THIS WEEK: MAKE ROOM FOR GOD’S PEACE
The example from the Christmas Story:
Luke 2:8-20 (NIV) – And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “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.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
1. PEACE COMES FROM GOD
2. GOD’S PEACE COMES FROM HAVING GOD’S PERSPECTIVE AND TRUSTING IN GOD’S PROMISES
3. PEACE HAS A PRICE
* God appeared to the shepherds – the lowly not the mighty (position).
* The good news that brings joy didn’t make sense from their perspective, but did from God’s (perspective).
* Peace cannot come from myself, someone else or the world; it comes from God and His favor. Favor comes from faith and obedience to God. Faith and Obedience are a choice.
* The shepherds decided to go and see. They left what they had for the promise of what was unseen (Heb 11:1)(choice).
PEACE OR PRESSURE, PERFORMANCE, PERFECTION, PROSPERITY, POWER, PLEASURE
* In Jesus
Peace is not:
John 16:33 (NIV) – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:6 (NIV) – The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) – You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
* Peace of mind
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: Luke 2:8-20; Isaiah 9:,7; John 14:27; John 16:33; Philippians 4:6-8; Isaiah 2:3
Icebreaker: What is the best $100 you have ever spent?
* Share what stood out to you from the sermon.
1. Read Luke 2:8-20. Read it twice. Describe what the shepherds experienced.
A) How did they respond to what was happening in their world?
B) What do you think it would have felt like to be in their situation?
2. What do you expect or want peace to look and feel like?
3. What can disrupt your peace of mind or heart? When you are not at peace what do you do?
4. Read Philippians 4:6-8; Isaiah 26:3. How do you make room for God’s peace in your thinking and responses to the situations you are a part of?
A) What promises from or truth about God bring you peace?
5. As you consider the coming year what do you think you will need when it comes to making room for God’s peace? (You might look at Matthew 11:28-30; Isaiah 54:10)
6. If you were to share peace and good news about Jesus with people in your life what would that look like, for you and them? Think about your home, your neighborhood, your work, and your community. You might choose one or two places to specifically think through.