Let the Peace of Christ Rule Colossians 3:15-17


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Let the Peace of Christ Rule Colossians 3:15-17 Adapted from a Melvin Newland sermon http://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?ContributorID=&SermonID=151961

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Let the Peace of Christ Rule Colossians 3:15-17

  1. 1. Adapted from a Melvin Newland sermonhttp://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?ContributorID=&SermonID=1 51961
  2. 2. It is interesting, when you’re traveling, tovisit other churches & observe how they do some things differently than the way we’reused to doing them. For example, there area lot of different ways congregations close their morning worship service.
  3. 3. After the sermon & invitation, manycongregations have a closing prayer & then the service is over. But there are churches that have added some interesting variations. Some add a closing chorus sung by thechoir or the entire congregation like we do. Others have everyone turn & greet theirfellow worshippers, asking God’s blessingsupon them before the service is considered over & the people are free to leave.
  4. 4. Others are much more formal in their closing. After the benediction the choir & leaders of the congregation, led by theminister, form a procession & go down thecenter aisle to the entryway before the rest of the congregation is dismissed.One saved the Lord’s Supper for the finale of the service.
  5. 5. Now why do I mention this? One minister has a unique way of closinghis morning worship service. Every Sunday he closed his service in exactly the same way.Following the prayer, he walks alone down the center aisle & quotes the words of aloud to the congregation.
  6. 6. Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as onebody to this peace), and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, andspiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. NET
  7. 7. Over & over again he has been repeating these words every Sunday to his people – why? Well, let’s let him answer that question:―I repeat these words each week to remindus that our sole source of authority in life isthis book! We are to live by its teachings...‖(Mark Adams, Redlands Baptist Ch, Rockville, MD)I agree. So let’s look more carefully at what this passage of Scripture is teaching.
  8. 8. It begins with the Apostle Paul telling us, ―Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart…‖ Notice the words ―be incontrol.‖ In the original Greek it is an athletic term that was applied to the officials of the games. We would call them ―umpires‖ or ―referees‖ today. They were the ones who controlled the action on the field of play.
  9. 9. And Paul is telling us that ―the peace ofChrist‖ is to umpire or referee our hearts.His peace is to have the final say, the final word on any matter. ―Let the peace of Christ rule…‖ NIV If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. NET
  10. 10. But who or what does actually rule in ourhearts? If you let worry have its way – there will be no peace. If you let complaining &criticizing control – there will be no peace. If you let guilt grip you – there will be no peace. If you let anger or bitterness orhatred or revenge or fear rule – there will be no peace!
  11. 11. For many years Argentina & Chile had been on the verge of war with each other over a boundary dispute. Finally they realized the horror & futility of a war between their countries & they agreed to a peaceful solution. To commemorate this peaceagreement, in 1904 they melted down someof their cannons & used the metal to fashion a large statue of Christ on the mountain boundary between the two countries.
  12. 12. Christ is also the redeemer of our lives.Jesus told us in NET I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage — I have conquered the world.‖Again He said, in NET "Peace Ileave with you; my peace I give to you; I donot give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.
  13. 13. Jesus also said, NET "Blessedare the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. And Scripture tells us that we promotepeace by putting the needs of others aheadof our own. We promote peace by forgiving those who have sinned against us, & by seeking forgiveness from those we have sinned against.
  14. 14. Here’s one married woman’s prayer. ―Lord, I pray for:Wisdom - to understand my man; Love - to forgive him; Patience - for his moods.Lord, I don’t pray for strength, because if Ihad strength, I’d beat him to death. Amen.‖ (Adapted from Russell Brownworth, Sermon Central)
  15. 15. We promote peace by praying for people & with them. We promote peace by refusing to gossip & grumble, which Scripture callssin. We promote peace by seeking the good in people & praising them for it. You make that choice & God will change your life. Let Jesus rule in your life & His peace will rule in your heart, your words, your relationships, & your attitudes.
  16. 16. So heed these words of Paul, ―Let thepeace of Christ be in control in your heart(for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful.‖
  17. 17. LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY Next, Paul says Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singingpsalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.
  18. 18. ―Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…‖ Let it visit? No! Let it be a guest in your heart? No! To ―dwell in you‖ means to let the Word of Christ move in & take up residency in you. If you do, then His Word will remodel your life, remake your priorities, reshape your thinking, & replaceyour old life with His new life for all eternity!
  19. 19. Someone wrote, ―This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, & the happiness of believers. Its doctrines areholy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true…
  20. 20. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, & comfort to cheer you. It isthe traveler’s map, the pilot’s compass, thesoldier’s sword, & the Christian’s character. Christ is its grand subject, our good its purpose, & the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, & guide the feet.
  21. 21. Follow its precepts & it will lead you toCalvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; & yes, to glory itself for all eternity. (Adapted from Troy Borst, Sermon Central) So when it comes to the Word of Christ – Love it! Learn it! Live it! Get into His Word so that His Word can get into you.
  22. 22. NET For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to thepoint of dividing soul from spirit, and jointsfrom marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. NIV
  23. 23. Paul Powell writes, "Many say the Bible is old fashioned. Well, so is the sun, butwithout it men grope in darkness. So is the air, but without it men gasp & die. So is water, but without it men go mad. In themidst of the complexities of life, don’t forgetthe Holy Bible. Believe it, read it, & heed it. It holds the key to life.―(Mark Adams, Redlands Baptist Ch, Rockville, MD)
  24. 24. NET Then Jesus spoke outagain, "I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." This is not a dead, lifeless truth that we profess! It is alive & vital! It dispels doubts, fears & difficulties. Then we can truly sing with gratitude in our hearts because we know that we have been blessed way beyond what we deserve.
  25. 25. IN WHATEVER I DO,I WILL SEEK TO PRAISE HIM And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LordJesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Therefore, in whatever I do I will seek to praise Him!
  26. 26. The apostle Paul is a perfect example of this. Listen to his words inNET I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Who lives in you? And in me? Who do people see when they look at us?
  27. 27. The story is told of GordonMaxwell, missionary to India, that when he asked a Hindu scholar to teach him thelanguage, the Hindu replied: ―No, Sahib, Iwill not teach you my language. You would make me a Christian.‖Maxwell replied, ―You misunderstand me. I am simply asking you to teach me your language.‖
  28. 28. Again the Hindu responded, ―No, Sahib, Iwill not teach you. No man can live with you & not become a Christian.‖ Wow! What a testimony his life was! (Steve Shepherd, Sermon Central)―And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.‖ It is amazing what an attitude of gratitude can do for you, & in you!
  29. 29. Giving thanks will change your perspective & your priorities. Instead of looking for the bad – you’ll be looking for the good. You’ll count your blessings, & not your burdens.You’ll be grateful for what you have – & less greedy for what you don’t have. You’ll behope-filled & not help-less. But sadly, there are many people whose lives are not like that at all!
  30. 30. The story is told of two old friends whobumped into each other on the street. One of them looked miserable, almost on theverge of tears. His friend asked, ―What has the world done to you, Old Friend?‖ The sad fellow said, ―Let me tell you. Three weeks ago my uncle died & left me $40,000.‖ ―Congratulations, that’s a lot of money!‖
  31. 31. ―Then 2 weeks ago, a cousin I never evenknew died & left me $85,000 free & clear.‖ ―Well, it sounds like you have really been blessed!‖ ―You don’t understand,‖ heinterrupted. ―Last week my great aunt died & I inherited a quarter of a million dollars more.‖Now the friend was really confused. ―Thenwhy do you look so glum?‖ The sad fellow sighed, ―This week – nothing.‖ (Jeff Simms-sermoncentral.com)
  32. 32. In Jesus Christ we have so much for which to be thankful! Do you remember this children’s chorus? It’s bubbling, it’s bubbling, it’s bubbling in my soul. There’s singing, & laughing, since Jesus made me whole. Folks don’t understand it, nor can I keep it quiet. It’sbubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bub bling day & night!
  33. 33. I want to tell you one more story. It is a rather long one, but I think you will appreciate it. It’s about something that happened at a truck stop, & told by the owner of the restaurant there. She says; I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be agood, reliable busboy. But I had never hada mentally handicapped employee & wasn’t sure I wanted one.
  34. 34. I wasn’t sure how my customers wouldreact to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features & thick- tongued speech of Down syndrome. I knew some people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks. I shouldn’t have worried.
  35. 35. After the first week, Stevie had my staffwrapped around his stubby little fingers, & within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stopmascot. After that, I really didn’t care what anyone else thought of him. He was a 21-year-old, eager to laugh & eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties.Every salt & pepper shaker was exactly inits place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.
  36. 36. Our only problem was convincing him to wait to clean a table until after thecustomers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table & carefully bus the dishes onto his cart & wipe thetable with a practiced flourish of his rag. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, &you had to love how hard he tried to please every person he met.
  37. 37. Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Money was tight, & what I paid himwas probably the difference between them being able to live together & Stevie being sent to a group home.
  38. 38. That’s why the restaurant was a gloomyplace last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work. He was at the Hospital getting a new valve put in his heart.A ripple of excitement ran through the stafflater that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, & doing fine. Frannie, my head waitress, let out awhoop & did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.
  39. 39. Dan, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50- year-old grandmother doing a victory shimmy beside his table. He grinned. ―OK, Frannie, what was that all about?‖ he asked. ―We just got word that Stevie is outof surgery & going to be okay,‖ she replied.―I was wondering where he was,‖ Dan said. ―I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?‖
  40. 40. Frannie quickly told Dan & the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’ssurgery & then sighed. ―Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be ok,‖ she said, ―but I don’t know how he & his mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re barely getting by as it is.‖ Dan noddedthoughtfully, & Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.
  41. 41. I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie & really didn’t want to replace him, so the girls were busing theirown tables. After the morning rush, Franniewalked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand & a funny look on her face. ―What’s up?‖ I asked.
  42. 42. ―I didn’t get to clear off that table where Dan & his friends were sitting before Pete & Tony came in & sat down there,‖ she said, ―But when I did, I found this folded & tucked under a coffee cup.‖ She handed the napkin to me, & when I opened it three $20 bills fell onto my desk. On the outside of the napkin, in big, boldletters, was printed ―Something For Stevie.‖
  43. 43. ―Pete asked me what that was all about, so I told him about Stevie & his mom. Pete looked at Tony & Tony looked at Pete, &they ended up giving me this.‖ She handedme another napkin that had ―Something For Stevie‖ scrawled on it, too. Two $50 billswere tucked within its folds. Frannie lookedat me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head & said simply ―Truckers.‖
  44. 44. That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. Hisplacement worker said he’s been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, & it didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday. In fact, he had called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew hewas coming, fearful that we had forgotten him, or that his job was in jeopardy.
  45. 45. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the parking lot & invitedthem both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner & paler, but couldn’t stopgrinning as he pushed through the doors & headed for the back room where his apron & bus cart were waiting.
  46. 46. ―Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,‖ I said. ―Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you & yourmother is on me.‖ I led them toward a largecorner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel & hear the rest of the staff following behind. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers join the procession.
  47. 47. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers & plates, all sitting slightlycrooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. ―First thing you have to do, Stevie, is cleanup this mess,‖ I said. Stevie looked at me, & then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had ―Something for Stevie‖ printed on the outside. As he picked it up, three $20 bills fell onto the table.
  48. 48. Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. ―There’s nearly $10,000 in cash & checks on that table, all from truckers & truckingcompanies that heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving.‖
  49. 49. Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering & shouting, & therewere a few tears, as well. But you knowwhat’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands & hugging eachother, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups &dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired.... (Adapted from Brien Sims, Sermon Central)
  50. 50. Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as onebody to this peace), and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, andspiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. NET