THE MISSING PEACE – Sleep in Heavenly Peace



last week we established Ben and I together in our two separate locations that piece is a person that piece isn't just an idea but piece actually is a person his name is the Prince of Peace this was the prophecy of Jesus this is what was promised hundreds of years before the angel appeared to the Shepherd's there's going to be one who's going to come a child is going to be born his name will be called among other things wonderful counselor Prince of Peace and so if we're looking for peace today we've got to start with a a person but what we really want to establish today is it's not quite that simple it's not as easy as saying oh there's someone named the Prince of Peace therefore I'm going to experience peace in my life everyone in our house knows for the most part that a decade ago I fell into a hole of depression and anxiety that almost took me out of life I would have said at that point in life not only did I know Jesus I committed my life to Jesus not only had I committed my life to Jesus I was following Jesus not only was I following Jesus I was serving Jesus not only was I serving Jesus I was going all over the whole world preaching about Jesus but yet for some reason I didn't have the peace of God operational in my life and so today we're just understanding that even though the idea of peace and the person of peace is in the midst today it's possible that somebody in one of these galleries may not be experiencing peace in your life and that's the step we want to take today that's the two ideas that we want to bridge together today when we sing silent night and we're going to do that if you haven't already done it in this season you're gonna do it soon in fact everyone here knows the lyrics right we won't sing them together but silent night just say it with me holy night all is calm all is bright do you know the rest are you get nervous now hear me just delete it round yon virgin mother and child Holy Infant so tender and mild you take it Sleep in heavenly peace I mean when this moment comes at the Christmas Eve gathering or the Christmas Day spectacular or the Grove Christmas it's always such a poignant moment silent night holy night all is calm and all is bright hey all wasn't calm on the night that Jesus was born we established that last week it was one of the least peaceful nights that you could imagine to have a kid on and secondly you know this round yon virgin mother and child idea it's a little too neat and sanitized I had the privilege of having a genius dad artist and so I got picked when I was in second grade I don't know why I remembered this to be in charge of that Christmas door decoration of our classroom this was back in another era when you could actually decorate the classroom a door at your school for Christmas and they said Giglio you're in charge of the christmas door decoration your sister was a year ahead of you she did something fantastic last year you're in charge this year so I'm like dad I need a Christmas door decoration my dad comes home with a piece of illustration paper about the size of a poster board being that you would buy at the grocery store brings home also some markers and in on the kitchen table in our apartment in Smyrna Georgia my dad just like starts doing you know like his thing and he's just going crazy and I'm watching and like what are you doing I can't tell what it is and he gets through and he holds it up he goes how do you like this my dad just markers out unless and ten minutes the most phenomenal Madonna you've ever seen before I mean it's Mary she's got the headscarf thing like you would expect all kind of folding down over her shoulders and there's a little baby in her arms and he looks angelic and there's like a glow to the whole thing it's just like the most unlike that's gonna work right there that's it that's that's gonna work everybody else has got to tinsel left over from their Christmas tree last year around their doors with that weird little you know crepe paper you know that goes around the edges it is only in existence because of schools by the way and and so here I roll in and it's like hey did you bring the door decoration I said yes I did I hope it's okay and then I just unroll Madonna and Child second grade or Belmont Hills Elementary School yes absolutely amen I we made it we made it and it looks so stunning what my dad did it looks so peaceful it looks so angelic and glorious and phenomenal and not real because there's never been a moment like that in history now I mean now we're in an Instagram generation so I don't know how they do it but moms do have babies and 20 minutes later they looked phenomenal but it wasn't so much a silent night it wasn't all this calm it wasn't this phenomenal beautiful angelic moment and we have no idea whether anybody slept in heavenly peace or not that baby may have cried all night long Mary may have been thinking all white all night long iiiiii Malone I'm here with Joseph Joseph say cool guy but he is me and him and a baby in a cave out of town I don't know how much heavenly peace was going on but the promise of the moment from God was glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men on whom his favor rests oh there was something about that night that moment that baby what he was going to grow up to be and grow up to do that could establish peace for you with God with the people around you and ultimately put the entire world back together in the state of Shalom that God intended in the first place and this is the calling card of our Savior listen to what he says in John's Gospel chapter 14 jesus said and I've spoken all of this while I am still with you but the Advocate the Holy Spirit whom the father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you key phrase here of everything I said to you and then he comes with his promise in verse 27 peace I leave it with you my peace I give you do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid the phrase I skipped over is the key phrase in this text he says it's my peace I'm giving to you and it's not as the world gives in other words whatever the world is telling you today if you can get the girl if you can get the relationship if you can have the baby if you can fix the circumstances if you can get the job and get ahead then that's when everything's gonna resolve for you into a state of peace he says no this peace I'm offering is not like the world gives again after the resurrection Jesus appears to his followers John 20 on the evening of the first day of the week when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders Jesus came and stood among them these are the first words to the followers after the resurrection so you're thinking man what is he gonna say shows up comes through the door comes through the wall hears his followers in that was impressive wasn't it no first words that Jesus speaks to them post-resurrection our peace be with you so this Prince of Peace who died to give us peace with God and to give us a platform by which we can have peace with each other is alive today risen from the dead ascended into heaven so that he can continue to offer Shalom to you and Shalom to me in our lives but if this is the calling card of Jesus the work of Jesus why are so many of us living it without peace in our lives and how do you get it if it's even possible well I think to answer the first question it's pretty simple a few reasons why we're living without peace a lot of reasons but just to highlight a few because you're gonna need to take action in this message today at some point today you're gonna need to move from being a hearer of the word to a doer of the word at some point today you're gonna need to come off a row 37 going let's see what he has to say today and you're gonna have to say I'm gonna have to start taking charge of the peace quotient in my life and to do that you're gonna have to add some things and some tract some things from life why is piece missing I'll tell you a few reasons one we have instant access to all of the anti Shalom that Sinnott is wrecking into the world that's one of the reasons we don't have peace any time of the day or night we have instantaneous access to all of the anti Shalom on planet Earth if sin either wrecks into the earth with a tidal wave or an earthquake or tsunami or a forest fire we have instant access no matter where it is in the world video live updates but if somebody does harm to somebody we have instantaneous awareness of that everywhere in the world a second reason we don't have peace is because because of this instantaneous access this shrinking world you know they keep saying the world is shrinking the world is shrinking the world is shrinking the world is shrinking but our anxiety is expanding at the same time that the world is shrinking because not only do we have instantaneous access to anti Shalom all the time and everywhere we're also left to compare our circumstance and situation with others very best and that's one of the reasons a lot of us don't have peace we're sitting here looking at our life and you know the kids got food in his hair and it's all over the the new piece of furniture that we just bought and we're losing our mind and thinking I'm gonna have to you know go take a nap and then all of a sudden right before we do we get on Instagram and some other family has all their kid in matching outfits riding a reindeer in a snowy forest where they chopped down their Christmas tree because their husband is a boss and amazing and he's got the tree on his shoulder going back to their new Jeep Wrangler that they just bought where they're gonna put it on the top and it has one of those wreaths on the front of the Jeep Wrangler with little twinkly lights on it and you're looking over at your husband and your kids outside the door scraping the paint off your bedroom door with its fingernails going mama mama mama you're like [Applause] holy nah the third reason why we don't have peace is because because of this shrinking world you can be evaluated at any moment in real time by people who know you and by people who don't oh so you put the Christmas tree on top of the car oh well is that a good idea oh I'm praying for you the Rose of Sharon will speak into your life and the Prince of the lilies-of-the-valley will come down and speak so ohm into your world thank you so much for that god bless you now who are you again I'm crazy mayor of the universe and I just drop in on people's worlds and evaluate them in real time I'll tell you a fourth reason we don't have pieces because there's no off button to this shrinking world I was you know and I loved being older because when you're older you're older you can't you can't fight it but there's a lot of good things about being older and some of the older people are gonna just say amen to this and a lot of the younger people will have to go look it up on the internet just go out on the World Wide Web later and go surf out there and see if you can find this but there used to be a time when somewhere around the end of night like 11:30 television would go off and you knew it all the peoples who survived to now are clapping the last of us are still here and we're like I can still clap I can't do a lot and I don't have social media but I can clap and at the very end of the night a screen would come up and it would basically say off-air you flip all the channels off air ah fair ah fair everybody saw fair this snow going on on the TV till tomorrow I mean there was a time I believe where the world wasn't shrinking so much that they just said we're done goodnight and when you went to your bed if you didn't have a corded phone in your room or a phone where you could bring the cord under the door from your sister's room into your room there was no one to call no one to text no Instagram to check no access to the other side of the world that was wide awake having their noon day whatever they're doing no email just real mail and maybe there wasn't more peace back then but at least there weren't so many enemies beating down the door and into this God speaks he always speaks into the crazy and so into your crazy town whatever that is God is speaking again today because he never relents to the circumstance he doesn't say oh it's 2018 I need to get with the program I just need to pick the pace up a little bit and get the hustle and the bustle up a little bit and lower my expectations about what I said on night one that there would be peace on earth among man I just need to sort of water that down to the reality of a new world order he say no I'm still speaking into the new world order and here's my promise Philippians 4 do not be anxious about anything but in everything 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 your minds in Christ Jesus finally brothers and sisters whatever is 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've learned or received or heard from me or seen in me put it into practice and the God of peace will be with you so there is an offer on the table today a possibility for being anxious about no thing yet praying about everything and having a peace that is bigger than human comprehension literally taking up the post of protection over our heart and guarding our minds in Christ Jesus that the peace of God not fluttering in like a little angel hi I'm here to bring peace no a soldier coming into your world saying I'm here to stand guard I'm here to stand guard over your heart that means all your feelings and everything trying to get at your feelings I'm gonna stand here and guard your heart and your mind in every crazy thought that's trying to get into your head I'm gonna stand here and guard your mind in a relationship and in connectivity with Christ this peace that passes understanding human comprehension will guard your heart and guard your mind in Christ that's a possibility it's on the table today that is real but you have to activate it in your life so how do you do that a few things number one it's going to require just reaching back to last week a little bit that you recalibrate your concept of Jesus because the piece that guards our heart and our minds isn't a thing it guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus I just want us to look at verse seven one more time and the peace of God which we know is a person which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus so if all this is happening in Christ then we have to recalibrate our understanding of Christ now where we started in our understanding of Christ a lot of us just reaching back again was right here on the flannel board anybody come around in the flannel board era besides me flannel board was what happened before electricity and so they would say when you were little kids we're gonna have a Bible story today kids and the disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee in a boat and kids would go wow did you see that she just stuck a boat up on the water they come home and tell their parents mom dad we're going to this church this place is off the charts there's a boat on the Sea of Galilee its cruising but then a storm blew up it's not real stormy right now but let's just say that it was a big storm cloud came and everybody panicked but Jesus came walking on the water and kids you can walk on the water now Peter he got down out of the boat and he came to Jesus but any turn to take a selfie with the guys in the boat and when he turned around he lost contact with the Savior and he started to sink and drown but Jesus came to him on the water and he grabbed Peter in his arms and he carried him to the boat and then Peter praised him arms raised and L stretched to heaven and said you are a great an awesome God let's pray together anyone like to put your faith in Jesus today children I'll lead you in a prayer and so this is where we started but then as we progressed we outgrew flannel board and moved into Sunday School legit in every sunday school room had one of these in it and if not the sunday school room the room where the Deacons met had one kids this is your guy when you get that cancer diagnosis this is gonna be your guy right here and I believe that if we're gonna get into a zone where we actually experience peace somebody's gonna have to recalibrate your concept of Jesus because for a lot of us if we get down to realtalk he's one-dimensional or he's historical or conceptual or maybe just a caricature and caricatures don't help you when your husband walks out on you historical people and historical figures don't help you when your job vanishes or when a relationship dissolves or when the pressure of a diagnosis is now in your story or there's an unwanted pregnancy like there was on this Christmas night or when whatever the situation is that you didn't see coming that you can't manage that you can't control whether it's pressure inside or pressure from the outside a one-dimensional caricature isn't gonna help you and so you say I believe in Jesus I was actually a church last week but I've got zero peace going on in my life right now and somehow today God has got to open our eyes of Revelation so that you can see a 3d 4k Jesus someone who is a real personality who is moving through history in power who is contemporary with your last thought but more advanced than you could ever mention because he's already ahead of you into all of the thoughts that you're gonna have in your life and you couldn't say well me my buddies are going to see post Malone and Jesus wouldn't go pose Malone no he could tell you everything about every fiber of post Malone's being because he created everything that is and I think they're just a lot of people floating around in DC today say man we work in the halls of power we deal with a high in the mighty we make decisions that change nation's I think they're people all around Atlanta today running businesses out in the midst of culture changing the world in real-time and for a lot of us Jesus is great as long as he's on the wall in a classroom somewhere looking nice and sarena and oh holy night all Olin Mills up in there with his hair absolutely completely perfect or he's over here back in the day because we all love them when he walked on the water in the flannel board story but I'm telling you he's real and he's gritty and he's mighty and he's powerful and he's knowable and he's personable and therefore when we say this pista guards the heart in guards the mind in Christ we're talking about the greatest person you're ever gonna know in your life who's on board with everything that matters to you today and he's running history because he conquered the grave and he's coming back to this planet to restore Shalom once and for all and you can put your trust in him the second thing that's got to happen if you're gonna have this this idea of peace in your life is that you've got to release your concerns to him so so what concept do you have before there was internet and YouTube and and all that sort of thing people we just listen to me preach on cassette tapes back in the day and I'll never forget I would go somewhere to preach and I would meet someone that I've been listening to you on cassette tape I've been listening to your sermon series and wow I didn't know you were gonna look like this because when you listen you get an idea and now I just simply get I thought you'd be taller but but I used to always get man III could have swore that you were this big fat Italian man and I was like just wait just wait you know this was before YouTube and video and DVD but people had this mentality I know who this guy is I've been listening to him hour after hour after hour in my car and I got this guy and then I would fly out to Cleveland and I would show up at their event and they'd be like no you are not the guy that I've been listening to you were like 312 pounds and a big happy jolly fat Italian dude I just knew it and I'm like well I am Italian and fairly happy slightly less than 312 right now but what in your mind what do you see when you see Jesus how real is he I mean how far off the flannel board has he come and as he is real to you is the person sitting next to you right now or even more real than that see until that is our reality then we've just simply got an idol in our minds and some one-dimensional Jesus isn't going to bring you one percent of peace you got to get somebody a little more mighty in your relationship than that and when you do you can release your concerns to him look at the text again it says be anxious about no thing well how do you do that you only can do that by the next line but in everything let your requests or your and petitions be known to God so the only way that you can be anxious about no thing is if you're trusting God with everything and you're not going to be trusting God with everything unless the person that you're in a relationship with is someone who can be trusted so first Peter 5 says it this way cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you anxiety in both texts is simply the word that means to pull apart so whatever is pulling you apart whatever is pulling your piece apart in your heart apart and your mind apart cast that throw that put that on the person of God bring it to God and so that's what we have in the text with every situation or in everything by prayer and petition and Thanksgiving it present your requests to God take them to the highest authority which I offer today is the desk of the King of Kings and rest them there it's as if something is making you anxious something is robbing you of your Shalom and you take that something and you don't stuff it down and say well I'm gonna handle it I'll deal with it I'll take care of it but you take it to the desk of the king of the universe who you have access to through Jesus Christ and you let your requests be known to the king of the universe with prayer which is the general term for our conversation with God and with petition he says which is that specific granular detailed prayer adding in the thanks which says I acknowledge who's sitting at the desk and I know this looks a little formal but it's not like God is up here in the heavens you know like with minions running around you know kind of feet up on the desk saying hey what's up how's it going what's your name again Thanks just put it on the desk no we're not trying to formalize god we're trying to officialize the throne of God that this is the last place not too long ago I was out of the country and I ended up missing a flight because there was a lot of traffic getting to the airport but we didn't need to miss the flight because when we got to the desk of the airline there was still time not we would not that two months early that they asked you to be there for an international flight but there was still time I fly I knew exactly how far it was to the gate I've been in this airport a lot of times I knew it was less than a hundred yards from where I was standing to the plane and it was still about fifty minutes before the plane left I'm a high-level flyer not the highest but I do get around and there's a lady there a person there didn't wanna get specific there's a person there helping us she was a lady and she was helping us and she just completely shut down on us like you're not standing there you are invisible I can't hear you and I'm like please I'm just saying there's got to be a way I mean it's right there I know how far it is to the gate we've got TSA PreCheck we're gonna get through we're gonna make it you've got to let us on this flight I can't talk to you right now and so I was in the spirit and so when you get through with all that I'd like to share with you how you can know Jesus personally because I'm a pastor you know we were losing our minds and every way possible and all the while I had her bosses number in my phone the CEOs number I'm just thinking I'm calling right I've never had a thought like that in my life I'm thinking I'm calling right now excuse me one moment while you're working on that I'm calling the CEO of your company and maybe you'll have a second to talk to them and then the Lord prevailed and I put my phone back in my pocket sat down like she asked me to and stop talking I missed that flight and happily got on another flight and everything was fine we're living in a great world but the whole time I'm like you I wanted to get my request I'm like somebody else has got to show up here if you ever done that I need to see the manager no I don't know who you are I need to talk to your boss I don't know where you are I need somebody who actually works for the company I need to talk to a supervisor I need somebody who can make a decision who is in charge you want to get your requests up to the top and what God is saying here's an amazing idea you can get your requests all the way up to the top of the authority chain of command in the entire universe as a son or daughter of God you can let your request be made known to God not take abriel not even Peter at the pearly gates can you get a message to the king no you can get your message all the way to God and who's sitting at the desk the Almighty is sitting at the desk who's sitting at the desk your Abba Father is sitting at the desk who's sitting at the desk the one who made peace with you by offering Jesus Christ that's who's at the desk who's sitting in to death to God who is loved and cares more about you than anyone else on the planet is at the helm grant was preaching it's text and he said something that I thought was so great I want to repeat it he was quoting Tim Keller and he said if we knew what God knows this quote blew me away I'd never heard it before we would ask exactly for what he gives if we knew what God knows we would ask for exactly what he gives if we believed he's almighty if we believe these are Abba Father if we believe that he made peace with us at the sacrifice of his own son and if we believe that he loved us and we couldn't be separated from his love and add to that if we knew the whole story of Christmas is a story of salvation for the world not about just a little happy peace moment for me in my life but for everyone on the planet to know that they can have peace with God if we knew what God knew about everything God knows we would ask for what God has given us we have that kind of confidence that my request that I addressed to my father has made it all the way to the highest place of authority in the universe it didn't mean I didn't care about it it just means I put my care on the desk of the only one who could do something about it and then I trusted who was at the desk it didn't mean I stopped caring about it it just meant I stopped being anxious about it because I knew where my request was so I'm releasing constantly moment by moment day by day releasing more requests are coming this is not like a one-time thing there's this request of mine all over the desk of the god of the universe as I'm trusting things to him in prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving God I believe you I trust you you're big you're mighty you're powerful you can do something but you also see more than I see you understand more than I understand you're working different plans that I wouldn't be able to really get in touch with right now so I trust you I believe you the cross is always informing me that you are good and great and turn bad things into great things so I'm trusting you I'm depending on you I'm counting on you like in Psalm 23 your rod and your staff they comfort me but then look at the last thing and we'll close with this and we've got to wrap things up but not only do we release things to God but we replace what has now been released with something else so we're releasing our prayer supplication with Thanksgiving what was making us anxious and now we're taking on board look at what to Texas so whatever is true whatever is noble whatever is right whatever is pure whatever is lovely whatever is admirable if there's any excellence or anything worthy of praise dwell on these things so now I am NOT just saying I'm not gonna worry about that because that's not how life works you don't break a habit by breaking a habit you break a habit by replacing it with another habit and you don't just stop worrying about things bye stop worrying about them you stop worrying about them when you start thinking about something else and he's giving us all of the things that we think about and they come down to us in these three words that we're looking for a consistent way to put the good things of God in our life and some of you don't have that but you do not have a plan for tomorrow you're gonna try to release but you're not gonna have a replace tomorrow and so the thing you release is gonna swim right back up and go hello you know I released you I know and we knew the way back because you don't have a replace plan already in your mind tomorrow I'm gonna meet with God tomorrow I'm gonna open the Word of God tomorrow I'm gonna start reading the Gospels tomorrow I'm gonna read the Christmas story tomorrow I'm gonna start reading the Psalms tomorrow and start listening to Scripture in my car on the way on my commute to work or I'm gonna listen on the train on my commute to work I have a replacement plan in mind it's Advent season it couldn't be a better season than to take the Advent journey you're like well we're already a few days in yeah but hey you been missed that much December 10th tomorrow on the Advent journey I've got a plan I'm releasing it what's making me anxious but I'm gonna replace it with something else tomorrow and tomorrow it says unless the Lord builds the house the builders labor in vain unless the Lord watches over the city the guards stand at watch in vain you're watching your heart and you're trying to guard your mind and trying to guard your family in your city and your business and your relationships but you're not doing a good job in vain you rise early and say it's late tolling for food to eat but God grants sleep to those he loves didn't plan it it's just tomorrow's Advent reading how do you sleep in heavenly peace it's not some crazy airbrushed drawing a Madonna and Child it's realizing that God guards your house that God guards your family that God guards your business that God even when you sleep God works and so the reflection is so powerful and beautiful God is the giver part of it says of life and breath and with these God gives to every creature what they need a tiny sparrow does not fall from the sky without him noticing and he closed the hillside with an array of beauty and vibrant color you are his beloved his son or daughter by faith in Christ trust your perfect Father's heart he will give you exactly what you need and as you seek Him he will even give you the desires of your heart that's what you need going into your mind in the morning before you get the Asian market update which a lot of you guys are checking it three four in the morning you need to get to God Almighty update before you check your first text and see how quick you got to get into work you need to check the almighty update see who's running your world before your iCal opens and you're like oh my gosh I forgot I've got a bees crosstown at 10:30 you need to check in with the god of the universe you need consistency and you need some creativity and maybe this will be a nice ride up to Christmas and then you need some melts on the backside ready to go daily devotion a reading plan on you version some sort of soap with your friends but that creativity that keeps it interesting and then lastly you need a company my friend said this week you are the average of the five people you spend the most time around and so you got to ask the question the people I'm hanging out with are they talking about what's true do they talk about what's Noble do they talk about what's right and pure and lovely and admirable the people the five people I spend the most time with in life are they talking about excellent and praiseworthy things I need to get in the company of people who know the Prince of Peace who know what Jesus he's not one-dimensional who can remind me of God's Word can remind me of a sovereign plan who can encourage me hey your request is on the desk of the Almighty you can lay down tonight and know that he's doing the best thing for everybody involved and he's going to give you what you need

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