August 11th, 2021

This coming Sunday, August 15, we will wrap up our series on Phil. 4: 4-8 with several members of the congregation sharing their experiences, challenges, and joys of putting these verses into practice. It is with this in mind that I want to focus our thoughts this morning on God’s offer of peace. Paul encourages us to not be anxious, but rather to pray, presenting our requests to God with thanksgiving. Is this easy? Sometimes yes; however, many times we choose to struggle through the situation/issue we are facing on our own strength and lose out on the amazing work of God in and through our lives. Yes, I too struggle and stumble in this area at times and need to be reminded of Paul’s encouragement and God’s promise of peace that results from my obedience.

Here is what Jesus had to say regarding the peace of God as recorded in John 14: 23-27

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 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.

As you walk through this day and the remainder of this week, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, to provide the strength necessary to walk in obedience, and to then to fill you with God’s peace.

Let the following be your prayer:

O Risen Christ, you breathe your Holy Spirit on us and you tell us: “Peace be yours.”

Opening ourselves to your peace – letting it soften the harsh and rocky ground of our hearts – means preparing ourselves to be bearers of reconciliation

wherever you may place us.

But you know at times we are at a loss.

So come lead us to wait in silence,

to let a ray of hope shine forth in our world.

                    (Voices Together – #1013)

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