Faithlife Sermons

Guard Your Personal Peace

Pastor Kevin Harris
The Keys to Personal Peace  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:39
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The Keys to Personal Peace - Guard Your Personal Peace

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Introduction

Philippians 4:7–9 NASB95
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Last week I gave you an action plan for personal peace from Philippians 4:4-6. If you’ll remember it was:
Rejoice in the Lord
Have a Gentle Spirit
Don’t Be Anxious
We also talked about how to get back on track when you lose your personal peace...
Catch your negative thought patterns
Redirect your thoughts
Pray for the Peace of God
That action plan was God sent for some of you to hear. And I pray that it made a difference for you this week.
God promises in verse 7 that if you will find your joy in Him and have a gentle spirit and avoid anxiety, then He will give you a special kind of peace, God’s Peace, that will guard your heart and mind.

I. The Peace of God Surpasses All Comprehension (v 7a)

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What is the Peace of God?
In the Old Testament it is called:
OT: שָׁלוֹם - shalom - completeness, soundness, well-being
Translated as εἰρήνη - eirēnē in the Septuagint LXX (the Greek version of the Old Testament).
In the Old Testament, we typically see peace - shalom used:
in greetings and farewells
to describe one’s well-being or prosperity
as an indicator of an absence of hostility
to describe a relationship characterized by friendship, care, loyalty, and love
The New Testament sense of peace is remarkably similar to the Old Testament Hebrew sense of shalom. This is primarily due to the way that shalom was translated in the Septuagint.
εἰρήνη - eirēnē - peace
In the New Testament we are introduced to a new messianic peace, which primarily refers to a reconciled relationship with God through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Let me just first say that if you are not saved by the gracious work that Jesus Christ completed on the cross, then you can never experience the Peace of God. This is God’s way. Peace comes through Christ and is bestowed by Christ. His disciples are the messengers of peace.
The Peace of God
... comes only from God through Christ
… surpasses all understanding
… will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
Surpasses All Understanding
καὶ ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν
“and the peace of God is greater than the entire mind”
Simply put, we human’s can never fully grasp the peace of God. But we certainly feel the effects of the lack of God’s peace in our lives.

II. Keep the Peace (v 7)

Philippians 4:7 NASB95
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Personal Peace is an issue of both heart (emotions) and mind (thoughts).
Often our emotions and thoughts are in conflict. How many times have you said something like this to yourself:
I want a hamburger and French fries, but I really should have a salad.
‎I want to go fishing but I have work to do.
There's no shortage of songs featuring the lyrics:
My heart says," Yes" but my head says," No"
James calls this being double-minded:
James 1:5–8 NASB95
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5-8
This is clearly a more serious matter than choosing what to eat.
In spiritual matters double-mindedness is something to be avoided, as it causes us to be unstable before God.
Furthermore I believe this double-mindedness has the potential to give the enemy a foothold in our lives as he sows worry and anxiety. His main job is seeking to disable us and take us out of play as an adversary.
We have people here today who were hurt deeply in life and struggle with overcoming what was done to them.
Sometimes these hurts are verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. I even know people who were hurt spiritually by a church or a pastor in their past. Sometimes the abuser is a family member or a family friend. Other times a teacher or sibling has inflicted harm.
For these people double-mindedness sometimes means that they doubt God's ability to protect them, when God's desire is that they can overcome the anxiety and turn their hurt into helping others.
We have people who have given into the lure of drugs or alcohol and come to trust in that rather than God's ability to set them free from their addictions. For addicts, double-mindedness means that they depend on the source of their addiction for all of their strength.
If you have been hurt in your past, then finding God’s peace should be your primary goal in life.
This peace can often be found in working through those issues in our past in a healthy and safe environment with people that are trustworthy and godly with their counsel.
A. God’s Peace Guards Your Heart (v 7a)

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God puts a fortress of peace around our hearts to guard it like a treasure. But the enemy is assaulting this wall all day every day in order to steal our peace.
We constantly have to stand guard against the enemy’s attacks.
The word “heart” in the Bible rarely refers to the vital bodily organ that pumps blood through the veins. More often the term generally means the central core of the subject.
I often refer to the New Testament usage of “heart” as the seat of emotion, that which drives us and motivates us OR depresses us and ruins us.
The “mind,” on the other hand, is what I use to designate the seat of our intellect and our thought life.
B. God’s Peace Guards Your Thoughts (v 7b)
Philippians 4:7 NASB95
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Bible actually promises us that it has the ability to guard not only our heart (our emotions), but also our thoughts.
Jesus did this in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13) when he answered the enemy’s temptations with a response from Scripture.
We can play an active part in guarding both our heart and minds by studying and understanding God’s Word and by staying “in Christ Jesus.”
Paul said it a different way in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

2 Corinthians 10:5
Whenever you find your peace disrupted, you can use that little formula I gave you to bring your peace back:
Catch your negative thought patterns
Redirect your thoughts
Pray for the Peace of God

III. You Have To Do Your Part (v 8)

Philippians 4:8 NASB95
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
The idea here is to exercise discipline by focusing your mind on good things rather than allowing it to run to the negative thought patterns that we all have by default.
These are the things that you fill your mind with after you’ve taken your thoughts captive:
Keep your thoughts on...
what is true
what is honorable
what is right
what is pure
what is lovely
what is good
anything excellent
what is praise worthy
Somebody give me something that is _____.

IV. Practice Makes Perfect (v 9)

Philippians 4:9 NASB95
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
And finally we are to practice these things that Paul teaches us in order to maintain the peace of God.
We can’t expect to get this right the first time. Just like dieting and keeping your family on a budget, this will take some trial and error to get it right.
This is because we are creatures of habit. Once we develop a poor habit of doubting and being anxious, it is a difficult pattern to break.
It will take some discipline and some failure. But every time we fall, we must do what? _____ ______ ___
We’ll only succeed in this if we can get back up.
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