Sermons

Summary: Once we possess the peace of God, how do we maintain the peace?

Philippians 4:4-8

“Surrender Brings Peace”

By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

While driving around town, one thing I enjoy doing, is reading church marques or signs.

Some of them may seem silly, some I may not be able to apply to my life, and some are downright

unbiblical and theologically incorrect.

For example, in Macon, Georgia there was a Methodist Church which had a sign that read: “Jesus is coming

soon so look busy!”

I don’t know what the people who put those words on that sign were thinking...

...Were they trying to be funny?...

...Were they serious?....

...Were they legitmately telling us some great truth in a sarcastic way?...

...I don’t know, but they sure left it up for a long time.

....But that aside, more often than not, the words on church marques are convicting and thought

provoking.

One of them that I have read several times this past week while driving up Jefferson Avenue reads:

“Surrender Brings Peace.”...and I agree with these words one hundered percent!....that is, depending on what

we are surrendering too.

In our Epistle lesson for this morning Paul talks about a “peace...which transcends all understanding.”

And I would imagine that many of us here today can in some degree relate to what Paul is referring too.

Because this passage is speaking to Christian believers, not to unbelievers.

Unbelievers do not have this peace....and have never felt this peace.

There is no peace...no real peace outside the peace which comes from a personal relationship with the

living and forgiving One and Only Almighty God!

Unbeleivers do not have peace with God, and therefore unbelievers do not have peace.

Unbelievers reject, question, deny, curse, and oppose God....and no matter how mild the unbeliever’s

questioning and rejecting might be--it is still questioning and rejecting---and this is not peace!!!

But when a person surrenders all they have and all they are--their entire lives to God---peace is made

between them and God.

Peace rules both within and between the person and God.

In fact, God causes a flood of peace to surge through the heart and life of the new believer...and this is what

new believers have been experiencing for two thousand years!!!!

We all have this common experience.

The question is this: once we have the peace of God flooding our lives, how do we maintain that peace?

This is where things can get tricky....

...this is where that “transcends all understanding” stuff comes in.

I don’t care who we are, where we live, the color of our skin, the language that we speak, whether our hair

is curely, straight or thin....even though we are saved through surrendering our lives to Christ we still all have to live

in this fallen world!...

...and in living in this fallen world....we all still have to deal with outside forces which try to bring us down...

...with the aching pain of impoverished people walking the streets without a place to sleep or a good thing to eat...

...with friends, neighbors, and family members who do not yet believe in Christ and can’t understand...or won’t

accept our message...

...with pain that comes to our bodies, and death that comes to our loved ones...

....with loneliness....old age....lost friendships...tight finances...and I guess I could spend the entire morning into

the night and into the next day listing the problems which tear at our hearts and minds and try to undermine the

peace which only comes from God!

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”....

.... “Peace I leave with you;” says Jesus to His followers, “my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the

world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

So how do we maintain the peace which transcends all understanding?

In verses 4 and 5 of our Epistle lesson Paul writes to the Christains at Philippi: “Rejoice in the Lord always.

I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

And he follows this by saying that when we do this we will have the peace of God which transcends all

understanding.

In essence, he’s saying that when we surrender everything....all that stuff that gets between us and

peace--to God...well this is what brings us peace!

When we say, “Lord it’s out of my hands...it’s beyond my ability to cope with...I give it to You....that is

when we are able to have peace.

Think of it this way....

...how did we come to the saving knowledge that Christ is the Way to salvation in the first place?

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