Summary: An expanded sermon on the popular ’Finding Peace with God’.
STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD
First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
• Step One - God’s Purpose: Peace and Life
God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life--abundant and eternal.
The Bible says...
"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
Since God planned for us to have peace and life with true meaning and purpose, why are most people not having this experience?
Does having God’s peace in your life mean that nothing bad ever happens to you?
Do storms not come?
Of course they still come. Of course we are attacked for His name sake, but God’s peace is how we handle the storms in our lives.
”He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.”
He makes the storm clam.
And He makes the waves which are caused by the storm still.
Storms in our lives can cause other problems. These are the waves.
But God will still even those.
Here is an example of God’s peace in our lives.
We have peace because we know God is in control.
We have peace because we have faith in God.
Jesus gave us an example of this type of peace in the storms of our lives.
“23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake,
(how many times do the storms give us warning in our lives?)
so that the waves swept over the boat.
(this storm was serious. Causing huge waves.)
But Jesus was sleeping.
25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!"
26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
You see, that is why they were afraid.
They did not realize that the Lord was with them.
They did not realize that God is in control.
Sometimes in the midst of the storms in our lives we can forget that God is with us.
Sometimes we can forget that the Almighty Creator of the universe is in control.
Sometimes we forget that we are His children.
If they would have had this faith in God, they would have been sleeping like Jesus.
Perhaps not sleeping, but at least not afraid of death.
If they would have had this faith in God, they would have had peace in the middle of the storm.
“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything (the STORMS in our lives), by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends (or to be superior to or greater than) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Can you imagine having a faith so great that you are sleeping during a violent storm which is crashing over the sides of your boat?
Can you imagine having the peace that God has promised during the trials in your life?
You don’t have to imagine. God says it’s ours.
To walk through the shadow of the valley of death and fear no evil, for though art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
What do we have to fear in the Lord?
Our good shepherd is watching over us.
I breathe my next breath because of the Father in heaven.
Each flower blooms at His control.
Do the birds worry about what they are to eat?
Does our Father not take care of them?
How much more does the Father love you then?
John 3:16 tells us.
• Step Two - The Problem: Our Separation
God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.
We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God.
The Bible says...
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
• Our Attempts to Reach God
People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God...