Peace, Not Pieces!

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas

Today we are going to see how we can have peace in our lives.

INTRODUCTION:

A man looking for an accountant job was called for interview and the interviewer was the boss of a small business firm. The boss said, “I need someone with an accounting degree.” The man said. “My degree is exactly what you are looking for.” The boss said, “I worry about a lot of things, so your job will be to take all my worries.” “What about accounting” the man asked? The Boss said, “I will do the accounting.” “I see,” the man said. “How much will I get to take your worries?” “I’ll start you at Rs. 25000 per month.” The boss said. “Rs. 25000/- per month!, how can such a small business afford a big salary?” That the boss said, “Is your first worry.”

Life has its own share of worries and stresses. Wherever we go they are present. Peace does not happen that very often isn’t it? So how do we find peace in a worry-loaded world?

Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

God is a peace giver and the devil is the peace stealer. The devil is waiting like a roaring lion looking for a chance to steal your peace and given a chance he is there every moment just to take away your peace of mind. Remember, God never wanted us to be without peace. He created man with absolute peace.

Let’s go back all the way to the book of Genesis, chapters 1, 2, and 3. Here we see Adam, created in the image of God. God placed him in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by all the ingredients that make for perfect peace.

First of all, he was in a perfect place, a paradise designed and created by God Himself. Adam had perfect body with no flaws or blemishes in it. There was no sickness, no pain, no death. God provided him with a garden in which there was perfect food to eat. In the garden Adam had perfect work because he was doing the work that God told him to do. There was no stress, no pressures of job, no traffic jam, no pink slips. Here is Adam naming the animals & tilling the soil without any worry about weeds, exploring his new world without any of the dangers.

And to top all of that God gave Adam a perfect companion. God saw Adam’s loneliness and He fashioned Eve just for him. The Bible says in Genesis 2:22-23 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

I just cannot imagine Adam’s emotion when he saw the perfect woman for the very first time. I can picture Adam jumping up and down, whistling, shouting at the top of his voice, and saying, “She’s perfect. I am happy and excited.”

God created man with a perfect body, put him in a perfect place, they had perfect food, perfect work, and a perfect marriage. It was also a time of perfect peace. No depression, no guilt, no baggage from the past.

Illustration: Can you imagine Eve never bragged about all the other guys she could have married. Adam never said, “I wish you could cook as good as my mother.” It was a perfect marriage.

Well this situation did not last very long. Someone stole their peace. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Satan deceived Eve and Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. The devil made man sin against God and in cunningness took our peace away. Now I want you to notice that Satan’s methods haven’t changed. After thousands of years Satan is doing exactly the same thing he did to Adam and Eve. He is after our peace. 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray … Many of you have been struggling without peace. Satan has stolen your peace and God wants to give you peace today.

HOW CAN YOU HAVE PEACE IN LIFE?

Peace means “being in a right relationship.” The peace that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden was peace in their overall relationships. There was perfect peace within them, perfect peace between them, and perfect peace with God. It was a time of perfect peace. So peace for a man is to have right the relationship primarily with God, and all other relationships. So the first step for us to have peace in this peaceless world is to have peace with God.

1. Peace with God.

Ephesians 2:13-14 AMP 13But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were (so) far away, by the blood of Christ have been brought near. 14For He is our peace (our bond of unity and harmony).

Paul is saying that our sins have taken us far away from God. As a result, we have no promise, no hope, no peace. Remember, God is a holy, righteous, and pure God. And He created us in His own image; pure, holy, and righteous. But the sin through the serpent took us away from God. Our sins have created a wall of hostility separating us from God. Yet God loved us and made a provision for us to be at peace with Him. God sent his son Jesus to reestablish that peace. But in order for that to happen we must make a choice. I have to choose to accept Jesus Christ, who broke the barrier between us and God and came to earth. And when we accept Jesus, He gives us peace back with God.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. There is no other way to the Father except by me.” If you want to have peace in your life it starts first by having peace with God. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour you are at peace in your relationship with God. Jesus said in John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

2. Peace with one another.

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone.
But then there are people whom you want to be peaceful with but they do not want to be at peace with you. So what do we do? Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. So we do everything in our capacity to be peaceful with all people, but if they do not want to receive it, it is up to them.

Remember we cannot live in peace with one another unless we have Christ in us. As the NT church was growing, there was a good mix of Jews and gentiles. The Jews however were not willing to accept the Gentiles and refused to eat with them. The Jews stuck to the OT laws which forbid them from any association with the gentiles. Now it became a big problem in the church. Paul is addressing this issue and telling them that Christ is the source of peace between one another.

Ephesians 2:14, 17 14For He is (Himself) our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both (Jew and Gentile) one (body), and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us. 17And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and (peace) to those who were near.
Jesus brings peace between people, between families, between castes, and between the nations. It is only through Jesus that we can have peace among ourselves.

Illustration:When we study church history we see the church got divided into two in AD 1054 as the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. However even after their split ‘The Church of the Nativity’ built in AD 330, a church constructed in the birth cave of Jesus was controlled jointly by the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. For many years a large silver star adorned the top of the Church. One day back in the 1800’s, the Roman Catholic Church decided to take down the Silver Star and replace it with their own star; but the Greek Orthodox Church refused to let them do that. It became a world political problem as the Greek Orthodox Church was supported by Russia and the Roman Catholic Church was supported by France. Turkey also came in support for France and Russia declared war on Turkey. Soon, it became a big war called The Crimean War which lasted from 1853-1856. At the end of that war the star came down.

Isn’t it ironic that in the very place of the birth of the Prince of Peace there has almost always been conflict even to this day? Isn’t it painful to know that the nations of this world cannot get along with one another? Forget the nations; people do not get along with each other. Our courts are full of people who cannot get along, so they go to court to find someone to resolve the differences between them. People fight, criticize, and tear each other down. People have difficulty living in harmony and peace with one another.

Listen, God sent his son into this non-peace loving world as an instrument of peace. Now listen what Paul says in Ephesians 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. You know what the Bible is telling here? It is about the church; about you and me. God is telling “In the midst of a war-torn world there is an oasis of peace, and that is my people, my families, and my church.”

We have people from different nations of the world and different states of India worshipping with us; praise God for the peace and harmony. Understand we are the examples of peace in this world. Husbands and wives we should love one another, be at peace with one another. Children, be at peace with your parents. Christ brings peace in relationships.

Now I am not telling that there will not be disagreements in the family. Yes, there will be but we need to solve it and not let the peace go out of our families. Satan is trying to divide relationships, divide families. If he does that he can cripple the church. So we need to be united as families, husbands and wives, children and parents in peace.

Sometimes we lose our peace over silly things. Remember we cannot change anyone by yelling at them. Do not try to be emotionally upset at things. Do not be thinking what will happen to my husband, what will happen to my son. Let the peace of God rule your hearts. God has called us to live in peace. You pray to God and God will change them but the more you shout the more you distance them.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
2 Timothy 2:23-24 AMP 23But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. 24And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered (preserving the bond of peace); he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.
Jesus gives peace between one another.

3. Peace within.

We can have peace within us because Jesus has deposited his peace in us.
Ephesians 1:13-14 When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

The Holy Spirit is a deposit. God has deposited his spirit in us. Jesus said in Luke 17:21 The kingdom of God is within you. So what are the ingredients of this deposit? What do we get when the Kingdom of God comes in us?Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. This means when Christ deposited His spirit in us which is the Kingdom of God, He deposited righteousness, peace, and joy in us. So we need not go anywhere looking for joy and peace, it is already in us.

Now what does that mean? “I may lose my job, my friends may not agree with me, my family may not accept me, the doctor may tell you that you have a terminal illness, the world may come crashing down around me” but I am going to be quiet and calm because the peace of God is in me.

We chase everyday after acceptance, success, healing, prosperity etc and when they fail we lose our peace. Our peace is not external our peace is in us, it is internal. No matter what happens in the outside I will be calm because Christ has given peace inside of me.

Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in Holy Ghost. Righteousness is that we have been made right with God, we give our heart to God and we are no more in sin. Righteousness leads to peace. Until we are right with God we cannot have peace. Then the peace of God in us leads to joy. So righteousness, peace, and joy are like a sandwich with peace in between.

How many of you can experience peace inside of you now? Now that you know God has given you peace you need to safeguard your peace otherwise Satan will steal it way. Just like in the garden satan knows how to steal your peace away. We can easily lose your peace in house, traffic, office. These are little of satan’s tactics. We get frustrated and lose our peace. Guard your peace. I have to guard my peace. No one can guard my peace. We have to guard our own peace. We need to trust God and protect our peace that Jesus gave us.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. In the real meaning it is to resist the devil at its onset. This does not meant that we will never be upset, we are bound to be upset sometimes but we resist Satan the moment we become upset or he will take away our peace.

Remember our soul is our mind, will, and emotions and every time we are upset satan uses our soul to steal our peace. When we are upset we try to jump up and down, talk, fight, hit and end up losing our peace. Our mind, emotions, and will needs to be at peace.

John 14:27 AMP Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.)

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.
AMP And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts (deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state) to which as (members of Christ’s) one body you were also called (to live). And be thankful (appreciative), (giving praise to God always).
Peace must be like an umpire in our heart. It decides whether we continue or quit a conversation, thought, etc.

I remember the time when Jesus’ disciples were struggling to keeps their boats afloat in the rough sea. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down immediately and it was completely calm.

The disciples could not speak peace to the storm because there was no peace in them. Jesus was peaceful therefore he could speak peace to the storm. You cannot give away something you do not have. If you can find peace inside of you that Christ gave you, you can speak peace to your circumstances and they will calm down. So be peaceful.

Illustration: A submarine was being tested and had to remain submerged for a week. When it returned to base, the captain was asked, “How did the terrible storm in the last few days affect you?” The captain looked at him in surprise and said, “Storm? We didn’t even know there was one!” The sub had been so deep that it had reached the area known to sailors as “the cushion of the sea.” No matter how fiercely high winds may churn the ocean’s surface, the waters in the deep never disturbed.

Jesus gave us this peace in our inner being. No matter what happens around me it will not disturb me because I know God is in control and he will change things around.

CONCLUSION:

Peace, not pieces. Are you at peace? Jesus said my peace I give unto you. This morning, if you find yourself still fighting the battles of life, at war with yourself and other, the good news is that there can be peace and Jesus can give it to you. Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body. God wants to give you pace and life to your body today. Will you submit to him today? Amen.