Sent in Peace!

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
John 20:21-23

When the Lord sent out Christ to the world, had Christ been like everyone else, no one would have noticed Him.  He was not sent to be like the world.  He was sent into the world to be set apart from the world.  He was sent to reveal a different path.  He was sent to reveal truth.  He was sent to show a contrast between the wickedness of the world and the evils of religion compared to the love of God and the way of Holiness.  For this reason, He stood out from the rest.

It is also for this reason, that He was attacked, betrayed, ridiculed at every turn, spat upon, beaten, and finally crucified.  Forget for a moment that He was God because as God, He knew that He had to follow the Father’s plan as a man.  He was God.  However, He could not complete this assignment as God.   He could not complete the task in the strength of His sovereignty, but the weakness of humanity.  Evidence of Christ living as a man in the weakness thereof can be seen by the fact that He was tempted in every way. (Hebrews 4:15).  When confronted with the horror of the cross, He asked the Father to deliver Him before submitting to the Lord’s will not His own. (Matthew 26:39).

He lived with the same weakness that we live with.  This is why when He sent out His disciples, He first gave them His peace.  No one can withstand the attacks of the enemy and the temptations that come against us as believers unless we first have the peace of God that comes from within.  It is the peace that is not seen, but unseen.  It is a confidence in the promises of God.  So that when we stress, we will have confidence that ‘all things work together for the good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.’ (Romans 8:28)  It is so that when we feel completely abandoned, we put our confidence in His promise to ‘never leave us nor forsake us.’ (Hebrews 13:5).  So that when our marriage is attacked we remember that the Lord sanctifies the spouse of the sanctified. (1 Corinthians 7:14)  So that when our stack of bills is greater than our stack of cash, we put our confidence in the God ‘who will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory.’ (Philippians 4:19)  This is the peace of God and we can not be sent out as our Lord was sent by His father.  We will not stand firm when all Hell breaks loose without the peace of God that transcends understanding.  And why does it transcend understanding?  It is because it is against all odds.  What we are able to see and what others are able to see happening in our life would appear to be severe enough to throw us into a panic, but instead we hold tight to His promises and we respond with peace.

When Jesus spoke to the disciples telling them that they were to be sent by Him as Jesus was sent by the Father, He breathed on them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is ALL of God living inside of us, whispering to us, strengthening us.  The all-knowing, all-powerful God, to give us peace, did not remain distant, but put Himself into our spirit that we might sense His presence helping us to hold on to these promises.  He is no long God with us, but now He is God in us and we can call His name and feel in our spirit that He is there with us.  His peace is our peace already.  To live in the peace of God, we must live as if God has given all of Himself to us.  Everywhere I go, all of the power of God who has defeated the Devil, cast down every demon, and destroyed every stronghold, is WITH me, IN me.  I have to live as if His promises are true.  Until we take hold of this kind of faith, we will never have that kind of peace.  And without that kind of peace, we will not stand out for Christ.  We will not lead anyone into the abundant life of Christ, but instead everyone around us will suffer in the life stored up for them by the Great Deceiver, set out to steal, to kill, and to destroy.

I think one of the reasons that we don’t live with this peace is because the Devil has convinced us that God is angry with us because of our sin and imperfections.  So many times when people really mess up and sin, they stop coming to church and they will tell me that they just can’t come to church because of the sin in their life.  But here is the truth.  The Lord did not save your soul because you stopped sinning, right?  C’mon, don’t act like you have stopped sinning 🙂  He saved us because we repented and we repented because we were remorseful for our sins and went to God in our remorse.  We only have to remember who we were when we first came to God and remember that He accepted us, sin and all, because we went to Him in our remorse and asked for forgiveness.  Nothing has changed.

His love does not leave us when we sin.  We may leave Him when we sin, but even then He runs after us.  So many of us are missing out on the peace of God because we believe it is not for us because of our sin.  God only withholds His peace from those who do not come to Him in repentance.  Oh my goodness!  I hope this is sinking in.  So many have lived a life without peace feeling disqualified because of sin.  The Lord has told me to tell you today that the peace of God is still yours to have, not because you are perfect, but because you are truly remorseful and desire His forgiveness.  And He is faithful to forgive the Scripture says.

Do not let the Devil steal the peace of God out of your hands.  No matter what you have done, the peace of God is waiting for you.  His promises still have your name on them even if you sin because you have put your faith in Him as the One who forgives.  If you believe He will forgive you, you must believe His promises are for you, and you can restore His peace in your soul RIGHT NOW!!

Confess your sins.  Know you are forgiven.  Live by His promises…even when you have sinned.  Then, you will remain in Him.  He will help you to outlast and overcome every attack and every temptation.  You will live in peace and lead others to do the same.  He has given you, (put your name here), His peace.  Now take it and live in it.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

mypeace

 

Pastor Lee is the Lead Pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. His message focuses on the healing power of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the Father of three awesome sons and he is madly in love with his wife, Amy. And his favorite past time is losing golf balls in the rough while attempting to play a round of golf.

Posted in Encouragement, Forgiveness, Grace, Hardships, Sin

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