Message From Matt | August 3, 2018

Power and Peace! 

Over my time in ministry there are many things that I have learned about people and especially about myself that I would love to share with you.  Actually the list could be very long and not all of it would be positive, yet I think it would be a very real look at us!  Since I don’t have that much room to write the complete list, there are two things that stick out to me about myself and “us” in general that I have observed.  Those two things are: 

  1. Many believers don’t understand and use the power of God in their lives
  2. Many believers don’t completely live with the peace of God in their lives 

I don’t know how those two statements hit you, but as I have been thinking about these thoughts for several weeks, the louder its truth rings in my ears…even if it only applies to me!  But I don’t think I am alone in this.  

Same old struggles!

These problems aren’t new!  Looking in the Scriptures reveals that believers from every generation have struggled with these issues, or if not struggled with them, they were at least ignorant of what God has given to His children!  

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they would know the “exceeding greatness” of God’s power given to those that believe on God (Ephesians 1:16-23)!  I assume because he was praying for them “to know….what is the exceeding greatness of God’s power to us-ward who believe…” that  they were new believers that needed to be taught about God’s power.   Maybe this is why God inspired Paul to write this to the church because they needed to hear that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that is given to us who are His children!  Maybe they were struggling with the truth that the Holy Spirit lived in them and they needed to be reminded. 
 
This is the same truth about the peace of God!  In his instructions to the Philippians, Paul told the church how they could have peace in their lives!  I think that the church at Philippi, who was a loving church, still needed to be taught how they could have peace in a world that was filled with insecurity and tension (Philippians 4). Paul was “locked up” when he wrote this but seemed to understand how to have peace!  He seemed to understand the power and peace of God but maybe the church was struggling in these areas.  Since the church was still learning what God’s salvation offered, they needed to be taught that God has given us His Spirit to live inside of us to: 
  • Sanctify us – Romans 8:13, 1 Peter 1:12
  • Teach us – John 14:26
  • Comfort us – John 14:26
  • Guide us in truth – John 16:13
  • Bear witness of God – John15:26, Romans 8:16
  • Intercede for us – Romans 8:26-27
  • Purify us – 1 Corinthians 6:11, Titus 3:5
  • Reveal things to us – Ephesians 3:5
  • Forbid us to do wrong – Acts 16:6-7
  • Give life – Psalm 104:30
  • Empower us – Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
  • Indwell us – 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • Unify us  – 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

How do we understand God’s power and peace?

On paper it’s simple!  Abide in Christ!  Somehow in reality we make it harder than it should be.  Abide in Him!  Be close to God!  Choose Him and choose to follow His ways and you will begin to know God’s power and peace.  Focus your mind on God and you will know His peace (Philippians 4:8-9).  Believe what God’s Word says about His power and use that to defeat the enemies in your life (i.e. Satan).  Let’s choose not to struggle with a defeated or depressed attitude!  Let’s choose to use God’s power and peace to direct our lives!  Let’s use it this weekend to make it the best weekend that we have had in a long time!  Let’s use it to experience the presence of God in a greater way!  Let’s use it to see God do great things in our lives at IBT!  God’s power and peace are not things that are unattainable – they are yours already!  Let’s use them!