• Word Of Life Church

Only Jesus Brings Lasting Peace

—Home Church Sermon— “For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

    and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

    Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

-Isaiah 9:6

Well, a very Merry Christmas to you today.

Is that what you were thinking?

No, it’s not Christmas in July June.

It seems like some pastors only make reference to this great verse during December.

But what a great verse for all times.

Especially in these crazy days.

That is why I use Isaiah 9:6 often in life and ministry.

It has so much to say about God and his promises to us throughout our life.

Did you see yourself written all over this great bible verse predicting the birth of Jesus?

You are.

In fact, every human is.

It says, to us (you) that the child Jesus is born and is given as a gift to bring peace.

It was “to us” that he was born and given.

Jesus [the 2nd person of the Trinity] has always existed.

So, he wasn’t born as far as “coming into being” like we “came into being” when we were conceived and born.

He was only born in so far as he took on a human body.

The main point is that he did so “for us”!

“To us” the child was given.

He did so to bring us the peace that

we so desperately need.

The ultimate peace that we need is

peace with God (salvation).

Jesus provided that on the cross.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

-Romans 5:6-10

But in addition to everlasting peace with God,

we need daily peace to help us get through the many difficult things that we face.

So, I would like to talk about Jesus as our

“Prince of Peace”.

It seems like many people define peace as;

“A time when things are easy and convenient.”

How about you?

I know for me that when things are easy and

I have very few inconveniences in my life,

I typically do feel more at peace.

But that is not typically when I NEED peace.

It is when I am facing the storms of life, and when I am feeling helpless that I find the greatest hunger and need for real peace.

That peace typically comes from God in the middle of the storm, rather than from his removing me from the storm.

So, the recipe for peace is not to simply get rid of things that are hard and inconvenient.

The reason that would not work is because

God’s idea of peace comes in the unexpected.

You would expect that if things in life were going well,

you would be at peace.

But time and time again we find people whose finances, relationships, and health are all good,

but they still have no peace.

It is because…

Peace is not about the absence of problems.

Peace is the presence of Jesus.

Peace comes in the unexpected.

Jesus the “Prince of Peace” came not dressed in power, but rather in “Pampers”

(swaddling clothes).

That was unexpected.

Even some of his disciples thought that he would bring peace through the sword

(revolting against Rome).

But his peaceful approach was unexpected.

Another unexpected thing was that this “Prince of Peace” did not come looking like a “Deliverer”.

He came looking more like a “Defendant”.

[Being charged with, and paying for our sins]

God’s peace is offered in unexpected ways and

at unexpected times.

His peace comes not when life is easy,

but when life is hard.

His peace comes not when everything is conveniently working out in life, but rather when many things are major inconveniences [things or people we want to go away].

That goes against everything that we think.

It goes against our understanding.

In fact it goes way beyond what makes sense to us.

Paul says it “transcends” our understanding.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your

hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 4:7

Everyone wants to “Find” peace.

But peace cannot be found, or at least it is not found in the way that we might expect.

It is not found in a getting rid of a Face (a person).

It is not found in getting rid of a Space (situation).

It may seem like “If only” you could get rid of someone or some circumstance,

you would have peace.

While there may be some truth to that,

the peace would only be temporary.

Our experience shows that we know that there would just be another Face (person) that would take their place to interrupt our peace.

Neither is the answer just simply to move to another Space to attain peace.

While a move could help with peace, we know that it too would only be a

temporary fix and feeling of peace.

Let me digress for a minute because my mind just went to words that rhyme with Face & Space.

Questions:

How many words can you think of that rhyme with Face and Space?

How do they relate to God’s concept of Permanent Peace coming only from the presence of Jesus?

Permanent” Peace will NOT come:

Face                [… after plastic surgery or a total makeover]

Face                [… by not having to look at someone’s face anymore because they are out of my life]

Space              [… after moving]

Replace          [… after any change]              

Bass                [… through music.]

Disgrace         [… through revenge or wanting to see another person disgraced or debased]

Embrace         [… by embracing a new love interest]

Erase               [… by continually beating yourself up because of things that you have done in the

past that you cannot erase or do over again]

Chase              [… by chasing after peace in a million different places]

Pace                [… by changing pace. Unless of course if slowing down your pace of life can help

you focus more on Jesus and your relationship with him]

Race                [… by competing with, and triumphing over someone else.]

Vase                [… by buying flowers that will eventually die. Note to guys: Flowers have been

known however to help significantly cut your time in the doghouse if you ever

find yourself there. Ha Ha]

And the final rhyme that I could think of that would not bring “Permanent” Peace” is

Trace               [… by cheating or cutting corners.]

I remember as a kid, seeing the advertisement in my “Boy’s Life” magazine for scholarship money for the winner of a contest where the best picture

of a turtle would win.

They showed you a picture of a turtle.

You were to draw it and send it in.

The best one wins the money.

I remember thinking that you were guaranteed to win if you just traced it.

But what they were actually looking for was to determine the artist’s “potential” by how they saw and interpreted the turtle. How they conceptualized the turtle.

How would you utilize your space and handle your pencil, and draw the lines.

How would you do the shadowing etc.

One thing was true, you could not win by simply cheating and tracing the original turtle.

Neither will you find “Permanent” Peace by “Tracing” someone else’s life.

It may bring some “Temporary” Peace that often comes with the excitement of new things,

 but it will not bring “Permanent” Peace or Happiness.

You are uniquely created and gifted by God.

Find peace in that truth!

“Don’t WAIT for peace.”

WALK in peace.”

“Don’t WAIT for peace.”

[Don’t wait for circumstances to change in order to be at peace, because they may never change.]

WALK in peace.”

[Believe that God is with you

walking it through with you]

Remember the Angels at the first Christmas?

They said to the Shepherds;

“Peace on earth”.

[“Peace on earth” = Peace “In the middle of earthly problems” that rob us of peace.”]

Note: The Angels did not say,

Peace from earth.

[Peace does not come from our getting away “from” earthly problems]

We all want a peace that the world cannot take away.

That is exactly what Jesus provides.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 4:7

[It does not make sense to the non-Christian how we can have this peace in the midst of our very difficult situations, fears and sorrows.]

The Shepherds found peace in the middle of their fear.

They had to pass through a time of fear.

That is why the Angel said;

 “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 -Luke 2:10-12

David said; “Though I walk through [not “around”] the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me, [He is “in it” with us] your rod and staff comfort me.”

-Psalm 23

God’s promise of peace is not that we will not have to go through hard and inconvenient things in life.

His promise of peace is that we will never

have to go through them alone.

He is always with us.

“For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

    and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

    Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

-Isaiah 9:6

This bumper sticker says it all.

“No Jesus, No Peace”

“Know Jesus, Know Peace”

Closing Blessing

I end with what Paul said in Romans 15:33

“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.”

Pastor Dave

Word of Life Church

17525 W. Bell Rd.

Surprise, AZ 85374

Word Of Life
   Church & preSchool

623-544-3000

wolchurch@wordoflifeaz.org

17525 W Bell Road

Surprise, AZ 85374

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