Summary: What actually rules in our hearts? If you let worry, anger, bitterness, hatred or fear rule – there will be no peace! Let Jesus rule your life & His peace will rule your heart, your words, your relationships, & your attitudes. (Powerpoint avail. - #310)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(The Powerpoints used with this sermon are available for free. Simply e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for PP # 310.)
It is interesting to visit other congregations & observe how they do some things differently than we do. For example, the way in which congregations close their worship service.
Most congregations, after the sermon & invitation, will have a closing prayer & the service is over. That is what we do, but we usually join hands as we pray.
Some add a closing chorus sung by a choir or by the entire congregation. Others have everyone turn & greet their fellow worshippers, asking God’s blessings upon them before concluding the service.
Some churches are much more formal than that. After the benediction the choir & leaders of the congregation, led by the minister, form a procession & proceed down the center aisle before the congregation is dismissed.
One particular minister closes his service the same way every Sunday. For years now, following the prayer, he stands alone in the center aisle, holding his Bible high, & quotes Colossians 3:15-17, which says:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach & admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns & spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Years of repeating these same words every Sunday – why? Well, he says,
“I repeat these words each week to remind us that as Christians our sole source of authority in life is this book! We are to live by its teachings, not the fickle feelings of experience, not the flawed tenets of human intellect, not the easily forgotten rationales behind tradition. No, this book is to be our guide in faith & practice.
“Since the words of this Book are not man's, but God's…, we need to remem-ber to use this book every day as a handbook for living, as God intended.”
I agree. So let’s look carefully at what this passage of Scripture is saying.
I. LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE IN YOUR HEARTS
It begins with the Apostle Paul telling us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” Notice that word “rule.”
In the original Greek of the Bible "rule" is an athletic term used to designate the power of the officials in the games.
(Referee PowerPoint) We call them “referees” or “judges” or “umpires” today. They controlled the action on the field of play. When the referee "ruled" that decision determined the result!
Remember, in Romans 12:18 we are told, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Let the peace of Christ "rule" – & that will determine the result.
But who or what actually does rule in our hearts? If you let worry have its way – there will be no peace. If you let complaining & criticizing control – there will be no peace. If you let guilt grip you – there will be no peace. If you let anger or bitterness or hatred or revenge rule – there will be no peace!