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Peace

 

Peace

There is a painting titled “Peace”. It depicts waves crashing against the jagged rocks. It portrays the violence of a crushing storm. It seems anything but peaceful. But down in a small corner of the painting, tucked away in the rocks, is a little bird sitting on her nest totally oblivious to the raging storm all about. That is peace. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Peace

Picture a massive hurricane raging over the ocean. On the surface of the sea the violent winds whip the water into giant waves and create a scene of havoc and chaos. Yet, a mere twenty-five feet below the surface, the waters are clear and calm. The fish there go on living their lives totally unaware of the thunderous tumult just above them.

When there is “depth,” there is peace. So it is in the Christian life. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Peace

A hurricane is a storm with cyclonic winds that exceed 74 m.p.h. Rain, thunder, and lightning usually accompany the winds. Hurricanes can be very fierce storm with relentless pounding winds that continue hour after hour. But a very fascinating thing about a hurricane is its “eye”-a place of perfect calm in its center. Though the winds blow and rage all around it, there are none in the eye.

So with us in the storms of life. With the Lord as our center, there is calm and peace, even in the darkest of life’s storms. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Peace

Eric Barker was a missionary from great Britain who had spent over fifty years in Portugal preaching the gospel, often under adverse conditions. During World War II, the situation became so critical that he took the advice to send his wife and eight children to England for safety. His sister and her three children were also evacuated on the same ship. Barker remained behind to conclude some mission matters. The Sunday after Barker’s loved ones had left, he stood before the congregation and said, “I’ve then proceeded with the service as usual. Later, the full meaning of his words became known to his people. He had been handed a wire just before the meeting, informing him that a submarine had torpedoed the ship, and everyone on board had drowned. Barker knew that all on board were believers, and the knowledge that his family was enjoying the bliss of heaven enabled him to live above his circumstances in spite of his overwhelming grief. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Peace

U Thant was once Secretary General of the United Nations. While speaking in 1965 before sixty-seven distinguished scholars and statesmen from nineteen countries of the world, who were convened to talk about the requirements for world peace, he asked these questions:

What element is lacking so that with all our skill and all our knowledge we still find ourselves in the dark valley of discord and enmity? What is it that inhibits us from going forward together to enjoy the fruits of human endeavor and to reap the harvest of human experience? Why is it that, for all our professed ideals, our hopes, and our skills, peace on earth is till a distant objective seen only dimly through the storms and turmoil of our present difficulties? ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Peace

There is a painting titled “Peace”. It depicts waves crashing against the jagged rocks. It portrays the violence of a crushing storm. It seems anything but peaceful. But down in a small corner of the painting, tucked away in the rocks, is a little bird sitting on her nest totally oblivious to the raging storm all about. That is peace.

 

Peace

Picture a massive hurricane raging over the ocean. On the surface of the sea the violent winds whip the water into giant waves and create a scene of havoc and chaos. Yet, a mere twenty-five feet below the surface, the waters are clear and calm. The fish there go on living their lives totally unaware of the thunderous tumult just above them.

        When there is “depth,” there is peace. So it is in the Christian life.

 

Peace

A hurricane is a storm with cyclonic winds that exceed 74 m.p.h. Rain, thunder, and lightning usually accompany the winds. Hurricanes can be very fierce storm with relentless pounding winds that continue hour after hour. But a very fascinating thing about a hurricane is its “eye”-a place of perfect calm in its center. Though the winds blow and rage all around it, there are none in the eye.

        So with us in the storms of life. With the Lord as our center, there is calm and peace, even in the darkest of life’s storms.

 

Peace

Eric Barker was a missionary from great Britain who had spent over fifty years in Portugal preaching the gospel, often under adverse conditions. During World War II, the situation became so critical that he took the advice to send his wife and eight children to England for safety. His sister and her three children were also evacuated on the same ship. Barker remained behind to conclude some mission matters. The Sunday after Barker’s loved ones had left, he stood before the congregation and said, “I’ve then proceeded with the service as usual. Later, the full meaning of his words became known to his people. He had been handed a wire just before the meeting, informing him that a submarine had torpedoed the ship, and everyone on board had drowned. Barker knew that all on board were believers, and the knowledge that his family was enjoying the bliss of heaven enabled him to live above his circumstances in spite of his overwhelming grief.

 

Peace

U Thant was once Secretary General of the United Nations. While speaking in 1965 before sixty-seven distinguished scholars and statesmen from nineteen countries of the world, who were convened to talk about the requirements for world peace, he asked these questions:

        What element is lacking so that with all our skill and all our knowledge we still find ourselves in the dark valley of discord and enmity? What is it that inhibits us from going forward together to enjoy the fruits of human endeavor and to reap the harvest of human experience? Why is it that, for all our professed ideals, our hopes, and our skills, peace on earth is till a distant objective seen only dimly through the storms and turmoil of our present difficulties?

 

CALM

Here is an instruction on how to react to hungry pythons, as given to Peace Corpsmen serving in Brazil -- "Remember not to run away, the python can run faster. The thing to do is to lie flat on the ground on your back with your feet together, arms at your side, head well down. The python will then try to push its head under you, experimenting at every possible point. Keep calm (that was underscored). "You must let him swallow your foot. It is quite painless and it will take a long time. If you lose your head and struggle, he will quickly whip his coils around you. If you keep calm and still, he will go on swallowing. Wait patiently until he has swallowed up to about your knee. Then carefully take out your knife and insert it into the distended side of his mouth and with a quick rip slit him up." 

Resource, Sept./Oct., 1992, p. 2.


For death and life, in ceaseless strife,

Beat wild on the world's shore,

And all our calm is in that balm -

Not lost but gone before.

 

Caroline Norton (1808-1877) from Not Lost but Gone Before.

 


 

Any one can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

 

Publius Syrus (42 B.C.)

 

PEACE

I rest beneath the Almighty's shade,

My griefs expire, my troubles cease;

Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,

Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.

Charles Wesley.


Safety consists not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.

Source Unknown.


Society of International Law, in London, states that during the last 4,000 years there have been only 268 years of peace in spite of good peace treaties. In the last 3 centuries there have been 286 wars on the continent of Europe alone.

J.K. Laney, Marching Orders, p 50.


Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble, but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always.

Source Unknown.


The Power of Peace

As I perused an old copy of The Wonderful Word edited by Leon Tucker, I came upon a tremendous sermon by W.H. Griffith- Thomas entitled "The Power of Peace." He gave an exposition of 2 Thess. 3:16, "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means." His outline should prove helpful to Christian workers.

I. The Nature of Peace

1. Peace of a quiet conscience (Rom. 8:33-35; three questions)

2. Peace of a restful mind (Phil. 4:7)

3. Peace of a surrendered will

4. Peace of a hopeful heart (Isaiah 50:7)

5. Peace of loving fellowship

II. The Source of Peace

1. Peace with God (Rom. 5:1)

2. The God of peace (Rom. 15:33)

3. The peace of God (Phil. 4:7)

4. The Lord of peace (2 Thess. 3:16)

III. The Channel of Peace

"The Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means" (2 Thess. 3:16)

IV. The Duration of Peace

"...give you peace always."

V. The Secret of Peace

"The Lord of peace Himself give you peace..."

W.H. Griffith, The Power of Peace.


Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally the great day of revelation arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered.

The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled.

As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd.

A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.

The man with the vision uncovered the second painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?

A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power.

A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings ready to cover her little ones, she manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil. 

Berit Kjos, A Wardrobe from the King, pp. 45-46.


The Personnel Journal reported this incredible statistic: since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than eight percent of the time! In its study, the periodical discovered that of 3530 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Moreover, in excess of 8000 peace treaties were made--and broken. 

Moody Bible Institute, Today In The Word, June, 1988, p.33.


Peace is such a precious jewel, that I would give anything for it but truth. 

Matthew Henry.


Duke University did a study on "peace of mind." Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are: 1) the absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness. 2) Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression. 3) Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it. 4) Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress. 5) Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune. 6) Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues--love, humor, compassion and loyalty. 7) Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable. 8) Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness.

Source Unknown.


A former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India have come up with some startling information: Since 3600 B.C. the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars, large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed would pay for a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick. Since 650 B.C. there have also been 1656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The remainder ended in the economic collapse of the countries involved.

Source Unknown.


In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ. On the night before Ridley's execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. Because he knew the peace of God, he could rest in the strength of the everlasting arms of his Lord to meet his need. So can we!

Source Unknown.

PEACEMAKERS

Telemachus was a monk who lived in the 4th century. He felt God saying to him, "Go to Rome." He was in a cloistered monastery. He put his possessions in a sack and set out for Rome. When he arrived in the city, people were thronging in the streets. He asked why all the excitement and was told that this was the day that the gladiators would be fighting and killing each other in the coliseum, the day of the games, the circus.  He thought to himself, "Four centuries after Christ and they are still killing each other, for enjoyment?" He ran to the coliseum and heard the gladiators saying, "Hail to Ceasar, we die for Ceasar" and he thought, "this isn't right." He jumped over the railing and went out into the middle of the field, got between two gladiators, held up his hands and said "In the name of Christ, forbear." The crowd protested and began to shout, "Run him through, Run him through." A gladiator came over and hit him in the stomach with the back of his sword. It sent him sprawling in the sand. He got up and ran back and again said, "In the name of Christ, forbear." The crowd continued to chant, "Run him through." One gladiator came over and plunged his sword through the little monk's stomach and he fell into the sand, which began to turn crimson with his blood. One last time he gasped out, "In the name of Christ forbear." A hush came over the 80,000 people in the coliseum. Soon a man stood and left, then another and more, and within minutes all 80,000 had emptied out of the arena. It was the last known gladiatorial contest in the history of Rome.

Source Unknown.

PEACE, of God

In my late twenties, a bunch of my friends and I decided to sail around the world. I have to admit, though, at the time I was a bit worried. I hadn't even sailed before. I was uneasy and anxious. So I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and praying about it, until it dawned on me that God was whispering,

"Tim, I'll give you peace if you read some books on sailing. The reason you're anxious is not due to lack of prayer, but to your lack of sailing knowledge."

I wasn't unprayerful; I was unskilled. So I took a step I needed to take to "let" God work his peace in my heart. I began reading about sailing. 

Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 63.

 

REST

According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies."

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it."

People are also like that. That's why we all need to take time to rest. In today's Scripture, Jesus prescribed time off for His wearied disciples after they had returned from a prolonged period of ministry. And in the Old Testament, God set a pattern for us when He "rested from all His work" (Gen.2:3).

Shouldn't we take His example seriously? Start by setting aside a special time to relax physically and renew yourself emotionally and spiritually. You will be at your best for the Lord if you have taken time to loosen the bow.

Our Daily Bread, June 6, 1994.


One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had.

"I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."

"But you didn't notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest."

Source Unknown.


Noise affects human behavior. In one experiment carried out by psychologists, a student leaving a library intentionally dropped an armload of books. In 50% of the cases, a passerby stopped to help the student pick up the books. Then the experimenters brought out a lawn mower without a muffler and started it near where a student would again intentionally drop the books. This time, only about 10% of the people who passed stopped to help. It was clear that behavior changed because of the earsplitting sound of the nearby lawn mower. 

In experiments in Los Angeles, researchers found that children who lived in neighborhoods near the airport could not complete certain tasks undertaken when jets were landing and taking off as easily as children who lived in quiet neighborhoods. Some studies of prison conditions have shown that the high levels of noise causes more complaints by prisoners than the food or other prison conditions do.

Source Unknown.


There's no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and there by 'rests,' and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune...not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the 'rests.' They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we sadly say to ourselves, 'There is no music in a rest,' let us not forget that there is the making of music in it.

"Carry some quiet around inside thee," the well-known Quaker, George Fox, used to say. "Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit, from thy own thoughts, and then thou wilt feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Lord from whence cometh life; whereby thou mayest receive the strength and power to allay all storms and tempests."

Source Unknown.


Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment...Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen." These are the words of Leonardo da Vinci, and no idler he; he excelled as a painter, sculptor, poet, architect, engineer, city planner, scientist, inventor, anatomist, military genius, and philosopher.

Leonardo Da Vinci.

RESTING IN CHRIST

In the Philippines I heard a local pastor use the following parable to illustrate Christ's offer of rest (Matt. ll:28) and the response of people who won't trust Him completely: The driver of a carabao wagon was on his way to market when he overtook an old man carrying a heavy load. Taking compassion on him, the driver invited the old man to ride in the wagon. Gratefully the old man accepted. After a few minutes, the driver turned to see how the man was doing. To his surprise, he found him still straining under the heavy weight, for he had not taken the burden off his shoulders. 

Larry Chell.

 

RESTLESS


Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.


Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky -- smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.

Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
"Where you scared?"
"Yes."
"Would you do it again?"
"No."
"Why did you do it?"
"Because," he said, "you can't just sit there."

Leadership, Summer 1993, p. 35.

 

PEACE.

. Peace is of heavenly origin as to its source. “ God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1. Cor.14:33).

. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit as to its impartation. “ The fruit of the Spirit is……peace” (Gal.5:22).

. Peace is a product of the Cross as to its channel. “ So making peace……by the Cross” (Eph.2:15,16).

. Peace is a plant of obedience as to its condition. “ If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, I will give peace” (Leviticus 16:3,6).

. Peace is a variegated plant as to its fullness. “ Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

PEACE.

Grace, mercy, and peace are the trio of Gospel blessings. Grace is love planning to bless, mercy is love acting, and peace is love enjoyed.

P  Purchased Peace. There are many who talk about “making their peace with God.” This is an impossibility. Man can never make his peace with God; but there is something better, and that is, that Christ has made peace by the blood of His Cross. The purchase price of the peace of the Gospel is the blood of Christ (Col.1:20).

E  Embodied Peace. “ He is our Peace.” It is not merely something from Christ, but Christ Himself; who is the believer’s peace (Eph.2:14). I remember an aged saint exclaiming to me once, “ Oh, I wish I had peace!” I asked her, “ Have you Christ?” “ Oh, yes!” she replied. “ Then you have got peace, because you have Christ, for ‘ He is our Peace.” If we sever blessing from Christ blessing in Christ (Eph.1:3), and that Christ is every blessing, then we have blessing.

A  Abiding Peace. “ My peace I give unto you” ( John 14:27) is Christ’s gift to His people. Whatever Christ gives must be like Himself, enduring and unfailing, for He is “ the same yesterday, today, and for ever” (Heb.13:8). The things of this world pass away (1.John 2:17), but the things of the world to come are like the words of Christ (Matt.24:35), they never pass away.

C  Complete Peace. The peace of God is perfect in its nature and perfect in its keeping (Isa.24:3). Like a circle, it is complete in its character, and encircling in its embrace. To be complete in Christ (Col.2:10) is to have a complete peace, because we are in a complete Saviour.

E  Ennobling Peace. When the Lord Jesus has said peace to the sin-sick soul (Luke 7:50), and when the peace of God rules in the heart (Col.3:15), through being anxious for nothing, prayerful in everything, and thankful for anything (Phil.4:6,7), then in the quietness and calmness which are begotten by the Holy Spirit (Rom.15:13) the life shall be calm as a river (Isa.66:12), and the peace of God shall play upon the face (Acts 6:15).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 
The Fruit Of The Spirit - Peace
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Another grace experienced by those whose lives are in tune with the
   Spirit of God is that of "peace" - Ga 5:22
 
2. That the Spirit of God should induce peace in the children of God
   should be understandable in light of the fact that...
   a. Their heavenly Father is "the God of peace" - 1 Th 5:23
   b. Their Lord Jesus Christ is called "Prince of peace" - Isa 9:6
 
3. But one might ask...
   a. What is this "peace" enjoyed by those who walk in the Spirit?
   b. How does one come to have this peace?
   c. How we can be sure to preserve this peace, and enjoy it to its
      fullest extent?
 
[As we continue our study of "The Flesh And The Spirit", and especially
as we focus on "the fruit of the Spirit" (Ga 5:22-23), we now turn our
attention to the subject of peace...]
 
I. DEFINING "PEACE"
 
   A. PEACE IS SOMETIMES DEFINED IN NEGATIVE TERMS...
      1. As though peace were simply the absence of conflict
      2. For example...
         a. "The only condition of peace in this world is to have no
            ideas, or, at least, not to express them." (OLIVER WENDELL
            HOLMES)
         b. "He knows peace who has forgotten desire" (THE BHAGAVAD
            GITA)
 
   B. A BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF PEACE INCLUDES POSITIVE ELEMENTS...
      1. The Greek word is eirene, which is defined as:
         a. "peace between individuals, i.e., harmony, concord"
            (THAYER)
         b. "acc. to a conception distinctly peculiar to the N.T., the
            tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through
            Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with
            its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is" (THAYER)
      2. So rather than simply an absence of conflict, the peace God
         provides is...
         a. A condition positive in nature
         a. In which there is active fellowship, harmony and concord
            between individuals
 
[Having defined peace as a blessing that ought to be desired and 
enjoyed by all, let's consider what the Bible has to say about...]
 
II. THE SOURCE OF THIS PEACE
 
   A. IT COMES FROM JESUS, WHO CAME TO BRING PEACE...
      1. It was prophesied He would be the "Prince of peace" - Isa 9:
         6-7
      2. When He came, He came preaching peace - Ac 10:36
      3. Indeed, He offers peace...
         a. That the world is not able to give - Jn 14:27
         b. That one can possess even in the midst of tribulation - Jn 
            16:33
 
   B. THE PEACE JESUS BRINGS INVOLVES...
      1. Peace with God - Ro 5:1-11
         a. Which comes when we are "justified by faith" - Ro 5:1
         b. Which is accompanied with rejoicing and love, even in 
            tribulation - Ro 5:2-5
         c. Which is made possible by the loving sacrifice of Jesus' 
            blood - Ro 5:6-9
         d. And continues by virtue of His resurrected life - Ro 5:
            10-11; e.g., He 7:25
      2. Peace with man - Ep 2:11-22
         a. Jew and Gentile, once alienated from one another, can be at
            peace in Jesus Christ - Ep 2:11-14
         b. Made possible through the same act which makes peace with
            God:  the death of Jesus Christ! - Ep 2:15-16
         c. Thus Jesus has come preaching peace to all mankind - Ep 2:
            17
         d. The wonders of this peace are described as Paul 
            continues...
            1) A peace that allows access by one Spirit to the Father 
               - Ep 2:18
            2) A peace where all can be fellow-citizens with the saints
               - Ep 2:19a
            3) A peace where all can be members of the family of God 
               - Ep 2:19b
            4) A peace where all can be a temple in the Lord, a 
               habitation of God in the Spirit - Ep 2:20-22
      3. Peace with self
         a. Peace within one's own self is mostly a by-product...
            1) Of being at peace with God
            2) Of being at peace with those around us
            -- So when Jesus brings us peace with God and man (see 
               above), peace within naturally follows!
         b. But there is a peace, one that blesses the soul from 
            within...
            1) It comes from God
            2) It surpasses all understanding
            3) It serves as a fortress to guard our hearts and minds
            ...and it comes through Christ Jesus! - Ph 4:7
 
[When one is in Christ Jesus, enjoying the blessings of justification,
along with reconciliation with both God and man, peace is a natural 
by-product.  But is there anything we can and should be doing to 
preserve the peace we have from God in Christ Jesus?  Indeed there 
is...]
 
III. PRESERVING OUR PEACE
 
   A. MAINTAINING PEACE WITH GOD AND SELF REQUIRES...
      1. Keeping our minds set on God - cf. Isa 26:3
      2. Loving God's word, and heeding His commandments - Psa 119:165;
         Isa 48:18; cf. Jn 14:23
      3. Being diligent in prayer - Ph 4:6-7
      4. Filling our mind with spiritual thoughts - Ph 4:8-9; cf. Ro
         8:5-8
 
   B. MAINTAINING PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER REQUIRES...
      1. Being at peace with God first - cf. Pr 16:7
         a. How can we hope to make peace with others when we are not 
            at peace within?
         b. Making peace with God gives us the peace within whereby we
            are in a better position to make peace with others!
      2. A concentrated effort to "pursue" peace - cf. 1 Pe 3:8-12
         a. Peace must be sought and pursued - 1 Pe 3:11
         b. Peter mentions some of the qualities necessary - 1 Pe 3:8-9
            1) Being of one mind
            2) Having compassion for one another
            3) Love as brothers, tenderhearted, and courteous
            4) Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, 
               but responding with a blessing
            -- Only then can we expect to "love life and see good 
               days"! - 1 Pe 3:10
      3. Please note that the pursuit of peace does not require 
         compromise of truth
         a. For the wisdom that is from above is "first pure, then 
            peaceable..." - Ja 4:17
         b. But if we wish to bear the fruit of righteousness, it must
            be "sown in peace by those who make peace"! - Ja 4:18
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. Let us never forget that Jesus, as the Prince of peace...
   a. Came preaching peace
   b. Died on the cross to make peace possible with God, man, and self
   c. Is the conduit through which God now grants peace to man, as
      pronounced the night He was born - cf. Lk 2:11-14
 
2. Indeed, the element of peace is a key feature of His kingdom - cf. 
   Ro 14:17-19
   a. We should therefore "let the peace of God rule in our hearts" 
      - Co 3:15
   b. And allow Jesus to give us His peace as expressed in this prayer:
 
      "Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in
      every way.  The Lord be with you all." (2 Th 3:16)
 
Do you wish to ensure that the Lord is always with you, that you might
experience that "peace which surpasses all understanding"?  Then heed
what Jesus Himself said to His disciples shortly before ascending into
heaven... - cf. Mt 28:18-20

 

--《Executable Outlines