Worship for September 14, 2020: Peace
Prayer for today:
Father, bless us today to worship You.
Help us to come boldly to Your throne of grace where every request is heard and every need is supplied.
Teach us about peace today. Our world only offers chaos. You, Lord, promise peace.
Bless us with Your peace now. Help us to believe in it, to experience it, and Father, use us to share Your peace with the world around us.
We ask this today in Jesus’ Name,
The world around us is truly in chaos today.
Some of this is the doing of man. Some is the doing of the enemy. We are experiencing more anger, more violence, more deceit, and more despair on a national scale than most of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.
But that is the kingdom of this world. As believers, we are no longer citizens of this world. We are citizens of the kingdom of God (Philippians 3:17-21). So we are not to be consumed by the chaos. In fact, in spite of all the trouble in this world, God expects and intends for us to live above it all, surrounded and guarded by His perfect peace. God has a lot to say on the subject of peace. Today we will look at a few of His promises.
Before His crucifixion, Jesus poured into His disciples some incredible promises. He told of our future with Him in heaven, of answered prayer, of the coming of the Holy Spirit as our Helper. And in John 14:27 He makes this remarkable promise of peace:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(Father, help us to understand the truth of this promise!)
We need a special kind of peace in the world today. And that is what Jesus promises when He says, “My peace I give to you.” Not just some ordinary peace. Not peace based on some special ability or positive thinking. His peace. Peace straight from the Prince of Peace! This is the peace we need today.
The peace of Christ is unique because it is based on His relationship with the Father. It stems from all that He knows about the Father and the Father’s love, His plans for us, and His power to see it through. When we understand these things about God the way Jesus does, we too will experience peace that can survive any storm.
Another example of the peace of Jesus is found in Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus and the disciples were in a boat, crossing the lake, when a furious storm came up. The wind and the waves threatened to destroy the boat and its occupants. The disciples were terrified, fearing for their lives, but Jesus was sleeping contentedly and peacefully. How could this be?
Jesus could rest in the middle of a storm because He knew He could trust completely in the goodness and love of His Father. The same is true of us. No matter what is going on around us, we can know that we are always within God’s circle of protection, and nothing can happen to us that does not conform to the plan and purpose of the Father.
Before we leave this story, notice that Jesus didn’t calm the storm before He settled down for a nap. He didn’t need to. The storm was not able to upset Jesus, because His peace was a not based on His circumstances. His peace was based on His relationship with the Father. Jesus lived above the storms. Again, He wants the same to be true for us.
Finally, look at what Paul says about peace in Philippians 4:6-7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This promise is remarkable in that Paul literally tells us there is nothing in this world that should steal away our peace. We are not to be anxious, or frightened, or fearful about anything. Instead, whatever it is that in the past has upset or worried us, we are to bring to the Father in prayer. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” When we bring all of those worries and concerns to the throne of grace and lay them down, then God’s peace (notice again, not your peace or my peace – God’s peace!) will guard and protect our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
So let’s be obedient right now. Worship God as you listen to Hope Darst sing “Peace Be Still.” Tell Him the things that are troubling you, and leave them with Him, in His care. Refuse to worry about any of those things again, and pursue the peace that Jesus has left with us all. Allow that peace to guard your heart and mind in the days ahead. And keep your eyes on Jesus in the midst of the storm.
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