THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 8-11-02
LESSON TITLE: UNDESERVED BLESSINGS FROM GOD: "PEACE"
What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God's Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to lift up our voices in praise to God. Furthermore, what a sweet smelling savor the fruit of our lips is to our Creator. So, this morning won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song "He Lives!"
(SONG # 1)
Living in a world that is full of so many people, we are reminded every day how different everyone is. Think about how hard it is, at times, to get along with everyone and to overlook each others imperfections. Probably everyday, whether it is at home among family, at work among coworkers, or at school among peers, we are faced with getting upset about something that has been done to us or something that offends us in some way. Maybe the comments made are not even to us or about us, but still, they often bother us enough for us to put them in the back of our mind, so that we can remember them on a regular basis.
For the next few minutes we want to consider something that my wife has learned to be really good at - forgiveness. One of the most fundamental social principles found in the Bible is forgiveness. In fact, we can quote scripture after scripture, that reminds us of the need to be a forgiving people.
However, we must remember that at the heart of it all, God was first willing to forgive. We must remember that God first gave His own Son to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Thus, we read, "in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins," Ephesians 1:7. As Christians, we are not asked to be a forgiving people because we are special or different, but we are asked to forgive because God first forgave us. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said, "for if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Here we learn that the only way God will forgive us, is if we learn to forgive others.
The lesson of forgiveness is a hard one for us, but nevertheless it is important to understand because the "unforgiver" will not be forgiven. Paul put it well in Colossians 3:13, where he said, "bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do." We must be patient with each other in this life, realizing that we all have faults and shortcomings. So, we must learn to forgive others, as God has forgiven us.
Isn't it the golden rule that adds another aspect to this study? "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." If we want to be forgiven by God and others, we must learn to be forgivers of others faults. This is the will of God.
Finally, let me ask you a question, "did Jesus have to be asked before He forgave others?" What about on the cross, Jesus was asking the father to forgive those who had not even asked for forgiveness yet. Are you striving to follow this example of Jesus? Or do you keep thinking, he or she never asked me for forgiveness or said they were sorry! Let's learn to be better Christians, by learning to be more Christ-like. Isn't that what Christianity is all about?
Today we will continue our study on those, "Undeserved Blessings From God." Our specific topic of the day will deal with, "Peace." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song I will return with this lesson from God's Word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Peace, Perfect Peace."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you for continuing with us this morning. It's always a great privilege to go to God's Word and at this time we'll do that by again looking at another undeserved blessing from God. In fact, the Bible is full of so many blessings that obviously we have as Christians and being the sinners that we are as we have been born to this world and affected by the world which we live. Even Isaiah said that "we are separated from God by sin." Therefore, really what God has bestowed on us, even the giving of His son is well undeserved. Well the fact is that we still have that promise from God. And as we have that promise this morning we want to add to our list of discussions that we've been taking place at least for the past month now. And today we want to talk about the peace of God. We've looked at grace. We've looked at salvation. We've looked at the different concepts such as mercy, the mercy of God and as I said this morning, grace.
If you just listened to the words that we sang together, beautiful words. "Peace, perfect peace. In this dark world of sin, the blood of Jesus whispers peace within. Peace, perfect peace by thronging duties pressed to do the Will of Jesus, this is rest. Peace, perfect peace with sorrows surging round on Jesus bosom not but calm was found. Peace, perfect peace with loved ones far away, in Jesus keeping we're safe and they. Peace, perfect peace our future all unknown, Jesus we know and He is on the throne." And finally, "It is enough. Earth struggles soon shall cease and Jesus calls us to heaven's perfect peace."
If you look at this song, it really just encompasses what we're trying to say this morning on the program as we look at a peace here, a peace that really is undescribable in the words of man. In fact, in Phillippians chapter 4, you might remember there in verses 6 and 7 we actually deal with some of these concepts in relationship to the things of God. In fact, verse 7 says that "a peace that passes all understanding." It's something that really with our minds is unconceivable. We really in our own words and with our own thoghts are unable to really describe what peace is all about, the peace that surpasses understanding. This song here really encompasses not only God and the work that we do for Him, but how that edrything in connection to our Creator brings but one thing and that is peace, a calmness, a serenity to our life that is found nowhere else in our lives except again through the Creator, the Giver again, once again God Himself.
If you will, turn with me to Phillippians chapter 4 because we want to look at these verses and see exactly what was being said here as Paul was writing to the church at Phillipi and striving to encourage them in relationship to the lives that they were living for God. In fact, in verse 6 it begins, "be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Verse 17 says, "And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." And through these verses here, we really see that God is introducing to us some interesting concepts first of all about prayer and how that we need to not be anxious in this life or wanting things to happen today. That's difficult for us as Americans, isn't it? We want something done now. If I go to the bank, I want to be waited on now. If I go to Wal-Mart, I want to be the next in line. I don't want to wait at all. "Be not anxious," Paul said. But do what? "But pray."
You see, prayer can help us to really combat being anxious or really worrying about the small things of this life that really are insignificant or don't matter. He said, "Don't be anxious, but pray." You see, if we learn to pray, he says here that then we will have certain things in this life. But notice here he mentions a certain thing to include in prayer. If you'll notice again in that verse, verse 6, he says there "to pray and make supplications." The word supplications means that we make requests unto God. He says that "when we have needs that we ask Him for the things that we need whether they be of a physical nature or a spiritual nature." He says that "we pray and make requests." Notice also he adds another element. He says, "with thanksgiving." In other words, be mindful of who God is and of all that He has done and is doing and will do for us from the very again giving of His son to the many small things in this life to the great things that He has blessed us with in the life that we have lived. So he says, "Don't be anxious, but pray, asking the things that you have need of and with everything thanking God for what He has bestowed thus far." Thanking God for all that He has given for you in your life up to that point and thereon unto the future, even to eternal life as we know which has been promised for us in heaven. And as we make those requests known, he says then in verse 7 that something takes place. He says in verse 7, "And the peace of God, and the peace of God..." what? "Guard your hearts and mind." You see, if we pray to God and we know God is there and we've had lessons before on prayer and God hears us and we know the promise is ours as followers. He hears and answers prayer and gives us what we need and what we've asked for according to His Will. Then we know there is really an element, really a peace, of calmness in life, something as he says here again that can't be understood, something that in our hearts and again as we talk about the concept of the heart and the mind, we're talking about really the essence of man. We're not talking about the part of man that really pumps blood through the body. We're talking about really who a man is. Who is his existence based on, the soul, the very essence once again of man. And he says here that "peace that passeth understanding is something that will guard..." what? "Your hearts and mind." Your very essence. If we do what? If we pray to God and we thank Him and we love Him and we know He is there and we show our faithfulness and obedience to Him. You see, when we do our part to God and we ask and pray to Him and thank Him, then He is going to give us what peace? He's going to hear and answer and provide for us all that we have need of.
The peace of God surely is at the foundation of what God has done for us and the peace that He has promised us. In fact, in Romans chapter 5 and verse 1, it talks there about this indication that really it is a part of that building block for the Christian, that that peace really exists in the foundation and that again once we know that God is there and that He has done these things and is doing so much and will do for us in the future, that peace is there. Why worry? Why allow things to drag you down in life and to make you feel bad or people to harm you? Because again, God is there. He will help you. He will bring you through it. In fact, in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 10 it says, "He'll not only be there to help, but He'll give you an escape in problems, in trials and temptation." You see, God brings peace because God is a worker. He's a worker that helps us and He is one that strives to be there for us in every situation.
The peace of God is also indentified it seems here in these verses that we've read in Phillippians. It's something that not only passes understanding but reminds us of the old beautiful song, "When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrow like sea billows roll..." And then it goes on to say, "It is well with my soul." Why? Because the peace of God is there. God and His ability to provide, to care, to protect, to give me as we have seen in our last series and grace and mercy. God in all these things brings me what in life? Peace. He brings me a calmness. He brings me a serenity, an ability to have a life that really is undescribable. Where else can we find that, I might ask? Where in this world can we go to find such comfort and solace? Where else can we go to find promises, not only now of what we can have, but in lives to come? Where else can we go and know that really God is there, and really know that God is real and that He has been proven and that He is someone that we can count on? Well again, the only place we can go is to the one creator, the one and true God, as the Psalmist said, the one and only giver of life, the one who breathed into our bodies the breath of life and that is God, God Almighty in heaven.
How has He done this? We read this morning verses already through the son Jesus Christ. He gives me that peace because I know that Jesus died and because of the death of Christ I know that He has reconciled me to the Father, that the Father now through the blood of Christ washes away my sins and gives me a forgiveness and completeness that without Jesus that without Jesus couldn't be found. Again, the Father extends that peace through the son so that you and I might have again that peace that surpasses all understanding.
Now I want you also to notice in the verses that we read that it clearly states in verse 7 the knowledge of Jesus Christ and being through Jesus Christ. I am again reminded of a song, so many beautiful songs about these attributes of God, the grace, the mercy, the peace. When it talks there about counting our many blessings and naming them one by one, why? Because we know God is there. We know He is going to give us what we need. So why worry? Have peace because God is the provider. Through who? Verse 7 of chapter 4 of Phillippians said, "through Jesus Christ." If we are those who pray to God, we will have what? Peace. Peace that surpasses understanding. It will guard our hearts and mind and will guard them in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because it is through His sacrifice that we have these things available for us.
Now you might wonder as a child of God, how can I have peace? Well you can have peace by being obedient to the call of Jesus Christ. Jesus has offered these things that we have discussed. He has offered salvation. He has offered us the ability to know what grace and to have grace extended and to have the ability and to have mercy and peace. He has offered us all of these things as a gift, and we must receive them. We must do our part to respond through obedience and do what God has asked us to do. We must be like Paul and Peter and others in the Bible who were willing even in the face of adversity to have peace and calmness in prison, to sing praises to God, even in the worst of situations. Why? Because God gave them a peace that was undescribable. Do you want that type of peace in your life? Do you want your God to be able to give you a peace that really a man can not give you and cannot describe? Do you want to follow someone who will give you salvation and eternal life?
(SONG # 3 - "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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How wonderful it is to have a God that provides us such calm and peace in life. Let's all tell our friends just how caring our Savior is!