This is the audio from the December 6, 2020 sermon, “A Gift of PEACE”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 2:14
Have you ever experienced any turmoil or conflict? I suspect the list may be shorter if I ask if you ever have times that are completely free of turmoil conflict! Isaiah foretold of One who would come as the prince of peace yet many, even among those who know Him, struggle to live with peace at various times in their life. Perhaps one of the problems is that we expect all of our conflict to disappear so we can have peace when God wants to give us peace in the midst of our conflicts and troubles!
God’s desire is that in Jesus you will have peace as you discover the gift of . . .
- Purpose: Romans 14:18-19 — In order to find peace through the purpose God has for us, we must understand His kingdom is different from the kingdoms of this world. While the kingdoms of this world seek to dominate, conquer, and fulfill the desires of the flesh, God’s kingdom is the place to be filled with joy and peace as we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and learn to serve others. Our purpose in the kingdom is to represent Jesus and proclaim Him as the way to have peace with God. We become more effective in doing that when we live with a humility that does everything possible on our part to be at peace with one another.
- Encouragement: John 16:33 — In order to find peace through the encouragement God gives us in His Word, we must realize that we live in a world that is filled with trouble. While it probably sounds strange to acknowledge the trouble which surrounds us, the encouragement ought to come from a relationship with the God who knows all about that trouble and has overcome it through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We find encouragement in the midst of our troubles when we walk with Jesus every day knowing that He has promised to give us His peace.
- Acceptance: 1 Corinthians 16:10-11 — In order to find peace through the acceptance of one another, we must understand just how fully God accepts all who come to Him. As humans, we come in unique packages of differing likes, dislikes, opinions, practices, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses that are often used by many to exclude any who are different. God’s desire is that we would see the commonality we have in Christ as the basis of accepting one another regardless of how alike or different we may be. When we can accept each person as one who is made in the image of God, we discover that we can accept one another just as Christ has accepted us.
- Comfort: Philippians 4:6-7 — In order to find peace through the comfort offered by God, we must be willing to take all of our conflicts and turmoil to Him and trust Him to take care of it as only He can. Many times the greatest trouble we experience is that which grows in our hearts and minds as we go through our own checklists of all the “what-ifs”. It is in the fixing our mind on Jesus and daily taking all of our cares and burdens to Him, that He frees us with a peace that surpasses all understanding. The comfort of this kind of peace is that it is powerful enough to guard our heart and mind as we stay focused on Christ.
- Expression: James 3:17-18 — In order to find peace through the expression of our faith, we must be diligent about planting the seeds of peace. You cannot continually plant seeds of discord and truly be surprised when you harvest conflict. How you and I choose to express ourselves not only impacts the level of peace others enjoy, but it greatly influences our peace with God and others. While I use social media as a vital connection point of Impact Prayer Ministry, I do so realizing the very dark side that it has in opening up a channel of expression that often has no restraints. As those who greatly desire to experience a harvest of righteousness, we must pay very close attention to the types of seeds we are planting whether in person or online. May our expressions be those which sow seeds of peace.
So, as we consider the many things that are ours through the gift of Jesus, I pray that the peace of Christ would rule your hearts and minds (and social media accounts) each day that you live!