Note: the audio equipment was not set up quite right, so the recording sounds a bit like I’m in a tin can… hopefully its still easy to understand what I’m saying.
There is one thing almost every person wants deep down: peace.
- Not just peace in their nation (absence of war), but peace in their relationships (absence of conflict), and peace in their mind (absence of confusion and guilt).
- Very few people ever find true peace and it is simply because they have the wrong definition of peace to begin with and they search for it in the wrong place.
True peace is not the absence of conflict
The absence of conflict is at best just a temporary ceasefire in hostilities when both sides are reorganizing for attack, whether it be two people, or two nations. Despite Nobel Peace Prize winners, the United Nations, peace treaties, anti-war groups and peace accords… there has not been a single time of peace in all the history of mankind.
- People search for peace in from many sources. Despite self-help seminars, psychiatrists, group therapy, eastern religion, myriads of drugs, entertainment, leisure and pleasure unlimited… there is very little peace in the lives of individuals today.
True peace is not passively getting along and ignoring the obvious
For some, the idea of peace is to ignore problems and act as if they don’t exist.
- Passivity is seen as the key to cultivating personal peace or world peace.
- In many families, turmoil or bitterness boils just under the calm surface of unspoken tension.
- How often it is decided that if the problems (that all are fully aware of) are just ignored, it will go away over time.
- It is often expressed as “we just don’t bring it up”.
True peace is not escape
Avoiding or temporarily eluding the source of conflict or guilt does not magically make it disappear.
- In fact, it only serves to intensify and aggravate the problem.
- Now days there is a diversion or cure-all for every difficulty and strife that comes our way.
- We have learned to medicate, entertain and drug ourselves into passive blissfulness.
- The only problem is, when the alcohol wears off, when the movie is over or the pills run out… the fake peace runs out too only to leave even greater turmoil in its place.
True peace begins in the hearts of individuals and only on God’s terms.
Peace cannot be enforced externally with lasting success.
- It only comes when the hearts of individuals turn to God, repent of the sin that is the root of the conflict, and replace it with righteousness and goodness with God’s help.
True peace begins with individuals who are at peace with God
There can be no peace in your life unless you are at peace with God.
- Peace with God comes very simply by dealing with the sin in your life on God’s terms.
- Repentance and righteousness: the two ingredients of peace.
- It’s no secret, no magic trick or new revelation. Just good old fashioned being sorry for your sin (which causes conflict and robs us of peace), turning from it (repentance), asking for God’s forgiveness (obtaining Godly peace); and living a holy and righteous life before others (cultivating peace).
When individuals find true peace in God; only then families can be at peace. When families are at peace then churches, communities, cities and nations can be at peace.
- There will never be “world peace” until Jesus returns.
- It is futile to work for “world peace”; instead we should be striving for “individual peace”.
- The Bible calls this being a PeaceMaker.
True peace comes from dealing with sin and instilling righteousness
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (NKJV)
Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
It appears that Jesus contradicts Himself in these two verses. He doesn’t.
- What He is teaching is that peace does not come without a price.
- Very often violence and confrontation must occur before true peace can be produced.
- Violence and conflict with what? SIN.
Jesus didn’t come as a “love guru” or peacenik. He didn’t float around in a drug stupor chanting “peace, love and drugs, man”.
- He came as a warrior teaching us to destroy sin in our lives with a vengeance.
- Jesus didn’t offer false peace, false love, false unity or false hope.
- He willingly came to pay for OUR sin through HIS brutal death.
- He sacrificed Himself, though completely innocent, so that we would have power over sin in our lives and obtain true peace that only He can offer.
We are in a sin war. We are to exterminate sin in our life with “extreme prejudice” (relentlessly, mercilessly, fiercely).
- Sin is not to be toyed with, ignored or taken casually.
- Peace can only be gained through its destruction and the infusion of righteousness by God’s standards.
A lack of peace is always caused by sin in the heart of individuals. Until it is removed and holiness fills the void, there can be no true peace.
How can you have true peace?
- You have to start with God’s peace
in your own life through salvation
- Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJV)
- Help others make peace with God by sharing
- Ephesians 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (NKJV)
- Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (NKJV)
- Make peace between you and other
- Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (NKJV)
- Romans 12:17-18 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (NKJV)
- Help make peace between other people
- Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. (NKJV)
- Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
- God’s Word has
everything we need to have peace, and spread peace
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)
- 2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (NKJV)
Peace is a blessing from God. He longs to grant us in peace no matter what life throws at us. We have to obtain peace on God’s terms. Deal with sin; repent and live righteously. True peace will then be yours and you will be prepared to bring peace to others.
- Is your life peaceful no matter what the circumstances?
- Do you recognize that sin is ALWAYS the source of conflict, whether in you, or in someone else; and has to be dealt with?
- God is the only source of peace.
- The closer you are to Him, the more peace you will have.
- Determine that you will do whatever it takes to make regular, substantial time to spend with God in prayer and Bible Study.