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!
ILL. For many years, more than a century ago, Argentina & Chile had been on the brink of war with each other over boundary disputes. Finally they realized the horror & futility of a war between them & they agreed to a peaceful solution.
(Statue PowerPoint) Then in 1904, to commemorate this peace agreement, they melted down some of their cannons & used the metal to fashion a large statue of Christ on the mountainous boundary between the two countries.
On the base of that statue was placed these words:: “Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than Chileans and Argentinians break the peace which at the feet of Christ, the Redeemer, they have sworn to maintain.”
And amid the mountain peaks of the Andes that huge statue still stands. They call it “Christ the Redeemer of the Andes.” (Wikipedia)
Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled & do not be afraid.”
Jesus also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9) Scripture tells us that we promote peace by putting the needs of others ahead of our own. And we also promote peace by forgiving those who have sinned against us.