Summary: Peace on Earth, Good will toward all men. This peace has been elusive. There is a peace that surpasses all understanding, it is the peace that Jesus gives.
Peace that Surpasses
What is Peace? Roget’s Thesaurus has these words after peace; calm, quiet, stillness, tranquility, silence, harmony and serenity. The word used here in Philippians 4 is defined as “one, peace, quietness, rest and set at one again. It is not necessarily the absence of war, but the presence of calmness.
The world around us is in search for this peace, calling it inner peace. Sometime ago there was a beauty queen from Virginia, Tracy Lyperd. Shortly after crowning her successor she drove to her ex boyfriends house to seek revenge for jilting her and marrying another. Upon arrival she met his new father in law, she faked car trouble and asked to use the phone. Upon entering the home she struck the father in law with a hammer, stunning him. She then pulled out a pistol and tried to shoot the father in law, what she did not know was that the father in law was ex CIA. The mother in law joined in the fray and they wrestled her to the floor holding her until police arrived. When she was questioned she confessed that she was moved to revenge to find inner peace. Paul in this passage of Philippians deals with what we need to find inner peace.
1. Have peace with each other!
a. This does not mean we will not disagree, but we will still move on with our eyes focused on the prize.
i. The Disciples did not always agree
1. Luke 22:24
2. Acts 15:2 shows the dispute about the Gentiles.
3. Acts 15:39 shows Paul and Barnabas disagreed.
4. Yet they continued for the Faith
ii. The World has a different concept: They are convinced that if you don’t gripe and complain you’ll never get anywhere. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
1. Me First
2. God says Consider others more important than you. (Phil. 2:3)
3. Bring up the church building: How should we do it? Should we borrow the money now and build? Should we wait until we have raised the money ourselves? Should build on the existing building? Should we buy new land and build a new building?
4. The solution to having peace with each other is seeking resolution:
a. Steve Covey “7 habits of highly effective people” says (1) Seek to understand not to be understood, (2) Seek win-win solutions
b. God says resolve it among yourselves (Matt 18:15ff)
c. We are not to handle disputes like the world does, but among ourselves.
d. Notice Paul does not take sides in the issue between the two women. He encourages them to find the common ground. Agree in the Lord.
2. Share the burdens
a. A joy shared becomes a double joy and burden shared becomes half a burden.
b. Are you upset about something? Worried, concerned, frustrated? Share it with us, HERE WE ARE.
c. Pray, don’t worry, let go and let God.
d. Ask yourself this: Can God deal with whatever I am anxious about? Then why not petition Him in prayer and let go?
e. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
3. Find Peace with God.
a. Bill McCartney testimony: I went to mass everyday, I said my prayers, and I tried to live by the Golden Rule. But what I really had was a tiny taste of success and a tiny taste of religion—but not much Christianity. Sure I was a good person, I treated others with respect. But someone once told me the difference between a good life and a godly life is as different as the top of the ocean and the ocean floor. On top, sometimes its like glass—serene and calm. And other times it’s raging and stormy. But hundreds of fathoms below, it is beautiful and consistent, always calm, always peaceful. Down deep in my heart, I did not have peace that comes only from knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. When I was 29 I was a churchgoer and a professing Christian, but it wasn’t until I was assistant coach at the University of Michigan that I discovered a real relationship with Jesus Christ. And when I accepted Christ as Savior and Lord of my life, I began an adventure that has transformed my life.
b. Job 22:21 says Submit to God and be at Peace with Him in this way prosperity will come to you.
c. This peace that God will give is the peace that helps us in times of trouble it is the peace that helps us say with conviction “Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death, I will fear no evil because you are with me.
d. It is the kind of peace that says whatever you want wherever you lead I will go. It is the peace that J. Russell Morse had in that Chinese prison cell, it is the peace I see on the faces of Brenda and Joan and others who have suffered with them. The world cannot understand it.