Join Now: 1-800-777-7731

"Thanks for the Peace"

By Pastor Shelton Cole
Faith Baptist Church, Great  Barrington, MA

Text:  Topical = Thanksgiving/Peace

Introduction:    In the over 3100 years of recorded world history, the world has only been at peace 8% of the time or a total of 286 years and 8000 treaties have been made and broken.  Even now we seem headed for a nuclear showdown.

Yet even if you take peace as being something different than the cessation of physical conflict, peace alludes many in this day and age.  The parents of 7 blessed infants are, in the worlds definition, going to be hard pressed to find some peace in their lives.

I believe however that peace is the one of the most real things that we can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  It is the one thing that we can truly enjoy during the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

Theme:  We can be thankful today for Peace:

I.  “With God” - Our Salvation - Past

(Rom 5:1)  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Illustration:        The story is told of a young dockworker who heard a minister named Henderson deliver a sermon based on Romans 5:1.  Although impressed with the truth that one can have peace with God only through the merits of the Lord Jesus, he did not trust Him as his personal Savior.
   The next day that man joined the crew and sailed on the steamship London.  A short time later it met with disaster on the high seas. Several months passed, and a sailor came to the clergyman and inquired, "Are you Pastor Henderson?" "Yes, I am," he replied.  "I've come to tell you that I talked and prayed with a young man on board the London who had heard you preach on Romans 5:1.  He was concerned about his soul but didn't quite understand the plan of salvation.  I finished what you began and led him to the Savior.  Only a few minutes later we were shipwrecked, and he and I were told to launch one of the lifeboats. While doing so, he said to me, 'Mate, if you get to shore, be sure and tell Pastor Henderson that I've been saved.'  Somehow he failed to get into the lifeboat in time, and we had to row away immediately to keep from being capsized by the suction of the sinking ship.  The last I saw of him, he was up in the rigging of the doomed vessel, waving his hat and shouting to me above the noise of the waters, 'Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!'"

(Eph 2:14)  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Theme:  We can be thankful today for Peace:

I.  “With God” - Our Salvation - Past

II.  “Of God” - Our Dedication - Present

(Phil 4:6-7)  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. {7} And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Illustration:     When H. B. Macartney, an Australian pastor, visited Hudson Taylor in China, he was amazed at the missionary's serenity in spite of his many burdens and his busy schedule.  Macartney finally mustered up the courage to say, "You are occupied with millions, I with tens.  Your letters are pressingly important, mine of comparatively little value.  Yet I am worried and distressed while you are always calm.  Tell me, what makes the difference?" Taylor replied, "I could not possibly get through the work I have to do without the peace of God which passes all understanding keeping my heart and mind."  Macartney later wrote, "He was in God all the time, and God was in him.

Note:  As we are found in him and doing His will in every present situation, we have a peace that passes all understanding.

(John 15:7-11)  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. {8} Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. {9} As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. {10} If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. {11} These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

Theme:  We can be thankful today for Peace:

I.  “With God” - Our Salvation - Past
II.  “Of God” - Our Dedication - Present

III.  “In God” - Our Glorification - Future

(Isa 2:4)  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Illustration:     Abie Nathan is leading a new children's crusade!  Nathan, who operates a pirate radio station aboard his "Peace Ship" in the Mediterranean, has promised to give a scroll with the biblical quotation from Isaiah, "And they shall not learn war any more...," to any child who smashes his military toys.  He has also offered to buy the complete stock of war toys from any store which agrees not to sell them in the future (newspaper item).
   We admire Nathan's optimism.  But there will be no peace on earth, no fulfillment of Isaiah's great prophecy, until the Prince of peace returns to establish His rule on earth.

There is coming a peace for those that believe such as the world has never before known.  It is in a day when the Prince of Peace shall rule and reign and we shall know the Peace of God truly.

Conclusion:

Theme:  We can be thankful today for Peace:

I.  “With God” - Our Salvation - Past
II.  “Of God” - Our Dedication - Present
III.  “In God” - Our Glorification - Future

   Whenever I am troubled
      and lost in deep despair,
   I bundle all my troubles up
      and go to God in prayer,
   I tell Him I am heartsick
      and lost and lonely too,
   That I am deeply burdened
      and don't know what to do.
   But I know He stilled the tempest
      and calmed the angry sea,
   And I humbly ask if in His love
      He'll do the same for me.
   Then I just keep quiet
      and think on thoughts of peace,
   And as I abide in stillness
      my restless murmurings cease.

   -- Helen Steiner Rice

------------

Return to Sermon Index