THREEFOLD PEACE… with GOD, OURSELVES, and OTHERS

“PEACE”… we’ve all used the term, we all want it, but most of us not only do not have it, we don’t even know how to get it. Click link below for a powerful 24 minute message Pastor Dan Borgelt gave last Christmas Sunday morning. I’ve transcribed his delightful opening about a childhood Christmas Sunday morning where he had the opposite of peace.

Just 24 minutes to PEACE…
Audio: [24:16]

Pastor Dan:
“I remember as a child one particular Christmas that was extremely un-peaceful in my life. It happen to be on a similar occasion such as this where Christmas fell on a Sunday. My parents got the brilliant idea that it would be more honoring to God if we waited to open our Christmas presents till after church.
I grew up in a family where on Christmas morning, we’d wake up, and my father had taken a mattress and put it in the hallway to barricade our way to the Christmas tree, so that not only could we not get to it, but we couldn’t even see the presents under the tree.
When it was time, my two older sisters and I would plow down the mattress, trip over each other, and run to the tree. And now all the sudden, in one year they say, “Let’s wait till after church” 🙂 .
Now, I really liked the pastor but that morning every word he said just made me so furious… he said, “And now I have another point…” and I’m just thinking the whole time, like, “I_DON’T_CARE” 🙂
That particular Christmas was everything but peaceful for me, and sort of ironic. In the middle of this Christmas story there is this announcement from heaven itself that says…
“With Christmas comes PEACE.”.

And so this morning I want to talk to you about the the peace that is available to us because Christmas happened

I get a little nervous using the word ‘peace’ and making a whole subject of a sermon about it, because peace is sort of an eroding word in our culture today.  I mean we don’t really use the word peace anymore.

If someone says the word peace we think of someone saying, “Hey, like peace man”… like a hippy.

Or maybe some of us might walk past someone and after we finish talking to them will say “peace”, or something like that, and really what we mean is sort of “see you later”.

But we don’t have any real rich understanding of what it means to have peace.

This morning I want to talk to you about the idea of “Three-fold Peace” that the Christmas story talks about.

First and most importantly peace with GOD.

Second this idea of peace with OURSELVES, or inner peace,

And then finally peace with OTHERS as well.  All of that because Jesus was born.”

LARRY’S NOTE: I’ve not the time to transcribe it all, but here’s a few more juicy slices from this superb sermon. To get the full impact of this message, please listen to it all (link below).

First… “Peace with God”, it’s the most important one. Peace with God is not a given… there is such a thing as NOT being at peace with God.

The Scripture tells us that our previous existence, our default setting from our birth, is NOT to be at peace with him, but instead is says to be alienated from God as his enemy.

So what has changed? What has happened that this army of God is now offering a message of peace.  And of course the answer is Jesus’ birth.. He is the key to our peace with God.

However, this Peace with God doesn’t automatically come upon us simply because Jesus has been born. No, the Scripture is clear and says, “Peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

And those “whom on his favor rests” are those who enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ then you have ultimately rejected God’s offer for peace with you… you have no more peace with God than if Christ had never been born in the first place.

If you are interest in having peace with God, the perfect place to start is with a basic prayer that simply says,

“God, I want to have a relationship with your Son Jesus Christ.”

LARRY’S NOTE: Ya gotta hear his “It takes two to tango” illustration and how it’s not always true… how ‘Isis’ in our world tells us that you can have a lock of peace with only one side who’s willing to fight.

A LACK of peace is more natural… In fact, it takes two to have peace, not not the other way around.

There are a lot of people who THINK that they are at peace with God… they don’t have a problem with God, no real issues with him, they’re pretty OK with the life that he’s given them… so they would say,

“Yeah I’m at peace with God, I don’t have any problems with Him, but it takes TWO to have peace with one another, and so you should be asking yourself the question,

“How is my standing with God?” … is God all right with me; and the only way to answer that question in the affirmative, is to say, “I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, my life is hidden in him… God’s offer for peace with him.”

There’s a lot of people out there who think they have peace with God, but who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and therefore they’ve rejected God’s peace offering, and even though they’re OK with God he’s not OK with them–there’s no peace between them and God.

And to a degree, that works in the reverse as well… there are some who have a relationship with Jesus Christ… who God has declared you righteous… as his children, he has adopted you into his family; you are a Child of God, He is at complete peace with you, but maybe you grew up in a church environment where you heard: THE LAW and GUILT and SHAME, far more than GRACE and FORGIVENESS… and so you cannot accept the peace that he’s offering you to its fullest degree.

PEACE WITH OURSELVES and OTHERS

Peace with God is not the only type of piece that the Christmas story alludes to the Kingdom of God coming to earth and he’s going make life the way it was meant to be in the first place–that someday we will experience life the way God intended it to be… that someday we will be able to have complete peace with ourselves and peace with others.

The lack of peace that we feel inside and the lack of peace that we have with others is not the way that God designed life.

It’s important to realize that these 3 “peaces” are in this order for a reason:  Peace with GOD; then
Peace with OURSELVES; and then
Peace with OTHERS.

They’re in that order because that’s the order in which they need to happen in our lives.  It’s not possible to have true inner peace with yourself without having peace with God.  It’s not possible to have peace with others unless you have peace with yourself, and peace with God.

There’s an order in which these things have to happen.

The first and most important relationship to get right is our relationship with God; and once we have peace with God then we can consider the idea of having peace with ourself as well.

If we’re still walking around, and we feel guilty about something we’ve done in the past, if we’re still carrying the burden and the shame, and is still causing a hindrance in our relationship with God… then there’s no way we’re going to ever move on to having peace with ourselves.

But once we reconcile with God and we trust in Christ, and we trust in our standing with God, we can start talking about having peace with ourselves as well.

“INNER PEACE” is a term that gets misconstrued by other religions. and and society, but it has a Biblical definition as well.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

LARRY’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS REALLY IMPORTANT !!!

The Scripture is telling us that when we get our relationship with God right, all the things that come our way, that normally would have robbed us of our peace–an economic situation, a relational problem, a health situation… whatever it might be… all the things that would’ve robbed us of our peace we can take all of that and give it to God, once you make peace with Him.

And that will allow you, it says, for the peace of God then to come and to “GUARD YOUR HEART” <3.  What a beautiful expression.

So some of us don’t have peace with ourself because we don’t have peace with God.

And if you don’t have peace WITH God, then you’re not going to receive peace FROM God.

The Scripture tells us that we can receive an immense amount of peace from God once our relationship with him is right, and we start taking our daily situations and circumstances to Him in PRAYER.

For those who don’t have peace with yourself even though you have peace with God, it’s because you haven’t heeded the wisdom of Philippians 4:6,7… you do not have peace with yourself, you do not have inner peace but you already have access to the relationship of the One who can give you that.. and the Scripture saying, “Go to him”.

You have a problem in your life and your default option is to try to fix it yourself.  And the Scripture saying, ‘no take all of those things that would threaten your peace, and bring them to the one whom you have a relationship with in Jesus Christ’… and you will have peace with yourself–He will give it to you.

PEACE WITH OTHERS
Again, the order of these “peaces” is key, because we cannot have peace with others unless we have peace with ourself, and we can’t have peace with ourself unless we have peace with God.

When Jesus shows up, He begins moving his followers in the direction of restoring the Kingdom of God. And our broken relationships with one another are part of the things that’s going to be restored. And so he starts asking his followers to live in such a way that we begin to restore in the Kingdom of God, and one of the way we do that is to be committed to living at PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER.

Scripture tells us then ultimately, in Revelation 21:4, that one day God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain…”

Just think about all the ways that those things have come through broken relationships… He says, “But that’s all going to be over with… “for the old order of things has passed away.”

God will ultimately some day, usher in the full Kingdom of God, which will not only give us a full measure of peace with HIM, a full measure of peace with OURSELVES, but also a full measure of peace with OTHERS as well.”

Just 24 more minutes to PEACE…
Complete Audio: [24:16]

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