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The Path To Peace Philippians 4:4-9


An artist was commissioned by a wealthy man to paint something that would depict peace. After a great deal of thought, the artist painted a beautiful country scene. There were green fields with cows standing in them, birds were flying in the blue sky and a lovely little village lay in a distant valley. The artist gave the picture to the man, but there was a look of disappointment on his face. The man said to the artist, "This isn't a picture of true peace. It isn't right. Go back and try again.


The artist went back to his studio, thought for several hours about peace, then went to his canvas and began to paint. When he was finished, there on the canvas was a beautiful picture of a mother, holding a sleeping baby in her arms, smiling lovingly at the child. He thought, surely, this is true peace, and hurried to give the picture to the wealthy man. But again, the wealthy man refused the painting and asked the painter to try again.


The artist returned again to his studio. He was discouraged, he was tired and he was disappointed. Anger swelled inside him, he felt the rejection of this wealthy man. Again, he thought, he even prayed for inspiration to paint a picture of true peace. Then, all of a sudden an idea came, he rushed to the canvas and began to paint as he had never painted before. When he finished, he hurried to the wealthy man.


He gave the painting to the man. He studied it carefully for several minutes. The artist held his breath. Then the wealthy man said, "Now this is a picture of true peace." He accepted the painting, paid the artist and everyone was happy.

And what was this picture of true peace??


The picture showed a stormy sea pounding against a cliff. The artist had captured the fury of the wind as it whipped black rain clouds which were laced with streaks of lightening. The sea was roaring in turmoil, waves churning, the dark sky filled with the power of the furious thunderstorm. And in the middle of the picture, under a cliff, the artist had painted a small bird, safe and dry in her nest snuggled safely in the rocks. The bird was at peace midst the storm that raged about her.






Frances R. Havergal wrote a poem. We sing it under the title “Like a River Glorious.”



Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blest—Finding, as He promised,

Perfect peace and rest.







Paul list several imperatives in the closing chapter of Philippians (Chapter 4). If we will live these principles in our lives, we will be much more likely to achieve peace.


FIRST, WE MUST BEGIN THE JOURNEY TO PEACE WITH CONVERSION (v.3 ) -

There can be no true peace without the God of peace in your life. The Book of Life mentioned in this verse is an interesting study - In the NT it is the record of the righteous who have eternal life (Phil 4:3; Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 21:27). This "Book of Life" is in contrast to "The Book of the Living" in which every name (of everyone who is living) is recorded. Your name is blotted out of "The Book of the Living" when you die (Ex 32:31-33; Ps 69:27-28). When you are born again, your name is not only in "The Book of the Living" but is also in the "Book of Life" (Heb 12:22-23). From here, it can never be removed (Rev 3:5). Is your name in "The Book of Life?" If your name is in the book, this fact leads to the first road-sign on the pathway to peace.


We must learn to REJOICE IN THE LORD! (v.4). The Apostles came home from a

preaching tour very excited and happy, but Jesus told them they were rejoicing over the wrong thing. Read about it in Luke 10. Our rejoicing is to be "in the Lord,” not in our circumstances (good or bad). We know this because we are to rejoice "alway." “Alway” means all the time! Paul practiced what he preached - Read the Account in Acts 16.


We continue on the journey to peace by noticing that GENTLENESS IS REQUIRED (v. 5).“Moderation” is gentleness or mildness and it implies forbearance. The word moderation signifies ‘a humble, patient steadfastness, which is able to submit to injustice, disgrace and maltreatment without hatred or malice, trusting God “in spite of it all.” Paul is encouraging them to be like Christ, the epitome of gentleness (“moderation”). When he was reviled, he reviled not again.


Also, if we want peace, we must also BE MINDFUL OF THE LORD'S NEARNESS (v. 5 - The Lord is at Hand). There was such a peace at Stephen's death....I think one reason was because of the nearness of Jesus.


Now in verse 6, the Bible says,


“BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING!”


THIS CAREFULNESS (FULLNESS OF CONCERN / ANXIETY) IS THE

OPPOSITE OF PEACE!

HOW CAN WE “BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING?”


This is what we are learning! Paul states, YOU MUST TAKE EVERYTHING TO GOD! (v. 6). The Bible speaks of prayer and supplications. Prayer is talking to God and asking things of him. The word supplications means prayer also, but it is a prayer that specifically reveals our lack (our need) in concrete and specific situations.


Next, (if you want to be “careful for nothing”) you must learn how to be thankful. Thanksgiving is a key that unlocks so much, including the peace of God, because in verse 7 the Bible states,


And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


So the pathway to peace includes:


rejoicing,

gentleness,

prayerfulness,

thankfulness, and

you are keeping your eyes on the skies because the Bible states in verse 5 that “the Lord is at hand.” This means that his coming is near…..


These factors lived in your life, consistently, lead to peace. Lack of these factors produces the opposite….overwhelming concerns and anxieties


But there is more!


If we want peace, we must learn to GUARD OUR MIND, for it determines our action - (v. 8,9).


The Bible teaches us to “think on these things” - meditate on them - have these things ever in our thoughts (v.8).


We are to think on that which is:


  • True - Credible, sincere, reliable (aligns itself with reality) / in contrast to that which is false, unreliable, not sincere.

  • Honest - Things worthy of respect, respectable - Things which are noble and honorable.

  • Just - External things that are righteous, correct....things in harmony with the Law

  • Pure - Internally correct, righteous, and holy

  • Lovely - Anything that is delightful, graceful, and that calls forth a holy love.

  • Good Report - Admirable - Whatever is praiseworthy and attractive in word or deed.

  • Virtuous things - Wonderful things done excellently

  • Praiseworthy Things - Things that could be applauded


Not only are we to think certain things, but we are also encouraged to DO CERTAIN THINGS (v.9) - The right kind of thinking will produce the right kind of doing - Paul suggested that the Philippian believers use him as a pattern. The kind of living described here, if faithfully followed, would result in the God of peace being with them. If you will order your life according to God's will....his plan and purpose (with proper disciplined thinking and good Christian living), God's peace will reside in you.










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