In this message series, interim pastor Bill Johnston reflects on how Jesus is the greatest gift God could ever give to humanity; we benefit from His life through very specific gifts that He offers to us. The world offers an external, fleeting, temporary peace; God offers an internal, enduring, lasting peace through Jesus.
Message by Bill Johnston – December 3, 2017
1. THE PROBLEM: WORRY
Mark 4:35-38 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
John 13:1,3 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end… Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.
John 13:31-35 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
THE RESULT: A TROUBLED SPIRIT
Mark 4:39-40 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
John 13:36-38 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
John 14:1 Don’t let your hearts be troubled…
John 14:27 (NIV) Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
2. THE ANTIDOTE: PRAY
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peacewith God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
THE RESULT: THE PEACE OF GOD
Philippians 4:7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
John 14:27-29 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
3. THE EXCHANGE: THE BAD FOR THE GOOD
Philippians 4:8-9a And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing…
THE RESULT: THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Philippians 4:9b …Then the God of peace will be with you.
Romans 8:6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Romans 15:13,33 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.