- Sermon Notes
The Peace Of God
Introduction to Philippians 4
– Paul is writing this letter to the first church planted in Acts 16.
– Paul is writing this letter from his imprisonment in Rome.
– Paul is reflecting upon his suffering and sharing about the hope he has found in Christ during his own persecution and imprisonment.
– Paul suffered well and learned the value of peace.
Read Philippians 4:4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I. Rejoice In The Lord Always
– Paul wants us to know, he even repeats it in this letter, to rejoice in the Lord.
– Paul is not calling us to simply rejoice or look on the bright side of things. He is calling us to take joy in the Lord! We can rejoice in many things but so many of those things will lead us to dead ends and empty promises.
– When we rejoice in God it leads to the path of life and fulfilled promises.
– The goodness and promises of God are what sustain our life.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.
Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
– We always have reason to rejoice because of all the Lord has done. Paul calls us to not lose sight of the promises of God. There is always something to worry about.
A. Worry is a prison of fear.
Luke 12:25-26 “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life span? If then you cannot do even this very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?”
– Is there something you believe God can’t handle?
– Many of us are challenged daily with anxiety. The church Paul was writing to was experiencing similar daily pressures.
– Paul wrote earlier is this book in Philippians 1:21 that for him “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” There is no promise in this life that following Jesus is going to mean you will have no resistance, struggles, or pain. Many times it means the exact opposite.
– However, this should not change our perspective. Anxiety will always stem from the fact that we don’t think God can handle what we are worried about!
Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
THE WORLD TODAY- anxiety and worry are a regular conversation and problem in our culture and world today. From young too old, we live in a “anxious” world.
– Do we still believe God is still good?
– Do we still believe that God knows what we need?
– Do we believe God still does miracles?
– Do we believe he can heal, rebuild, and restore?
– Do we rejoice in him alone?
HYMN- Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of his glory and grace.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
QUOTE- Fear of God is the only thing that can defeat all other fear- Paul Tripp
B. Pray, Plead, and Praise, It Leads To Peace!
STORY- My wife and her anxiety. Anxiety is a reminder to the fan flame of faith.
– When you feel anxious prayer, pleading, and praising are your weapons.
– Pray Prayers of Faith.
Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
– Many times we don’t receive because we simply don’t ask.
– God knows what we need and knows what is best for us. Prayers offered in faith are prayers that don’t have “loose ends.”
– We must be willing to surrender the outcome. We have to be willing to receive what God wants to give us in faith.
– Don’t hold back the desperation of your heart
– Jesus cares for the little things and the big things. He knows your hurts and needs before you even speak them. Have you opened wide your heart for him to work?
Psalms 139:23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
– Praise and Thanksgiving
– You have to be wiling to take our eyes off of our failures, flaws, and suffering to truly see how we are blessed. Giving thanks to God for even just the breath in our lungs is an opportunity for Jesus to transform our perspective.
Hebrews 13:15 Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Psalm 107:8-9 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things
– We are called to an attitude and lifestyle of thanksgiving.
– It is built into the nature of man to always be in want but peace is found when we are thankful with what we have!
STORY OF GETTING SICK IN UGANDA-
– I came down with a 104 degree fever and shakes from a Dengue Fever
– I became so thankful for modern medicine and for hospitals
ILLUSTRATION- One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
– Wrote this book about the importance of gratitude.
– “Gratitude is at the center of a life of faith.”
– She choose to keep an ongoing list of 1000 things she is thankful for.
– Big and small things began to change her perspective of life.
– “It is impossible to be stressed and grateful at the same time. It is a reset button for the soul.”
– “As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.”
II. Peace is a promise!
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
– Faith does something amazing that we can’t even explain. When we choose to trust in Jesus he transforms our perspective of whatever we are facing.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, may also be revealed in our body.
STORY- My good friend losing his brother.
– I thought I was going to comfort him but instead he comforted me.
– Perfect peace led him to have joy in the sight of his tragedy.
Psalms 30:11-12 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
A. You Are What You Think
– Just like “you are what you eat,” you become the prevailing thoughts of your mind.
– “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7
– Paul is pushing us towards what is true, honest, right, pure, lovely, just, excellent and praiseworthy. Therefore we need to move away from what is in opposition of that.
– Is television going to remain apart of your life after reading this?
– Is the social media going to continue to be your go to after reading this?
– Are there friends and influences in your life that you are letting have a louder voice than the truth of God?
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Matthew 12:34-35 For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
– Is your heart and soul starved for what is good?
– Peace cannot be found when we starve our lives of what is good!
B. Hold Onto What Is True!
Psalm 119:11-12 Your word have I treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me your ways.
– These are truths we are given in scripture!
You are loved by Christ
Redeemed through His Blood on the Cross
Forgiven of all your sin
You are adopted as sons and daughters of God
No Longer an Enemy or Stranger or Dead
But welcomed as a friend of God
Made New, Alive, and Given Citizenship to Heaven.
You are God’s masterpiece
You are fearfully and wonderfully made
You are his beloved, holy and blameless
He rejoices over you with singing
He takes great delight in you
He remains the same no matter your circumstances
He knows what you need before you even pray to him.
He promises to never leave you nor forsake you.
Story- Holding a scared cat in Colombia story
– Many of us our heavy with anxiety and stress.
– Jesus wants to hold us close. He is calling us to himself.
– We simply need to lean back against Christ and listen to his heart that beats for us.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
There is nothing that God cannot handle. Even when circumstances leave you stunned or even your own mind wants to rebel against what is true, Jesus is calling you into his peace.
Philippians 4:4-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [a]near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [b]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [c]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [d]dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.