Posts Tagged ‘ Peace ’

VerseD: Galatians 5:25

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25, ESV

By the Holy Spirit we promote the gospel of peace to our fallen world and amongst each other in all love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

VerseD: 1 Peter 3:12

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:12, ESV

We can have peace knowing that God hears our prayers, and they will be mixed with incense and God’s wrath against the evil doers at the end. (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-5)

VerseD: Matthew 6:34

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:34, ESV

Tomorrow’s problems? Too far away. Deal with today’s problems.
Christ’s return? Completely out of your control. Let Him handle it.
Have peace knowing God is in control.

VerseD: Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15, ESV

We have peace knowing our Lord has already won the war, and we can be thankful because we have guarantee of the Holy Spirit of our delivery into eternal life with Christ.

VerseD: Isaiah 54:10

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10, ESV

Through Jesus, we know that the world as we know it will come to an end, but because of God’s great love, we shall remain in His peace on Earth forever.

VerseD: Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13, ESV

Only in Christ by the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father can we find true peace and joy, and it is bolstered by the hope of Jesus’ imminent return in power.

Sermon: What is Life? – 1 Peter 2:1-12

I preached again!

This was a tough one. I rewrote it several times, including overnight Saturday/Sunday.

I kept it light, naturally, only discussing the Gospel, the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, and the presidential election season.

Light.

(I was so exhausted afterward!)

Give it a listen (click here if it does not work just below), and see my rough notes for all scripture references and basic thoughts. I am reading from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.

What is life? (1 Peter 2:1-12)

Read 2:1-12

What is life?

Not so much “what makes a thing living,” but who is living? How do we live? What does it look like to have a life?

What life?

Earlier in my life, I discovered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

  • Love them.
  • Working at the school, money tight, often had these for lunch. Still had days longing for a PB&J. And a glass of milk (or carton from the cafeteria!)
  • What does this have to do with life?

Read 2:2-3: Spiritual milk

Even having PB&J most days, I still craved it.

  • Do we do that with God’s Word?
  • Have you tasted that the Lord is good?

V. 1 gives a list of things this life offers (read/explain v. 1)

  • An earthly mind is focused on such.
  • What is life?
    • Focused on hate, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander?
    • Or on God’s love?

Vv. 4-8:

All of this poetic language from Isaiah and Psalm 118 spoke of Israel, but found it’s fulfillment in Christ.

Israel built the Temple in Jerusalem, but they rejected the first living stone. And what is Christ this first stone, the cornerstone, part of? The Church!

The Church is about community. God’s community. It is built on the love God showed through Jesus.

God created life: Genesis 1-2, especially 2:7: the Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

Yet, Genesis 3, we took this life and decided to go our own way. And all of us – every single human since then, save Christ – has done our own thing: we have broken God’s Law of loving Him and other people. And though we mock and revile our Creator, He came down to us in the person of Jesus Christ to take the mocking, reviling, and violence in person. He took on human life to offer that life as a payment for our disobedience, our sin.

And three days later, He brought Himself back to life, and He lives forever, seated at the right hand of the Father.

This is the Cornerstone: the God-Man who gave up His life to give us a life of community, fellowship, with Him and each other for eternity. We make up the new Temple, not of stones that can wear down, but of our bodies which will one day be glorified.

And all we need to do is believe this truth of who He is.

But others reject Him still.

Listen to those who say Christianity is a fairytale.

Listen to those who say the Church has done nothing good for this world.

Listen to those who call Christianity the religion of white people.

Danger Warning: This is where things get tough, even confrontational.

Look at our world:

  • An election year. (If you disagree with my candidate, you’re stupid and wrong!)
  • A global pandemic, with anxiety and fear being peddled daily in our newsfeeds and on social media. (And we will find a cure, no god needed. ~NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo)
    • We can debate the threat, masks, and statistics later!
  • Racial tensions higher than they have been for decades. #BlackLivesMatter
    • We must realize the cry here:
      • The organized movement: Anti-Christian
        • Anti-nuclear family
        • Anti-marriage
        • Anti-biblical definition of gender/sexuality
        • Pro-choice (abortion)
        • Pro-socialism/communism
        • Pro-pluri-religiosity
      • The average person (yes, most protesting):
        • Sees systemic racism (yes, it is actually real)
        • Sees a society that seemingly doesn’t care
        • Sees a discrepancy in how people are treated

How then do we live? What is life?

Vv. 9-12

We all agree that “all lives matter.” (In this room, at least) We don’t want people to die needlessly.

  • If we are fixated on, even fearful of where this country is headed because of the next election, if we get offended (heated discussion/argument) over how certain elected officials are destroying our country, if we know “those people are idiots who only want to undermine our society” (and notice I never said “Republicans” or “Democrats”, but if you thought of one or the other …)

    … are you trusting and believing in our sovereign God who instituted our government? Are you building that community based on God’s love?
  • Does wearing a mask in certain places affect your salvation? Does it affect your eternal life?

    What about the life of someone outside of the Church?

    What if all they see is someone ranting about how they don’t need to wear a mask, because even if they die they know where they are going?

    What if they are afraid of dying, and someone basically waves off that fear “for personal freedom?

    Is that respectful and loving?
  • Do black lives matter?

    Are we hearing the cries of a lost world or pushing our own understanding of life on others?

What is life?

We know that we are all one race: descended from Adam. There is only one human race.

But we are only united in Christ.

There is enough malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander in the world.

We are [vv. 9-10]

We are kings and queens. We are priests, administering the sacraments of love, peace, hope, and faith to a lost and hurting world.

And how did our High Priest King do that?

Philippians 2:5-8

What is life?

For the rest of the world, we see it playing out every day.

For the Christian, [Philippians 2:12-16]

We follow in our Lord’s footsteps, humbly serving our fellow image-bearers out of the love given to us by God through His Holy Spirit. Not grumbling and complaining about how unfair, unjust, and unsavory our world is, but showing compassion, humility, and faithfulness to God’s Word.

Our life is not our own. It was bought with the most important life. Grumbling and complaining and pointing fingers tears apart, but we have been tasked to help build the living Temple of God, the Body of Christ, the Church.

We are His. We belong to Christ. And we draw closer to Him by reading His Word, abiding His Word, and living out His Word in our everyday lives.

Life is only truly found in Christ.

VerseD: Hebrews 12:14

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14, ESV

We are set apart for Christ by the Holy Spirit, so we are empowered to seek holiness and to desire peace with everyone, as He has made peace with us.

VerseD: Psalm 91:1-2

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1‭-‬2, ESV

Our comfort and peace in this life is our God, and He is our hope for the future, that He will return and remove all evil and suffering when He makes all things new.

VerseD: Psalm 23:1-2

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psalm 23:1‭-‬2, ESV

Our God leads us, comforts us, and provides for us in more ways than we understand. He gives a peace we cannot fathom. He gives rest to our weary souls.