I gave this sermon today at Corinth Bible Church in Corinth, VT. The main scripture passage is 1 John 3:1-11. I didn’t remember to press record until after my intro story. Read that story first.
When Bekah was about a year and a half old we were flying up to New Hampshire to visit family. Beth and I were separated by an aisle, and she was holding Bekah. I could tell that Bekah was being disobedient and trying to get out of the seat. Beth was having no luck calming her down, so I locked eyes with Bekah and quietly but firmly mouthed, “Bekah, stop!” She opened her eyes wide, pointed her finger at my face and began to scream, “NO! NOOOO! NOO!!!!”
I never forgave her. Six years later if she asks me for something, I tell her, “No” and make sure she remembers what she did to me on that airplane.
This is a sermon I gave this morning on The Good Shepherd and the Holy Spirit. Listen and let me know what you think.
A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever *.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Jesus did a lot more than bring peace, but I believe that peace was high on His agenda. It was one of His biggest goals and purposes. Isaiah said that peace WILL increase. The zeal of the Lord WILL accomplish it. God wanted this for the world, and He would make sure that it happened no matter what.
So what is Peace? And did Jesus bring it?
In Greek the word used for it means to join or to make one. In Hebrew it was the familiar word “Shalom” which was the opposite of being at war.
Peace is not hippy calm. It is relational. It is being in a state of not-war. It doesn’t look like a sleepy monk. It looks like two people tearfully hugging again.
In Ephesians Paul says, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one.” This was a glimpse of Isaiah’s prophecy being fulfilled. Jesus brought peace. In the first century there was basically one problem. Jews and Gentiles were both getting saved. This was cool, but they were supposed to be in the same church and even in the same room. I’m happy to sing with him, but do I have to watch him eat? He’s gross! There was no end to the fighting and wall building and shutting out and name calling. But Paul worked tirelessly to fix this. He brought them back to Jesus.
Jews, how did you get saved?
By faith in Jesus.
Gentiles, how did you get saved?
By faith in Jesus.
Then stop fighting! No one is better. No one needs to become more like the other. You both need to focus on Jesus and love each other.
It’s easy to find an application to this message for first century Christians. Jews and Gentiles drop your weapons against each other. And more! Actually become one. Come into good relationship. But what about us? Well, it’s simple too. Drop weapons your against each other. And More. Actually become one. Come into good relationship.
• Is there a distanced relationship in your life that doesn’t have to be distanced?
• Jesus brought peace between God and man and between Jew and Gentile. He can do it again.
• Honor Him this season by being a minister of reconciliation. A minister of peace. Shod your feet with the Gospel of peace, and go fix a relationship!