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City of Peace_pt1: No Matter What

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Adapted from 2012 Sermon: No Matter What!

City of Peace_pt1: No Matter What

Go with me to the Book of Isaiah (chapter 2), as we kick off this new series called, City of Peace...
Isaiah 2:1–3 NIV
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Philippians 1:9–11 NIV
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
I travel several times a year for business. On a plane probably 20 times a year.
And each time I step off the plane, coming home, I feel the same thing: I’m home.
There is such peace in coming home.
[LAST WEEK] - We had a sneed peek at this new series.
If you missed it, we discussed The Way Home.
[THIS WEEK] - As most of us in the room are believers (we are home)...
[PAYOFF] - What now? How do we live and stay in this place: home?
Because, like the prodigal son, he lost his perspective...
And later in the story. we see the older brother, who lost his perspective...
Now that you and I are home, what is our role, here?
How do we not find ourselves lost, again? (leaving home)

We need the right perspective!

The Apostle Paul was home, yet on the move, as he traveled in ministry… and even traveled while incarcerated.
Paul had many terrible things happen in his life, yet he was always “home.”
Even while in prison, he wrote:
Philippians 1:12 NIV
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.
This echoes the same perspective Joseph had, after...
His brothers beat him and sold him into slavery
That lead to him later being imprisoned for false accusations of rape in his masters house, plus a list of many other things....
Genesis 50:20 NIV
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
[WRITE IT DOWN] - We need the right perspective!
We feel “lost” at times in our walk.
How contradictory is that! Because, the walk is “being found!”
Is that a slap in the face of Christ?
Who died for our way home, yet we often feel lost?
[PAYOFF] - Instead of asking “why,” we should be asking, “what are you up to?”

We need to be part of the solution!

[SECOND] - So, what’s the answer?
How do we keep ourselves from taking our eye off who we are at home?
Because, even though we are home...
Challenges come
Even troubles come
And boredom and burnout can creep it’s way in!
Philippians 1:13–14 NIV
As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Micah 4:1 NLT
In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
Paul, with the right perspective, was able to reconcile his struggles, against his purpose.
He got it!
Now that I am home, I have a new role in the house.
Now, my life is to be leveraged for others. For the Gospel!
[WRITE IT DOWN] - We need to be part of the solution!

We need to focus on what really matters!

[FINALLY] - To remain in the peace that only “home” brings, we cannot allow our hearts to...
Dwell on the past - let go.
Dwell on things we feel shouldn’t have happened to us - forgive.
Or even dwell on the things that aren’t going “our way”
Doesn’t go according to our plan...
Doesn’t look the way we want it to look...
[CONTEXT] - Paul is informed that some are preaching against him, while he is in prison...
Philippians 1:15–18 NIV
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
Rejoice? While in prison? While others are acting against him?
He said it: “What does it matter?”
[WRITE IT DOWN] - We need to focus on what really matters!
James 4:14 NIV
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
[PAYOFF] - We can waste too much time, focussing on what doesn't matter.
How old are you? How many more years do you have left to accompl
Church, we are home! We live in this City of God… the City of Peace!
In this place, we should have peace, no matter what!

Peace, no matter what!

How did Paul do it?
How did he stay home, in his heart?
Here’s his prescription for you and I. He wrote it down for us:
Philippians 4:6–9 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 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. Whatever 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.
[NOW] - In light of Paul’s instructions for you and I, let’s ask ourselves a few questions, before we allow our hearts to leave home...

1. Have I presented my request to Him?

That’s too easy!
We sit and worry and fret, and even sulk.
But, have we even talked to Him about it?
Matthew 5:5 NIV
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Meek = Humble, but confident in Him!
Psalm 37:11 NIV
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
[PAYOFF] - Why will the meek inherit the earth?
Because they have accepted that they cannot do it on their own!
This comes only through
So, they present their request to Him!

2. What consumes my mind?

Isaiah 26:3 NIV
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Lamentations 3:19–23 NIV
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
[PAYOFF] - Come on church! What is your mind?
Do your thoughts reflect what Christ has done in you?

3. Am I living His Word?

Psalm 119:165 NIV
Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
Matthew 7:24–25 NIV
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
[PAYOFF] - I believe our level of anxiety is directly correlated to our “living His Word.”
Do you hear me church?
Like a fuel tank whose gage is showing “E.”

Take Away

Remember the prodigal son story we explored last week?
Here’s the rest of it...
Luke 15:25–32 NIV
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
One brother thought he could come home and be a slave
The other thought he was at home being a slace
The father always wanted them home, as sons, rejoicing!

We lose our peace, when we lose our purpose in Him.

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