The Peace of Christ

The Peace of Christ

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 12/3/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

                                                                                John 14:27 (NASB95)

How many times have you said, or heard someone say, “I just want some peace and quiet!” or “I want to enjoy some peace and quiet.” Peace seems to be a constant, common goal shared by just about everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are in a good mood or bad mood, perfectly healthy or feeling under the weather, out with friends or home alone, sometimes you just want some peace. But what kind of peace are you looking for? Are you looking for peace that comes from being away from people, with no concerns of conflict? Or are you searching for something deeper when it comes to peace?

While it is only my opinion, I believe most people want something more than just a surface level peace. I believe most people are seeking a peace that will bring peace of mind and heart. Peace that goes far beyond what we can find in the world or from other people. This kind of peace comes from an inner sense of peace and this peace comes from one source and one source only. What people are seeking is The Peace of Christ, peace that brings something far deeper than the peace offered by this world.

As Jesus prepares His disciples for the time when He will leave them, He leaves them with His peace, He gives to them but not as the world gives. Because they have The Peace of Christ, their hearts need not be troubled or fearful.

As Christ followers, we have The Peace of Christ, a peace that is far different than the peace the world offers. The peace we have been given leaves our hearts free from worry and anxiety.

In this message we seek to understand why The Peace of Christ is different than the peace offered by the world.

The Peace of Christ is different than the peace offered by the world because the heart of the Christ follower is free from worry and anxiety.

1). The Peace of Christ offers the Christ follower peace in the spiritual realm.

The Peace of Christ brings the Christ follower peace with God the Father.

In Scripture there are two words used for peace. In both the Old and the New Testaments, the word used for peace can and does mean the absence of enemies or war, but both words mean much more than this. Shalom carries the thought of wholeness; being full or filled; finished; and made perfect. This is a state of being, as in contentment or tranquility. There is quietness and trust as results of righteousness, and a friendship as within a covenant, as in a covenant of peace. In the New Testament it conveys the idea of harmonious relationships between people and nations; it is friendship and order. But the one most important for the Christ follower is the harmonized relationship between God and people – it conveys a sense of rest and contentment.

To have peace in the spiritual realm is to mean we have peace with God the Father. Yes, this is, of course, an absence of war between God and people, for Paul reminds us that while we were enemies of God, Christ died for us. But it is much more than just the absence of war, it is reconciliation between a holy God and sinful people. This was accomplished by God through the death of Christ. We are made righteous through Christ, standing before the Father spotless and without blemish. There is nothing we can do to earn this and no work we can perform to deserve this reconciliation, it is fully dependent upon the sacrificial death of Christ and placing our faith and trust in Him.

Through Christ we also experience peace in our spiritual battles. Make no mistake about this, we still face spiritual battles, sometimes daily, but those battles are now fought differently. No longer do we fight our spiritual battles in our own strength or on our own. We now fight in the victory and strength of Christ. He is the God of Heavenly Host, commanding legions of angels to fight for us, to protect us, and to stand around us, even in the midst of our spiritual battles. The enemy will still come at us, still search for the week spot in our defense. On our own, that weakness would be evident immediately, but in the strength of Christ, the weakness is much harder to find, for Christ leads the charge against the enemy, not us.

Finally, we must not forget that the Father has made His armor available to all Christ followers. From the soles of our feet and the gospel of peace to the very top of our heads and the helmet of salvation, God has provided for protection to all areas of the human body and soul. It is no accident that the first place the enemy strikes is the heart and the minds of the Christ follower. More often than not, it is the mind to first come under attack. Win the mind and the heart soon follows. The mind comes under attack with subtle thoughts that sound logical if not scriptural. But they are not and yet they get the desired affect the enemy was looking for…causing doubt to enter your mind. Rest assured, these are not your thoughts, but thoughts planted there by the enemy seeking to distract and cause doubt.

As Christ followers we must use all of the weapons available to us. We can never win a spiritual battle with our own strength, power, or our own weapons. They simply are not strong enough. But we do have the armor of God available. We discussed but two of those pieces above and still have available the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and the shield of faith. This makes the Christ follower fully covered and protected, but we must take up this armor daily if it is to be of use. But we do not stop there! With the armor of God, we add prayer, taking all of our cares and concerns to the One who has placed them on our heart. We read and study the Scriptures and meditate on them, so we have them fresh in our minds and hearts. In all things we practice obedience. In all things, not just the easy things, not just the fun things or the things that get us noticed, but in all things, we show obedience to God and His commands. Above all this, we wrap ourselves in love and love people, even those who are the most difficult to love and those who show hatred towards us. We love and we love some more!

Questions for discussion/reflection:

What spiritual battle is Christ leading the charge for you during this season of life?

Where do you sense the need for The Peace of Christ today?

What seed of doubt has the enemy planted in your heart and/or mind today?

The Peace of Christ is different than the peace offered by the world because the heart of the Christ follower is free from worry and anxiety.

2). The Peace of Christ offers the Christ follower peace in the physical realm.

The Peace of Christ brings the Christ follower peace of mind and heart.

Now that we have peace within the spiritual realm, we can turn our attention to peace in the physical realm. Once again, we are looking for more than a simple, surface level of peace. We are seeking a deeper peace, a peace that will leave our hearts and minds free from worry and anxiety and this is only found in The Peace of Christ. In the physical realm this will include our finances, our employment, and our relationships. Yes, there are far more things in our physical world, but these are the main areas the enemy will seek to hit and hit hard; these are the areas that bring us the greatest amounts of stress, worry, and anxiety.

Peace in our finances may not always look like an abundance, it is generally just enough and just in time. When Lee Iacocca took over Dodge Motors in the 80’s, he found a car manufacturer completely out of sync. The company was drowning in debt, unnecessary stock, and a lack of needed materials to complete vehicles that were being sold. He instituted the “Just Enough, Just in Time” philosophy in the manufacturing of Dodge vehicles and Iacocca was able to turn Dodge around and payoff a government loan early. The idea was to have the necessary parts delivered just in time and in just enough quantity to complete the needed vehicles for the day or week. This is exactly what our Great God has been doing from the very beginning of time as we know it! We have just enough, just in time, that we might rest in the provisions of our Father.

We also find peace in our employment. Yes, there will still be conflict and we may or may not see them coming, but The Peace of Christ allows the Christ follower to remain in control and not overreact to the conflict when it comes. You will react, but you will not overreact. You will make comments, but you will not make comments that “add fuel to the fire,” or cause further confusion or chaos. In these situations, God will protect you, either putting the right words to speak in your mouth or putting a hand over your mouth! Either way, God will protect you! The one thing that most people miss in these situations is the clarity that God will bring to your situation. Whether it is an opportunity for a promotion or the opportunity to make a change, God will bring clarity to what is happening, and this may bring clarity as to why it is happening.

Finally, we find peace in our relationships. Again, there will be conflicts and concerns but now the Christ follower is able to quickly turn them over to God through prayer. More importantly, the Christ follower leaves them with God and continues to pray over the conflict or concerns. The Christ follower continues to battle in prayer through the strength of Christ. This prevents the Christ follower from making this a one-sided attack but seeking rather, for the best in both themselves, and the other person involved in the conflict or concern. Above all, the Christ follower loves with the end in mind. We love people so they too may see and know the love of Christ that we know, then they too can come to the peace of Christ and have the same reconciliation with the Father we have experienced.

As Christ followers we must remember our battle is NOT with flesh and blood – not with people, but rather the spirit behind the situation we face. Yes, of course, this could lead back to needing peace in the spiritual realm, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the enemy uses people in the physical realm to distract us, to get us to take our eyes off Christ, to disrupt our walk with the Father and then cause more issues in the spiritual realm. We must fight these battles as we do the spiritual battles, through prayer, the armor of God, and reading and studying Scripture. It may sound like a broken record, but this is our best defense against an enemy who will use every weapon at his disposal, including those closest to us. Be prepared, be in the Word, and always love with the end in mind.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How are you experiencing peace in the physical realm during this season of life?

In what area of the physical realm do you need The Peace of Christ?

How are you keeping prepared for sudden and unexpected attacks by the enemy during this season of life?

The Peace of Christ is different than the peace offered by the world because the heart of the Christ follower is free from worry and anxiety.

It has been said that if life is going smoothly, it is because Satan is not concerned about you. The implication here is that Satan has convinced you to partake in some sin and you are safely out of the way and not living in God’s will. It has also been said that if life is going roughly, it is because Satan is attacking you and he has need to be worried about you. The implication here is that Satan has lost control over you. I guess there is some truth to these statements, but I have one issue with them. They dwell on the negative aspect of being a Christ follower. What if we looked at it from the positive aspect of being a Christ follower? What if we said that if life is going smoothly, it is because you are at peace in all areas of life because you are at peace with God. Meaning, of course, that you are doing and living in God’s will. Or, what if we said, if life is going roughly, it is because you are being prepared to handle more and the enemy knows it. The implication here is that you have proven yourself and God is enlarging your area of influence.

In the above scenarios it matters not the perspective, for The Peace of Christ will bring peace with God in both perspectives. The Christ follower needs to be about seeking peace while the time is still available. We seek The Peace of Christ first and then seek peace of mind and heart, for we cannot have the latter without the former. There is no easy way to find and keep The Peace of Christ. Stay in the word, remain diligent in prayer, read, and study the Scripture, meditate on the word so it is fresh in your heart and mind and above all, love with the end in mind. Time is short, soon there will be no peace to be had on this earth, especially for those who do not first have The Peace of Christ.

We do all things for the glory of God through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: Joy – Jeremiah 33:14-16

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