This Week’s Outline

THIS WEEK’S OUTLINE:

“Eye on the Ball”
Philippians 4:4-8
10/15/17 BAC
Rev. Brian T. Smeal; pastor@brookvillealliancechurch.com

How to know God’s Peace

Rejoice in the Lord always (v.4)

  • “Always” is emphatic
    • You can know joy within when there is no joy without

Reveal your true, Godly character (v.5)

  • 5 – “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.”
  • “Gentle spirit” – ἐπιεικής
    • No single word in the English language quite captures the full spectrum of the original
      • Means representing God well
    • Don’t have to agree with sin, but addressing it through the eyes of hatred and judgment on your part is not okay. Not in any way
  • Jesus took a firm stance on sin, and so should you
  • It is better to suffer injustice than to inflict it
  • Insisting on ‘getting what you deserve’ will never result in peace

Rely on God’s provision (v.6)

  • Author Erma Bombeck says, “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”
  • A habit of anxious worry does a couple things:
    • Goes against God’s command
    • Does not protect against harm or evil
    • Doubts God’s promise and provision
    • Distracts you from positively impacting your situation
    • Makes you genuinely miserable
  • The cure for worry is not…
    • …having nothing to worry about
    • …idleness
    • …apathy
  • The antidote for worry is prayer
    • Sometimes God answers prayers with opportunities.
  • Prayer is the antidote for worry. But it’s a habit that must be cultivated
  • 6 – Prayer and supplication and thanksgiving go together
    • Prayer – just a conversation with God (not a monologue)
    • Supplication – presenting your requests to God; an earnest entreaty; a desperate
    • Thanksgiving – um . . . giving thanks

 

The real payoff is in verse 7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Guzik: The Bible describes three great aspects of peace that relate to God.

  • Peace from God
  • Peace with God
  • The peace of God

Charles Spurgeon – “What is God’s peace? The unruffled serenity of the infinitely-happy God, the eternal composure of the absolutely well-contented God.”

 

Reckon the things of heaven (v.8)

  • “Think” – From Greek, λογίζομαι – “Reckon”
    • “Reckon” has connotations of settling accounts
  • Circumstantial peace is always temporary
  • Thought patterns tend to become life patterns
    • It’s the thoughts that you entertain, that you dwell on, that say much about your character.

 

If you would know the peace of God, keep your eyes heavenward

 

Dig In

Keep your eye on these delicious questions, designed to help you personalize and apply this morning’s message

  1. How would you define the peace of God? When have you experienced it?  When have you not?  Why not?
  2. Do you believe it is possible to rejoice (and not worry) in every situation? Is it reasonable?  Is it easy?
  3. When have you revealed Godly character to others? How can others (and you) learn to deal more gently with others, particularly when you suffer injustice?
  4. What is the next step you need to take in order to move from worry to trust, and then from trust to rejoicing in the Lord, even in hard circumstances? Who is going to help you take that step?
  5. Is prayer your first response to worry? If not, what is?  Do you find this to be a helpful response?  Why or why not?  If prayer is your first response, do you find it helpful?  Why or why not?
  6. How would you advise a friend to begin to find peace in the things of heaven, rather than in circumstances?