OK… Here goes the grand experiment! Sermon 1 from 2 weeks ago.
If this is really lame let me know. I mean it!
Part 1 – Blessed are the Peacemakers
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
I said, “Peace be upon you”
About ¼ of the people on the planet would have said:
Aleichem Shalom or “Upon you be Peace”
This is a term used by some Jewish people today and it is a term used by followers of Islam.
Luke 24:36[ Jesus Appears to the Disciples ] While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Again he said it at John 20:19 and 20 “Shalom Aleichem”
A week later he said it a John 20:26 “Shalom Aleichem”
When Jesus sent the disciples out into the world for their first mission alone he told them:
Luke 10:5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
When we enter a home or a church we actually gage some of our comfort there by the peace that we feel.
Obviously this Peace thing is a big deal.
We love Peace. At least we tell ourselves we love peace.
We have a Nobel Peace Prize
We honor mean like Gandhi and Martin Luther King for the drive to resolve giant issues with Peaceful demonstration.
We wear Peace Symbols
We give the Peace Sign
We say Peace or Peace be with you.
So does peace appear to be something we are good at?
Is it important that we get good at it?
I would argue that it is not only good for us as a Church, but it is important:
For even games we play
How did it make Paul’s joy complete if they are “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose”? What difference does it make to him?
How does it affect you when the people around you are fighting?
Let’s apply this to church life, how does it affect your worship experience when the people in the church are at odds and we all know it?
If fighting is unpleasant, why is it so common?
Look at verse 4. This verse teaches we should forget about ourselves and just think exclusively of others.
Verse 5 basically says “What would Jesus do?”
Alone, can you control your attitude the same way Jesus did?
Do you have complete control over your attitude?
Can others affect your attitude against your will?
How did Jesus exemplify a good attitude?
As a result of Jesus humbling himself, what did God do?
Suppose God were to say to you: because you have humbled yourself and lived a righteous life, I will exalt you with riches and fame and power?
What does it mean to “Rejoice in the Lord always”?
Does this mean we are silly all the time?
… Laugh all the time?
… make a joke of everything?
OK, maybe it means we should break out into a hymn in the mall.
Maybe we are supposed to have a party at our house for God everyday from morning till bed time.
What percentage of this past week do you think you were rejoicing?
Is there a difference between “rejoicing in the Lord” and rejoicing in general?
Verse 5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”
How are you doing? If I asked ten people in your life, “Is _______ a gentle person?” what kind of answers would I get?
Why is gentleness a good thing? Why does God want us to be gentle?
Have you ever encountered a hurt animal?
What is the posture you use?
What happens to your voice?
How do we cultivate gentleness, if it does not come naturally for us?
Was there a change in the way you addressed that animal?
What are we hoping to do for this animal?
Verse six commands us not to be anxious. The Living Bible translates, “Don’t worry about anything.” How are you doing, on a scale of one to ten where one is “hardly ever worry” and ten is “I worry a lot”?
Can you stop worrying if you want to?
Let’s return to verse 2. “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.”
What is Paul feeling as he writes this?
Why was it so important to Paul that the these ladies get along?
If we were all trying to help this wounded animal be healed…To coax it to healing… What would it do to our gentleness if two of us were fighting?
How important is it to you that the people who surround your life get along?
In verse 3 Paul commands “loyal yoke-fellow” to help these woman get along. What could old Loyal Yoke-fellow do to help?
How can a third party help two people who are fighting? How can we help when two of our friends are fighting?
Turn it around. Suppose you are fighting. What could a third-party (not a principle to the fight) do to help calm you down?
Let’s look at Paul as see how he approaches it…
3“Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow,[a] help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Keep your eyes on the prize
Find common ground… and REJOICE IN IT!
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Remember our hurt animal
Be Gentle and reduce the anxiety in the room
8Finally, brothers, 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. 9Whatever 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.
Emphasize what is right about your common mission and sacrifice for the common good.
If we can find our common goal, treat other gently, reduce that anxiety of the situation, and accentuate the positive then we are heading toward being that peacemaker that Jesus was referring to.