Summary: How can we find peace in this world? This sermon seeks to provide some answers.
Peace With God
June 10, 2001
Story of retired couple in early 80s alarmed by threat of nuclear war
- Seriously studied all the inhabited places of the world to determine which would be least affected by a nuclear war… a place of ultimate peace & security.
- They not only studied, but traveled from place to place till the found the perfect place.
- Around Christmas time, they wrote their former pastor from their new home… in the Falkland Islands.
- The problem is, within a few months, the Falkland war (’82) broke out b/t Great Britain and Argentina. Their hopes for peace were crushed!
Not as dramatically as this couple, we all tend to spend our lives searching for peace.
- It’s why so many people work so hard to buy their “dream” house.
- Once you’re in the dream house you need the 52” TV to really have peace
- So much of what we pursue has in it an aspect of looking for peace.
- Rob Eyeman: Attracted to Jesus through the great peace I saw in Rob.
- Fact is, God created us with this need… and so we all live our lives with this inherent drive for peace inside us.
We said last week that as we remove those natural “props”, those man-made devises which we use to keep ourselves from drowning in the midst of life’s challenges, trusting instead in our loving Father, approaching Him with prayer, supplication, with thanksgiving, then the PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Then he says, “Finally brethren”, which indicates that he’s building on to what he has just shared, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (9) The things you have learned & received and heard & seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Paul starts this passage in verse 7 speaking of the “peace of God” and finishes in vs 9 speaking of the “God of peace”.
- For a people longing for peace, this is an awesome promise. God of peace be with you.
- What is it that Paul is asking us to do? Only 2 verbs… “Think” & “Do”
o If you want the God of peace with you, think about these things, and then practice these things.”
o The word “to think” is a Greek word from which we get our word, logic. Paul is not encouraging passive thought but rather is saying that we must aggressively monitor our thought lives.
Because the major battleground in our lives as believers is in our MIND.
- 2 Cor 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
- Again, Paul is saying that we aggressively take every thought captive to make sure these thoughts are in line with God’s heart.
Not easy, is it. Not for me! It takes lots of mental energy.
- When is it that you feel you have less control over your thoughts? At night… when we’re both physically and mentally tired.
- We stop running the garbage of the world through the filters that God has given to us.
- Fact is, the average person has >200 negative thoughts a day: worries, jealousies, insecurities, cravings for forbidden things, etc.
- the average person struggling with even mild depression will have as many as 600.
- All these thoughts/images making their way into our minds is having a significant impact on us and our walk with God.
Satan knows that if he can preoccupy our minds with worry, anxiety, negative thoughts and images, lust, and envy, then we will for certain be sidelined in the Christian race.
- All these thoughts/emotions block out the peace God wants us to live in.
- We need to recognize that patterns of thought don’t just arise by themselves. In a way, we program our own minds… we essentially set ourselves up for peace or discord by what we allow to come into our eyes and ears.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Heard a doctor mention this on the radio.
- what you allow into yourself becomes a part of who you are.
- This is true whether you’re talking about food the things you see, hear, read.