Summary: Saturating our lives with the right things is a necessary element of having God’s peace with us
1. Title: Rock Solid Protection
2. Text: Philippians 4:6-9
3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, May 15, 2005, in the series “Praying for Loved Ones”
-for the people to understand the prayers that will offer genuine protection for the people we love
-for the people to feel convicted that they need to saturate their lives with the things that will help them be what God wants them to be
-for the people to pray, fill their minds with good things, and live out the things they know to be right to do
5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to better understand the relationship between what the put into their lives and what comes out, and how to pray for this right intake of good things for their loved ones
6. Type: expository
7. Dominant Thought: Saturating our lives with the right things is a necessary element of having God’s peace with us
Intro - For hundreds of years, Haïti has been a country plagued with unrest. It was already in some turmoil last year. Haïti continues to struggle with extreme poverty. President Aristide had left the country after a 2nd overthrow in February. As if things weren’t bad enough, Sept. 17 Hurricane Jeanne flooded the city of Gonaives and other areas, killing thousands. Unrest followed again. Our trip there had to be postponed because of random violence. Still, there are some 8 million people living in Haïti, and they can’t afford to leave. How do they manage?
Walls. Everything is surrounded by security walls. Build something, you put up a wall around it first. If not, whatever you leave unguarded will eventually disappear. Another effort to make Haïti peaceful lately has been the presence of UN security troops from several different nations, including the US. We saw them every day, patrolling the streets. Our hotel was even right next door to the US deployment. Having all those troops around helped, I suppose. It at least gave you a more secure feeling. Just like security gates. But, just a couple of days after we were home, 2 UN security personnel were killed in another city in Haïti.
There are still some 8 million people living in Haïti. How can they possibly be at peace?
Peace isn’t just the absence of danger. It’s about being able to be at ease in the midst of danger. Right now, our troops are over in Iraq, engaging the enemy, in order to bring…peace.
Peace has to do with a wholeness of being. You don’t get it by removing all conflict. You don’t get peace by running away. You get it from something else.
How can we Christians, who understand ourselves to be aliens and strangers in this world, be at peace? How can we lie down at night and sleep. It’s not by leaving this mess.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
No, we don’t have that option. How can I have peace? And then, I’m a husband. I’m a father. Almost everyday, I say goodbye to my family members, and we’re separated for hours. Certainly, I want peace for them; not just protection from bad guys, but real peace for them. How can it happen?
Wouldn’t it be great to have a sentry, a guard, who could stand guard and protect us 24 hours a day? That’s one of the perks of being President…sorta. Those guys who are always hanging around the President – with sunglasses and with things stuck in their ears – those guys are Secret Service agents. Show any sign of threat, and out of nowhere you’ll see guns come flying out as 6 guys throw themselves over the President.
That’s one way to protect someone. I’d station one around my loved ones. I want my loved ones to be protected. But not just from physical harm. I want them protected forever.
I’d want their minds protected. I’d want them protected from wrong thinking and from worry. From wrong thinking, because that’s where every person’s downfall happens first. Lose the battle for the mind and you’ve lost the whole war. I wish there were a way I could protect the people I love from wrong thoughts. I’d protect them from worry too, because stress and undo worry are another form of pain. They affect a person’s well-being just like a disease. I don’t want that for the people I love. I want them to have peace.
The great news is that I don’t have to just wish for it. There’s something I can do. There’s a guard I can post that will protect my loved ones, and me. It’s rock-solid protection that comes in the form of commands, but they’re also a prayer that I can pray for my loved ones that deals with real peace and real protection for them. You can remember these. They go like this. If you want real protection…