1. Just as Ken talked about last: through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we have the opportunity to have peace “shalom”. Jesus brought this peace by serving us. He is the greatest act of service, as he died on the Cross-for us. This peace is not one the world can create. It is the peace spoken about in Ephesians, “peace which transcends human understanding”. This is the peace that breaks through the fast paced, suburbia lifestyle we live in. It breaks through the barriers of a husband or wife who are too busy to listen, it breaks through the barriers of children needing more emotionally than we feel we can give, it breaks through the barriers of children who are battling with obedience and a longing for independence. This peace is beyond human understanding!
2. When Steven and I bought our first house we were both greatly concerned with the “feel” of the place. I was more concerned with the interior material “feel” and Steven with the exterior “feel”. What we are looking for in PEACE/ Shalom cannot come from any of these things. It comes from Jesus Christ living in the individuals in the home. This is an example of Jesus enabling us to BE peacemakers along side with him. HE CAME AS PEACE AND HE MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO BE PEACEMAKERS.
a. Philippians 4:6-peace that transcends human understanding.
3. Safe box- READ Colossians 3:17-25. Ask everyone to forget what they have previously heard with this scripture. Forget what you have thought or what you have heard this scripture has meant. This morning I want to take a fresh look at it from a blank slate and consider maybe something we haven’t seen before that God is trying to communicate. Close your eyes…. (Include here people who may have never heard this scripture or may not even know much about bible period…how?)
4. So, the big question is HOW DO WE GET THIS PEACE IN OUR HOMES?
5. Read scripture- Paul is writing about a new way to treat relationships within your household than his culture was saying. Similar to how our friends, neighbors, colleges, and schoolmates tell us how to treat those we love in our home. What the cool or acceptable way is to treat those we love. How to place living up to the Jones’s above looking out for our spouse, children, and parents. Paul lived in Greco Roman culture where the husbands were considered supreme to the women, children, and slaves. The men had all the rights; the women were not even considered part of society without relations to a husband or son. He was telling the Christians that the way they treated one another within their families was a concrete example of their relationship with God.
a. Gal 3:28- we know we don’t live in this culture in anymore. Christ sees us all as one.
6. Three major verbs that stand out to me in these scriptures are submit and love and obey. Jesus came as “shalom”, he came as our example to be peacemakers. In James 3:13-18 it tells us to two kinds of wisdom: one that comes from the earth and is based out of selfish ambition and jealousy that leads to disorder and every kind of evil. The other wisdom comes from above and it is pure, peace loving, willing to yield to others, full of mercy and good deeds. He describes these people as being peacemakers who plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness. Isn’t that the kind of peace we are looking for in our homes? Peace that brings goodness. How? Being pure in motives, loving, lying down our will, and showing mercy! This matches the example of Christ. Maybe...
a. Maybe include if time permits-Then, James next words in ch 4 talk about this earthy wisdom the opposite of heavenly wisdom. He tells us that quarrelling and fights come not because of what others do but because of our own desire to get our own way. How many of you can say this is the case in your home. I would imagine most fights with your spouses and children arise because everyone wants their way and is not willing to lay down their own will. (Just being married for 4 months- I remember the first two months were like bliss…one night my husband said to me “everyone says marriage is so hard…bit I really don’t think it is…and I agreed with him- oh but wait- month three came around and your would have thought the flood gates were opened…we both realized we were being selfish and needed to die to ourselves). This is it!! Let us learn that submitting and loving are all about serving and thinking of others above ourselves.
7. So, James has given us a new way of living, “Heavenly Wisdom”. How do we get this type of wisdom in our homes? What is our responsibility? I believe Colossians has the answer: submit, love, obey.
8. Jesus is truly the greatest example of this. By the Cross, he exemplified the greatest example of submission, love, and obedience. Three verbs are mentioned here: submit, love, and obey. I believe these are not really two different orders. For how do you submit if you don’t love, how do you love if you don’t submit, how do you obey if you don’t submit and love. Jesus did not separate these as His example to us. We love because he loved us first. He showed us his love by submitting to death. Isn’t this the greatest act of service? So, not only did Jesus “shalom”, submit, love, and obeyed…but he also served. One word would encompass all these others: SERVE others. We are to love by submitting and that is acted out by serving. How are you serving your spouse? How are you serving your children? This world tells us love is what we get…pornography, money, the perfect house, perfect girl friend can never satisfy for the long haul.) But Christ is telling us that love is what we give not what we get.
a. “Let me share a story a good friend of mine experienced. He was a pastor and a lady in the church asked him how to witness to her husband. She was a passionate Christian but her husband did not believe. The pastor as her on question, “what is one thing he would like for you to do, that you don’t want to do?” The lady immediately said, “FOLD HIS SOCKS”. She went on to say, “but I do not fold his socks because I’m not his mother. His mother always folded his socks but he is a man now and can fold his own socks.” The pastor asked her, “Would you be willing to fold his socks if it would lead him to Christ? Fold his socks today tomorrow and continue to fold his socks.” 3 months later the husband came to Christ. Today this is husband is a lay leader in their church. The wife says, she believes her husband is a leader is their church because she folded his socks.”
9. How are you and I doing on “folding socks” for our loved ones? Are we thinking about our needs or theirs? I challenge you to “fold” your spouses, parents, children’s socks. Whatever that looks like for you in your home. Ask, “what does folding socks look like for you?” Write your answer down on a post-it note and think about it, and this week take a step in service and “fold some socks”. This is the peace with transcends understanding. Peace we need in the midst of a world that lacks it. Peace to love when jobs are lost, money is tight, spouses are unsympathetic or naggy, or when children are needy and fussy, when you feel like you are fighting for peace and your swimming upstream a raging rapid, or when parents are not understanding. Peace that can break through our suffering. This peace is miraculous and available to all of us who believe in a Savior called Jesus Christ, who came down and served far greater than we will ever have to do…by dying for us!