- Sermon Notes
A Deep Residing Peace
November 15-16, 2020
We need a deep, residing peace in our soul. We are living in troubling times, but your heart does not need to be troubled. Last week we read the words of Jesus, “Let not your heart be troubled.” He was speaking to the disciples whose world was about to be turned upside down.
Anxiety, worry, and fear are understandable, but just because they are understandable does not mean they are what God wants for you or for me. God speaks to it over and over in His word. “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.”
In John 14, Jesus is speaking to His disciples, they had just finished their last supper together. These are some of the last words Jesus will say to them before He is betrayed, arrested, handed over to his enemies and killed, so these words are extremely significant to them and to us.
In this chapter we read some of the most famous and powerful words that Jesus taught His disciples. “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me…” And then in verse 6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
Then, in verse 15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Jesus repeats that three times in these verses.
Somebody reading that verse might say, “Did Jesus really give commandments? I mean commandment like commandments? I knew there were commandments in the Old Testament, but are there actually commandments in the New Testament? I don’t think I should like the word commandment, it sounds so – command like – so concrete, so definitive, so inconvenient.
“I think He should make suggestions,” they say, “or perhaps He should make recommendations; He could even exhort us, but require? Insist? Expect? Why would Jesus give commandments?”
Maybe it would be comparable to the relationship of a teen to his parents. That’s a good analogy because those are turbulent years when young people are trying to figure out who they are and whether they will agree with the wisdom and direction of their parents or if they will resist at every turn and insist that they are their own boss.
When we were raising our five kids, we tried to communicate that our role was to help transform them; to help transform their character, it was for their blessing and good that we gave certain commandments.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.” We had a very similar rule, they had to respect one another, and they had to respect us, but such ‘commandments’ were given to bless and transform them.
In John 14 Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” In other words, these are not commandments you keep simply because it’s the law; these are things you do because you love Jesus and you love His Father and that love causes you to want to do what He says.
At one point in the history of Israel God explained why their lives and their nation were falling apart, saying, “Behold, their ears are closed, and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it.” In other words, they had no love for God and therefore His Word had no value to them.
Here’s an illustration. Many of you are perhaps too young to remember when the Dallas Cowboys were a good football team. Many years ago, they drafted an accomplished quarterback, Roger Staubach. The problem was that he was used to calling all the plays himself, but he was drafted onto a team that was coached by Tom Landry, who was considered a genius in football strategy; and who called every play… That’s the point; many people are used to calling their own plays. But when you love God and trust that He is the way, the truth, and the life, you want to do what He says, because His way is the way of greatest blessing. It’s the way of truth and life.
In John 10:10, Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have it abundantly, life to the full. Many, however, don’t connect the dots; the way to abundant life you receive from Him is by doing His commandments.
I. His Commandments Come from Love
- Over and over in these verses Jesus says that the one who loves Him is the one who has His commandments and keeps them.
- Jesus connects the two together, “If you love Me, you will keep My word.” Because God loves you, He wants to transform you, so He sends His word – His commandments – so you will be a good man with a good heart that brings forth what is good in your life.
- In other words, God gives His commandments out of His love for you – because of His love for you. It’s an expression of His love.
A. Love gives meaning to life
- Jesus said that the greatest commandment God has ever spoken is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- Notice the connection; “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. If you do something for God without love, do you really mean it? If you do something for God without love, it’s empty, it’s hollow, it has no meaning.
Isaiah 29:13, Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…”
Illus – It’s like earthly relationships, if you bring flowers on Valentine’s Day (it’s required after all), toss them on the counter and say, “Here’s your flowers,” did you mean it?
- Love gives meaning to life. But what if you did mean it? Wouldn’t it change the way you did it?
- Jesus is saying that the two are connected.
1 John 5:3, For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
B. Love your neighbor
- Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” What were the two greatest commandments God ever spoke? Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. This Jesus confirmed. But He also added His commandments.
- What were some of these commandments?
John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- This is sacrificial love; love that blesses others even at your expense. But when you love sacrificially, you’re the one who is blessed.
- He gave other commandments also…
Luke 6:27-28, 36, 38. “I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.… Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you… Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful… Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
- Give unto others; that’s sacrificial living. It’s part of God’s heart to bless you through transforming your heart and character.
Illus – If you withhold forgiveness, you’ll be bitter. If you hold back love, you’ll be lonely and empty. If you hold back generosity, you’ll be greedy.
- When you leave this earth, you’ll leave your treasures behind, God is giving you spiritual treasures that are eternal.
Illus – Spiritual exercise is a great illustration. My wife and I drove by Nike some time ago and saw this buff guy running without his shirt. It takes a lot of exercise to look like that. What would happen if we did the same thing spiritually?
1 Timothy 4:7-8, Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
- Here’s the thing; Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the Helper whom the Father will send. Imagine the spiritual results in your life. In other words…
C. God helps you to love
- God doesn’t just give commandments and then say, “You’re on your own, see if you can do it.” If that were the case, everyone would fail.
John 14:16, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”
- In another place Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” But when you abide in Him, you bear much fruit, what fruit? The fruit of the Spirit…
Galatians 5:22, The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- The Spirit will help you…
Isaiah 30:21, Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Illus – Some time ago I had a difficult person in my life and one day God gave me a great revelation that truly helped me. I was in the shower and thinking about what I should do when I felt God say, “Does God love this person?” I knew that God loved him. “Does God want to bless this person?” I knew that God did. “Then you be in agreement with God.”
II. Love God and Peace will Reside in Your Heart
- Jesus then said in verse 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 heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
- In other words, the result is peace. Not the kind of peace the world gives, it’s different, it’s peace in the soul.
- Many people are troubled in their soul, they’re looking, always searching, but never finding.
A. Peace will guard your heart and mind
- Instead of being anxious, instead of worrying and being bothered about so many things, let your requests be made known to God with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving.
- Then you’ll have peace, not just any peace, the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension. It’s that kind of peace that will guard your heart and your mind from worry and anxiety and fear.
Philippians 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication – with thanksgiving – let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Faith brings that kind of peace. It’s beyond comprehension or beyond understanding because it’s counterintuitive. When things go wrong, people expect you to be filled with anxiety, but when peace guards your heart and mind, you have an anchor for your soul.
B. Dwell on that which is true
- Vs 16-17 — “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper… that is the Spirit of truth.”
- He will lead you into the truth, and the truth will set you free and will bring peace, a deep, residing peace in the soul.
Philippians 4:7-8, The peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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 anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
- What you put into your heart and mind has everything to do with how you live your life.
Psalm 23:7, For as a man think it’s in his heart, so is he.
- In other words, you become what you set your mind upon, you become as you think in your heart. He has the power to transform.
- Jesus finishes as he began, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you… Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandment
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper, so that He may be with you forever; 17 the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. 19 [b]After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you. 21 The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. 24 The one who does not love Me does not follow My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while remaining with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. [c]Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor [d]fearful.