The WONDER of PEACE

The Wonder of Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:41
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(S1) — The Wonder of Christmas PEACE
Have you ever known someone whose disposition transcended life’s chaos? Someone who possessed a calm composure no matter the conditions around them? Life’s circumstances didn’t dictate how they reacted to difficult situations. What they knew and how they lived came from within...
“Jim and Joanna knew such an individual. They were a typical American couple with two children, a mortgaged home, modern conveniences (purchased by credit), and barely enough money to scrape from paycheck to paycheck. Jim was an accomplished advertising executive but with enormous indebtedness they struggled and always felt drained. Their only solution was to rent the guest room. After advertising a young carpenter named Joshua responded and the Harriman’s let him move in. He was a hit with the children, brought them toys, never interfered with family disputes, and promptly repaired whatever needed attention. .
What was most unusual about Joshua was an abiding calm that influenced everyone. Even family arguments diminished. Leaving for work and returning he greeted the family with the Jewish expression, “Shalom.”
One Saturday while playing with the kids, Janet darted into the street after a ball. Joshua saw everything instantly unfold and scrambled to throw her from an oncoming automobile. Janet tumbled to safety but Joshua was fatally struck. Jim rushed to his limp body, raised his head from the asphalt, and under the hovering cloud of death heard his last word: “Shalom.” Even in death Joshua was strangely serene.
When is it that you feel or have felt the most at peace?
Place or the environment your in? When your alone or with others — Life circumstances are good; family, friends, work — Travel — Read — Write — Movie — Music — Cook? — Worship — Pray — Study — Serve — Gather with others who love Jesus
(S1) —
We search for it hoping to find it, know and experience it. We try to acquire it, or buy it. We look for it in things, our work, and in people. We bargain for and negotiate for it. We desire it of our world, nation, government, cities, communities, in our work, our churches and our families.
The endless human quest for PEACE — It can be both external and internal — A state of being or state of mind. We can know it and feel it, but here is the problem with the peace the world gives — It’s TEMPORARY — We sometimes confuse it with happiness.
John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
In today’s scripture lesson, Jesus tells us that, there is no short cut to knowing true peace
PRAY
(S2) —
John 10:1–2 (NLT)
1 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him...
Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders — Spiritual blindness — Healing of young blind man — They had eyes but could not see..
John 9:41 “41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
There is no shortcut to the wonder of peace — Sometimes we are dumb like sheep
Electric Fences — Shortcuts
...To explain the WONDER of Christmas PEACE — SHEEP
(S3) — SHEEP
What do we know about sheep? They are knowingly not too smart.
Their defenseless — Poor survival skills — There not fierce predators — They will not fight, can’t take flight A dog will bark and growl and show his teeth to warn you away. A lion will roar. A rattlesnake will shake his rattle. A cat will arch his back and hiss. The best a sheep can do is baaa.
They are directionless — Run the wrong way when you’re trying to corral them Prone to wander — Get easily lost — Without other sheep, they will often walk in circles, going nowhere and not eating, until they die
Yet they teach us a lot about the WONDER of PEACE, because they know they NEED the SHEPHERD
“A shepherd in biblical days lived with his sheep. That means a shepherd knew everything about them; he guided and protected, always having his eye on his sheep. “
Sheep also tell us a lot about ourselves — Maybe more than we like? We too are in need of a shepherd!
(S4) — VIDEO
(S5) — Jesus Our Good shepherd is the WAY to Christmas PEACE
The wonder of Christmas includes a wondrous peace because not only was our Savior born, but our Good Shepherd finally had arrived. The baby born in a Bethlehem sheep pen would grow up to lead, guide, provide, protect, and bring peace to all who would LISTEN and FOLLOW Him as their Good Shepherd.”
David, a shepherd boy before he was king, spoke of his need for the Shepherd in Psalm 23...
What do sheep teach us about the wonder of peace? The sheep always looked to the shepherd…
Parable (metaphor) — 4 ways to know the Wondrous PEACE of the GOOD Shepherd...
(S6) —
John 10:3-4 “the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.”
The Good Shepherd...
I. CALLS them by NAME
We name animals we care about — Named sheep — Care
“The eastern shepherd delights to give names to certain of his sheep. He knows them by means of certain individual characteristics. He names one: “Pure White”; another, “Striped”; another, “Black”; another, “Brown”; and still another, “Gray-eared.” All this indicates the tender affection which he has for every one of his flock.” The Disciples Quest
Though its not always recorded, we can surmise that Jesus called his disciples by name — Their response being so immediate and their willingness to follow.
Jesus called LAZARUS to come out —
Isaiah 43:1 “ But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”
We love to hear our name...except when we are in trouble — Identity
The Ingham girls
He calls his own — Jesus the Good Shepherd knows your name — he knows everything about you — We are sheep and our Shepherd knows us all to well —
He knows my name Every step that I take Every move that I make Every tear that I cry He knows my name When I'm overwhelmed by the pain And can't see the light of day I know I'll be just fine 'Cause he knows my name — The McReas
When the sheep hear their name, they find COMFORT in the VOICE of the Shepherd
MOM
Jesus still calls you by name. We only have to listen… and there too we can find comfort in his voice of the Good shepherd — The way to the WONDER of Christmas PEACE
The Good Shepherd...
II. LEADS them to OUT
He doesn't leave them to wander and find their own way— The shepherd shows them the way. This is where they find REST in greener pastures and beside still waters
Psalm 23:2 “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.”
The problem when sheep are without the shepherd, they go astray…
(S6) —
“ Istanbul, Turkey — The scene began with just one sheep jumping off the cliff to die. The shepherds had left around 1500 sheep to graze and they relaxed while having their breakfasts. In a few moments, they saw all the 1,500 sheep following the first one and jumping off the same cliff, as reported by the Turkish media.”
We tend to follow the trend of the day — People or things.
We find the wonder of PEACE when we give up going our own way, the worlds way, and surrender to the leading of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
Isaiah 40:11 “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”
The GOOD Shepherd..
(S7) —
III. GATHERS them IN
Here is where they receive NOURISHMENT…together
How farm animals rush to the one with the food...
John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Nothing stronger than the gathered body of Christ
“Speaks to this longing often buried deep within us. To be gathered into one with Jesus and others, especially those who are scattered and removed far from us either physically, emotionally or spiritually. Jesus keeps showing us through real presence and relationship how to become one. He gathers together with us on the edges of our own wilderness and desolate places to stay with us and simply be with us as his disciples.” 1
We gather to take nourishment in the WORD of Jesus and the presence of other believers. Our Good Shepherd gathers us in...
1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us, Much we need Thy tender care; In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, For our use Thy folds prepare:
The GOOD Shepherd..
IV. GOES AHEAD of them
This where they find the PROTECTION of the Shepherd— Keep his eye out for danger — Ready to give his life for the sheep
Lead bird in a flock —
Breaks the wind for the rest — Takes the hit — when danger comes — The Good shepherd is willing to put his life on the line for the good of the flock
(S8) —
John 10:11 (NLT)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.
The wonder of Christmas peace is that Jesus was willing to go ahead…The cross was always in view of the manger
John 10:14–15 (NLT)
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
Bible study — Look for the wonder of Peace in the middle of the chaos.
The most difficult times in my life...Jesus became the most visible to me.
The Good shepherd was not only present but went ahead — to take the hit for me, my sin...
The shepherd going before the sheep didn't always mean to be walking out front — Beside...
(S9) —
Footsteps — Jesus carried me
We find the wonder of Peace in the good shepherd who goes before...
Lets, face it we can be dumb like sheep…I can be dumb like a sheep
(S10) —

CALLS — LEADS — GATHERS — GOES AHEAD

We don’t always listen to the one who calls us...COMFORT — Let our earthly pursuits LEAD us... REST — We don’t GATHER in enough with the body of Christ...NOURISHMENT — We don’t give praiuse enough to the Good Shepherd GOES AHEAD…CARRIES
We like sheep need the GOOD Shepherd
The only way to know the WONDER of God’s PEACE
There are no shortcut to true PEACE — There is only Jesus
(S) —
John 10:9 (NLT)
9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.
They will know the WONDER of PEACE...
How? By listening for the CALLING, following the LEADING, GATHERING in and taking nourishment in the word of God, trusting our lives into the care of Jesus Our Good Shepherd who has gone before us and made away to know his peace through the cross
Like Joshua...when the end of our earthly life comes, we can say shalom because...
(S) —

Under the Good Shepherds care, you can KNOW the WONDER of His PEACE

Resources
1. https://www.restorationmn.org/listen-in/2018/1/24/when-jesus-gathers-us-together
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