Summary: A that reveals the 3 steps to peace that are outlined in Philippians 4. Also contains a great picture object lesson for adults and children.
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Seeing things from Gods perspective gives us peace
Hold up picture of anxious man.
(for actual picture go to
as this will not let me paste it here).
- What do you think he is feeling?
- What things do you think could have happened to make him like this?
- Does anyone feel like this man sometimes?
The Bible reading we have had talks about rejoicing and God’s peace.
What we are going to discover this morning is how to have God’s peace, even in hard situations.
If I taped this message and package it as the quick fix potion for peace in your life I would soon be a millionaire.
The reality is that it doesn’t work that way.
God desires to give us His peace but there are a few choices that we need to make along the way.
Let’s learn what they are:
Read: 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Question: can you remember a time when you have gone through a really hard time? Maybe it was family trouble or financial
- Do you remember how you felt in those situations?
- It’s a hard thing to rejoice when things are bad.
- Luckily Paul says that we only have to rejoice when things are good.
- Hang on a second!! It says always.
- And he even repeats himself to make sure we get it.
- Don’t you want to give Paul a good slap around the head and say “but Paul that’s alright for you to say, you haven’t suffered any hard times like me”
- We want to say it but we can’t, we can’t because Paul was writing this when he was in prison – facing execution
- No legal aid
- There were relationship problems between people in his church
- Other leaders creating problems for him
State: what Paul is saying is that even when the circumstances are not conducive to rejoicing we should.
It doesn’t mean we have to pretend
It doesn’t mean we don’t get upset (time for mourning).
It doesn’t mean we can’t get angry as Jesus got angry.
It means that deep down, in the midst of the hardship and sorry we can still rejoice in what God has done for us.
No matter what happens, we still have that knowledge that God has saved us and one day we will live with Him in heaven forever.
Do you think that in 200 trillion years you are going to worry about your neighbour who persecuted you because you were a Christian?
Step 1) Imagine how God sees you situation
Read: 5Let your gentleness be evident to all.
Question: what does gentleness mean? If it went on being gentle I would fail.
I would like a dollar for every time Jo has said to me “Tim you are too rough” – hair brush
- the key to this verse is the word gentleness
- The original word is complex and there is no one English word that we can use
- Gentleness means generous treatment of others even when they are treating you in an unjust way
- Very relevant to the Philippians who were suffering persecution
- sums up the Christ like way Paul has already encouraged us to emulate
- basically seeing people like God sees them
Illustrate: My shopping story
Apply: when things happen to you, especially when you are treated badly by other people because you are a Christian, we need to be filled with grace and humility
Step 2) be humble and gracious to others
What encourages us to do those two things?
Read: The Lord is near
State: Jesus’ return should affect our outlook and actions
Question: what do you do when important visitors come around? Tidy, get ready, we have a joke when our house is messy that we need to invite people around so that we clean it up.
State: the fact that Jesus is returning should motivate us to act like Him
Explain: early church didn’t know when Jesus was coming back
- the fact he was is enough
Illustrate: story of Dragar can you imagine how you would feel if you were Matthew? What if you were Dragar? Do you think Dragar deserves to be paid?
Apply: Paul is reminding all of us not to slacken off before our master returns home.