and no hope. But that is not the end of the story, God wasn’t finished with His people, He still had a plan, and just a few verses later Jeremiah found God’s peace once again:
Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
Jeremiah found peace through the faithful mercy of God. Ultimately, only God can give us true peace. That is why it is one of the names that was given to the promised Messiah: