Recipe for peace and joy!

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

This morning I want to share a recipe for peace. Because so many are looking Peace, it is a concept that everyone is seeking. Peace implies unity and order. It is much more than a feeling. Peace is a state of mind, and it is a way of life.

We have talked about the subject of peace before. Many are searching for the Peace of God, and unfortunately for some of those seekers, it often becomes a futile quest.

I want you to know this morning, the only way to have the peace of God is by knowing the God of Peace. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Our Lord and Savior, Bethlehem’s special baby, understood the way to peace. He knew that it would come through a relationship with Him. Jesus is Perfect Peace, so the only way to know peace is to know Jesus.

As the great old Preacher S. M. Lockridge once said, “I wonder do you know Him?” He went on “Well, my King is the King. He’s the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring to wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace.” Can I tell you this morning, He is perfect peace!

The Great Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The recipe for peace is this:

1. Rejoice Always!

The great Apostle says rejoice. To find Peace, we have to be able to enjoy life! Our Path to peace begins when we can continually rejoice in the Lord! In all situations and circumstances. Joy is one of the fruits of the spirit, and as believers, we should possess this fruit. I want you to notice the scripture says “Rejoice Always” not Rejoice Anyways. Paul wanted us to understand that our rejoicing is not the last resort. When we rejoice always, we rise above our current situation. Joy reminds of whose we are. We are to live as if Christ is in control! So we can rejoice because the battle is won! Our path to peace begins when we can rejoice in the Lord. The next thing is we are to be

2. Be gracious.

The scripture says to “let your graciousness be known to all men.”
We are to give thanks with a grateful heart because Jesus is worthy of worship and praise. I have found that people who have peace tend to be gracious! I love the story of Paul and Silas in the jailhouse. It was midnight, and in a particular prison in Philippi, the Apostle Paul and his missionary friend had been left to in chains in a dark, dank dungeon. But if we were to listen in at the door, we would not hear the moans and groans and complaints of those who have been unjustly accused and unlawfully beaten. We would not hear the cursing and complaining that one might otherwise expect. What we hear is two men lifting their voices in praise to their Savior. They were so loud, that everyone in the prison could hear them.They were rejoicing. They were gracious and proclaiming Jesus, at the top of their lungs. This second ingredient in our recipe for peace brings me some questions to mind.

Can people see your grateful heart?

Can they look at you and know that you have a relationship with the King of the ages?

We are to be thankful, for the gift of salvation. Salvation brings peace. Our lives are to reflect Jesus. People should see Christ in us, and one of the ways that this takes place is by being gracious and thankful Our lives should allow others to see how grateful we are!

I am thankful for many things. I am grateful for my family and my friends. I am thankful for each of you in my church and those who will read this BLOG post! I am thankful for our great Church God has called me to lead! I know that my life can reflect Jesus by merely being gracious for every breath, every step, every heartbeat.

So Rejoice Always, Be gracious, and the third ingredient for peace is:

3. Don’t Worry!

Anxiety is the killer of peace. We live in a world of worry. I love Bobby McFerrin’s song from the 70’s “Don’t worry…be happy”

“Here’s a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy…”

Bobby understood, Paul understood when he wrote: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

We can see and understand that in everything we are to pray. We are to petition God…we are to ask Him for what we need. We are to do this with thankful hearts. I love the fact that I can approach the throne of Grace with Confidence! I do not have to worry because God is in total control! The Bible says we do not have because we do not ask! I want you to know that God has your best interest at heart!

He wants you to approach Him with confidence and a thankful heart! Paul says “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” I believe that if I always rejoice, and I am gracious and not worrying about everything, that, I will have the peace of God

Paul continues “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.”

I have given you the recipe for Peace. Rejoice Always! Be gracious! Don’t worry! Add these precious ingredients and then look for whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable.

Dwell on these things, during this season I want you to ponder on Bethlehem’s baby. Think about the man He became, think about the perfect life He lived. I want you to remember that he came to save us, to redeem those who would follow him. I want you to remember that He was put on trial before men, and sentenced to death on an ugly Roman Cross. Buried in a borrowed tomb, and three days later He Rises again and is now at the right hand of God.

Listen to me this as you read this, to understand the Peace of God, you have to know the God of Peace! Paul further instructs us, “Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

So my final questions for you this morning. I wonder…do you know Jesus? Are you living perfect peace because of Christ? Do you have peace of mind?

Let there be peace on earth!

I love you all!

Pastor Jeff