Date: 
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 10:45am
Service: 
Sermon Series: 
Author: 
Bible Reference: 
John 14:25-27

THE GOD OF PEACE

JOHN 14:25-27

Opening Remarks

 

This morning I want to speak to you about the God of Peace.  The word peace appears over 450 times in Scripture.  The word peace is used over 30 times in the Gospels and more than 50 times by the Apostle Paul.  In fact, Paul begins every letter by greetings his readers with grace and peace. 

        I think it is safe to say that peace is a big deal to God, that peace is a key component in our faith, that peace is a quality God wants us to possess.  My question for us this morning is, how much peace is there in our lives?

        An article by Pastor Rick Warren outlines three reasons peace is so hard to come by.  We all face:
1.  Situations that are uncontrollable.

2.  People that are unchangeable.

3.  Problems that are unexplainable. 

        We are in this sermon series on the Old Testament names of God.  As God revealed Himself to the patriarchs and the prophets, He gave Himself names to describe His attributes.  One of the names He gave us was Jehovah Shalom, or the God of Peace.  Look with me at this passage in Judges:

        Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD is Peace.   

 

        Judges 6 is a great story.  It is the story of Gideon.  Now the Midianites were oppressing Israel.  The Israelites had strayed from following the Lord God so He gave them over into the hands of the Midianites for seven years.  As the bible says, you reap what you sow.  After seven years the Lord stepped in called Gideon to lead Israel to throw off the Midianite subjugation.

        Judges 6 tells us the Angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon while Gideon was down in a winepress threshing wheat.  A winepress is a hole in the ground, similar to a basement without the house.  It is the last place you really want to thresh because you need a breeze blowing over you while you are threshing wheat and you are not going to get much of a breeze down in a root cellar.  The reason Gideon was threshing wheat in a basement was because he was afraid and was hiding from Midianite raiders. 

     So Gideon is in the cellar, he is hiding and God walks up,

   

    Judges 6:12 “And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor."

 

        Do you see the irony in this statement?  Does this not tell you that God has a sense of humor?  Gideon is hiding in the cellar.  He is threshing wheat in one of the last places you would thresh wheat.  He is anything but a mighty man of valor. 

        This should also tell you that God sees us as we will be and not as we are.  When God looks at you, He sees you as you can be in the power and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.  When the Father looks at you, He actually looks through Jesus to see you.  And the shadow of the righteousness of Christ falls across you giving you the appearance of what you will be when your transformation is complete at the Resurrection.

        God explains to Gideon that Gideon is to be the next warrior/judge of Israel and Gideon will lead the nation to throw off the Midianite oppression.  Gideon’s response was to name the place Jehovah Shalom. 

 

        Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace

        Our God is a God of peace.  He is the true source of peace.  Ultimately, there is no other source of peace outside of Jehovah Shalom.  This isn’t only an Old Testament name.  He carries the title God of peace throughout the New Testament.  You can find references in:

Romans 15:33

Romans 16:20

Philippians 4:9

I Thes. 5:23

Heb. 13:20 

       

        Now look at your bibles and follow with me:

John 14

25  "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

 

 

        In John 14 Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure back to Heaven.  He is about to leave, and when He does, He promises to send His Holy Spirit, the Comforter.  The coming of the Holy Spirit will bring the disciples peace.  As followers of Jesus, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and His abiding presence can bring us peace.  The world may be in chaos, but the believer can have peace. 

        And please understand peace is the not absence of conflict or chaos.  You can’t control your situation.  But you can control how you react to your situation.  Jesus said in John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

        The Lord Jesus, the God of Peace, is going to give us His peace, not by taking away the conflict, but by giving us the presence of His Holy Spirit who can bring us peace in the midst of the conflict. 

        He is the God who is always there and in His presence we have hope.  Hope brings healing.  Healing brings strength.  Strength brings peace. 

 

        Let me give you three points this morning that will lead you to a life of God’s peace.

 

1.  ACCEPT WHAT CANNOT BE CHANGED

        First, if you want God’s peace, you have to accept what you cannot change.  I am not calling for passive inactivity, just an honest admission.  We need to do everything we can to impact the world around us, but there are things in this world that are beyond our ability to control.  We can worry about them, and we all worry, or we can accept what is beyond our control, move on and experience God’s peace.

        In 2 Samuel 12, there is the story of King David whose young son is dying.  David does everything he can on behalf of the boy.  He spends the week in the temple, praying and fasting.  He weeps and he pleads with God to spare the child.  David didn’t eat.  He didn’t bathe.  He simply prayed.  But sadly, the boy dies.

        David’s advisors are scared to tell David the boy has died for fear of what David might do.  David over hears the whispered conversation and point blank asks, “Has the child died?”  When he hears that the boy has passed away, David gets up, baths, changes cloths, eats and goes back to work. 

        The advisors are astonished.  David’s response is “The child has gone to heaven.  And one day I will go to heaven and I will see him.  In the meantime there’s nothing I can do.  David accepted what he could not change.  He simply trusted that God would see him through. 

        The Apostle Paul gives us great advice in Philippians 4.  While in a Roman prison, awaiting his own execution, Paul writes the most positive, peace filled letter imaginable.

Phil. 4:11-13 …for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

12  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

       

Notice that Paul says he learned to be content, he learned to accept certain situations he couldn’t control.  And we can learn this - when we go through tough times and we see the power of an awesome God taking care of us, we can learn to be content.  We learn not to stress over the things we can’t control.  As long as we have Jesus, we will be ok. 

 

2.  TRUST IN GOD’S LOVING CARE

        Secondly, learn to trust in God’s loving care.  Life is never going to be problem free and most of us understand that, the problem is so often the situations we face come in waves.  They are relentless and overwhelming. 

        Let me give you three reasons problems exist.  First, Adam choked.  Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world until they ate themselves out of house and home.  They lived in a world where every need was perfectly met and they blew it.  They rebelled against the only restrictive rule they had and pain and suffering entered this world.  And because of it, you and I live in a broken world where we face problems every day.

        Secondly, Satan is alive and well on planet earth.  Satan is real, he has a host of fallen angels at his disposal.  Satan and his demons are going to come after Christ followers.  If you are a believer you have a bulls-eye on your back. 

        Third, you and I simply reap what we sow and we are far from perfect.  We and the people in our lives make bad decisions and we suffer because of it. 

        But there is an answer

Isaiah 26:3  You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

 

The prophet Isaiah tells us that God will give us peace when we learn to trust in Him and depend on Him.  If we will learn, if we will take directions from God, if we will abide in Him and draw strength from Him, allowing Him to conform us to Him, then we will experience His peace. 

 

3.  SURRENDER TO GOD’S LOVING CONTROL

        The final word I have for you this morning is, if we want God’s peace we must surrender to God’s loving control.  Truth is, most of us are stiff arming God at some point.  In most areas of our life we give God control but there are certain areas of our life we like to control ourselves. 

        Look what Paul wrote in Romans 8:6-7

6     For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

7     For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.

8     Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

        When you and I were physically born, we were born separated from God.  We were born spiritually dead.  Now spiritually dead people can live moral lives.  They can even live religious lives.  But they are not rightly related to God. 

        When you and I are born again, God puts a new spirit in us, and His Holy Spirit comes to live in us.  Now we can walk with God.  Problem is our new spirit is living in old flesh.  Paul calls it the body of death.  And this old nature, this old flesh which has learned how to sin, now continues to look for ways to rebel against our LORD. 

        Our old fleshly nature likes to be in control, in charge, top dog and the big boss.  So you and I have to grow in our faith so that our spirit is strong enough to leverage God’s power, over come our flesh and surrender further to God’s loving control.  And here is the key, it is in surrender and submission that we experience God’s perfect peace.

 

THE GOD OF PEACE

JOHN 14:25-27

Judges 6:24

 

Judges 6:12

 

Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace

 

John 16:33

 

1.  ACCEPT WHAT CANNOT BE CHANGED

 

2 Samuel 12

 

Phil. 4:11-13

 

2.  TRUST IN GOD’S LOVING CARE

 

Isaiah 26:3 

 

3.  SURRENDER TO GOD’S LOVING CONTROL

 

Romans 8:6-7

 

It is in surrender and submission that we experience God’s perfect peace.