Sermon Title: Path to Peace
Sermon Scripture: Philippians 4:1-9

Sermon Summary:

We’d all like to have peace in our life.  During Sunday’s message we looked at Philippians 4:1-9 where Paul the Apostle talked about the source of peace for early Christians in the city of Philippi and learned the path for peace applies to Christians today as well.  

Community Group Questions:


Start by giving 2 or 3 things that currently cause you not to have peace in your life.  Things that cause you to worry.

 

  • (Verses 1-3) All major changes start with a decision.
    • Give an example of one decision (humorous or serious) in your life that has had ongoing effects (ex: relationships, marriage, kids, jumping off a cliff as referenced in the message)
    • Paul was writing to Christians (people who had made a decision to place their faith in Christ) in Philippi.  Why is important to tie their decision to follow Christ to the discussion on peace?

 

  • (Verse 4 & 6) When we want to have peace in our lives why do you think it’s important to focus on God before our circumstances?
    • What if your daily mood depends on your daily circumstances?
    • Why is focusing on God a better option?
    • Do you turn to God first or only after  you’ve exhausted your own efforts?

 

  • (Verse 5)  Paul said the early Christian’s “gentleness” should be evident to all.  Why you think an inward decision should be evident to those around us?
    • The pastor gave the example of “whatever is in the well comes up in the bucket.”  Why is this relevant to our discussion of peace and our hearts?
    • Galatians 5:22-23 lists the “Fruit of the Spirit.”  Why is it called the Fruit of the Spirit and how could this tie into our conversation on peace, the well and the bucket?

 

  • (Verse 7)  Why is God central to having a peaceful heart as a Christian?
    • How could peace of God guard our hearts and minds?

 

  • As a result of reading this passage and hearing the message, what changes could you make to have more peace in your life on daily basis?

 

Sermon Notes: 

Peace

“Freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity.”  “Cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension.”

Philippians 4:1-9

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

I plead with Euodia and plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose name are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

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

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.   

The Decision to put both feet squarely on the faith side of the fence regardless of your circumstances  (1-3)

Paul was writing to a group of fellow believers...to people who had a made a decision to place their faith in God

He (Paul) encouraged them to “stand firm” in their faith for the cause of the gospel

Every major change starts with a decision!

The decision to follow God should affect every area of your life from that day forward

The Decision to Focus on God First & Circumstances Second (4&6)

Paul told them

Rejoice in the Lord

Be anxious for nothing but take everything to God with a thankful heart

The Message says:” Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.”

Decision to Live Out What’s on the Inside (Vs 5)

Paul told them “let your gentleness be known to all”

The change in their hearts should be evident to those around them

Whatever is in the wells comes up in the bucket

Galatians 5:22-23. A heart filled with the Spirit of God produces:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. 

These things will be evident 

A heart filled with things of this world (Galatians 5:19-20-MSG) produces:

Loveless, cheap sex

Accumulation of mental and emotional garbage

Frenzied, joyless grab for happiness

Trinket gods and magic show religion

All consuming but never satisfied wants

Brutal temper

Impotence to love and to be loved

Divided homes and divided lives

Small minded, lopsided pursuits

Envy

Uncontrolled addictions

You really can’t expect good things to come out in your life if you keep filling your heart & mind with bad, self centered, degrading, worldly stuff

For many it seems like God is an additive, a sweetener to make it better instead of the main ingredient 

If you daily make an effort to fill your heart with the things of God, the attributes of the Spirit will be evident

The Result of These Decisions is the Peace of God (Vs 7)

Paul said “the peace of God, which surpasses/transcends all understanding, will guard their hearts and minds.”

The presence of a father

The perfect presence of the Father

God in your life brings peace that’s not possible without Him

It serves as a buffer (a guard) for your heart and mind

So if we want the peace that only God can bring

First, make a definitive decision to place your faith in Him

Second, we must daily make a decision to focus on on Him and His ways

Third, we need to live in a way that it reflects the change in our hearts

Once we do this the peace of God will reign in our hearts regardless of our circumstances