How to have Peace

A prayer for peace is a powerful request that only God can give you.

James Greer
Dec 3, 2017    22m
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Pastor Greer Discusses godly peace in this sermon. When we are going through hard, almost unbearable times, we cry out in a prayer for peace. He says that true peace can only come from accepting God into our hearts, and trusting in him to provide us a deep godly peace, a peace cannot not be taken from you. It is a deep peace that helps you know things will be alright, no matter what trials and tribulations you may be facing in your life. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: 00:12 Man, I'm so excited about the new series, Peace. In fact, if you really understood one of the first and most important Christmas gifts that God gave us was His son who became the gift of our peace. So it's really exciting today. See peace, everybody wants, but few find it. The main reason most people don't find the Godly peace that Jesus brought is because they're looking for circumstantial peace instead of relational and spiritual peace. See peace is not circumstantial. Peace is relational. See if it wasn't spiritual or relational, we'd be looking for peace in circumstances. I mean we think well, if I get to this circumstance to change, if I get married, I'm going to have peace. If I get this house, I'm going to have peace. If I get this job and I'm going to have peace. But what you're gonna find out is peace is all about a relationship with Jesus Christ.

James Greer: 01:04 In fact, listen to this. Peace was planned by the Father. It was purchased by the Son and it's provided by the Holy Spirit. In essence, peace is a byproduct of trusting God. Peace is a byproduct of trusting God's promises, purpose and plan for your life. When we understand and trust God for the promises and purpose for the plan of his life. Then we meet the conditions of the promise. Then we get the provision that only God can bring.

James Greer: 01:37 John 16:33 says (and this will be a key verse for the next few weeks), these things I have spoken (Who is I? Jesus Christ), to you (to Journey Church) that in me (in Jesus, not circumstances) you may have peace. You can choose to have peace. In the world you're going to have tribulation. You're going to have burdens. You're going to have pressure. You're going to have stress. You're going to have heartache. Hey girls, y'all have had heartache this week. The girls lost their father, so they had troubles. They had tribulation. And the Bible didn't say we weren't going to have that, but He said, be of good cheer, girls. I've overcome the world. Amen? And so that's what He was saying. He said, overcome means you can be a conqueror.

James Greer: 02:20 In Romans 8:38 it says we as Christians, we're more than conquerors through Him who loves us. But being a conqueror means you have battles that you have to go through.

James Greer: 02:29 But I want you to know in Ephesians 2:14 says this, for He Himself is our peace. Jesus Christ is our peace who has made both one and broken down the middle wall that separates us. In other words He said, I want you to understand so that once you get saved, that was God's gift to you is peace.

James Greer: 02:47 In fact, I can prove to you in Ephesians 4:30, don't grieve the Holy Spirit. Don't grieve the peace that God left you through Jesus Christ because you're a sealed unto the day of redemption. He says, when you get saved, I give you something called a Holy Spirit. It lives in you. It's sealed until the day until the day of redemption. The only way you get something that is sealed out, is when it's broken. In other words, either you die or Jesus Christ comes back for us. So it says, don't grieve the Holy Spirit. Don't grieve the peace that God left you.

James Greer: 03:22 1 Thessalonians 5:19 do not quit the spirit of God. Don't quit. It's the spirit and peace and power of God. You can extinguish the flame in the power, but you cannot remove the source. This is really important. You could extinguish the fire (on fire, excited, the power of God), but you can't remove the source once you're saved. So once you're saved, the peace of God is going to go with you and be with you no matter where you go, no matter what you do. Now what could happen? It could be like when we had some land being cleared by Eddie Williams behind one of the [unintelligible] so about four or five acres and there was a bunch of brush and trash and dirt. Then they piled it all up out in the middle and they say, "Well do you think we can burn it?"

James Greer: 04:01 I say, "As far as I'm concerned, you can burn it." I said, "Be very careful. There is a warehouse full of tires and you don't want them to catch on fire."

James Greer: 04:11 No problem. I got a call later that evening.

James Greer: 04:11 They said, "Don't worry about it."

James Greer: 04:15 I said, "Don't worry about what?"

James Greer: 04:17 They said, "The fire department got there in time."

James Greer: 04:17 I asked, "In time for what?"

James Greer: 04:23 They said, "The whole field burned up, but we didn't get to the warehouse."

James Greer: 04:25 So see what had happened was they had been burning the trash. They thought it was out. They had all this trash and dirt but underneath the flame and the fire was still there. When they left, it ignited and it burned the place up. So the fire department came and put it out. Right? A month later, I wasn't going to tell you, but it was Kevin that did it. But anyway about a month later he went back over there.

James Greer: 04:50 He said, "I'm going to spread it all out and make it look real pretty."

James Greer: 04:53 So he took what was left of the trash and everything and he starts breaking it up. Guess what happened? After a month, the sparks were there and the flames still caught on fire. So what does it have to do with you? When you get saved, he himself, Jesus Christ, the peace of God lives in you. Now, what can happen is you can extinguish the flames, you can quench the spirit, you can no longer feel the power and the presence of God. You can no longer have the peace that God said that lives in you, but I will tell you the source is still there. What you've done is you allowed all kinds of trash and dirt to get on top of it is smothering it out, but it's still there. When you get rid of that dirt and you get rid of that trash, the peace and the power of God comes back to your life. That's good Brother James.

James Greer: 05:47 So we can have peace. Jesus did not say that we wouldn't have problems. He didn't say we wouldn't have stress, but he said, my peace, I give unto you. Now let me tell you what the peace that he's talking about (you ready) is a spiritual relational peace. We will not have physical peace on earth until Jesus Christ returns.

James Greer: 06:07 You got to understand where does peace come from? Jesus Christ. How did it get here? God's gift. And where did it come from? His son. How do you get it? You invite him into your life, amen? He says that we're more than conquerors. It means you're going to have battles and I'm going to have battles and we battle the junk, trash and dirt that the devil throws at us. But He said, you can still have peace.

James Greer: 06:31 Now, let me tell you, you can have peace and some turmoil going on at the same time. But He said in Isaiah 9:6 he said unto us a child is born. One of the greatest Christmas gifts you'll ever have is to understand that God sent his son and He said unto us, a child is born. That has happened. Amen? Merry Christmas. That's Jesus Christ. Unto us a son is given. It is a free gift that God gave us. The greatest gift that was ever given was God's son who brought peace and who had been a prophesy, and that's a gift. When somebody gives you something, you can take it or refuse it. It was given. And the government shall rest upon His shoulder. Written in the context of Isaiah the prophecy was Jesus is coming. It's a given. The government rests upon his shoulder - that hadn't happened yet. That's when he comes back. But he said and his name is wonderful. Did y'all know the name of Jesus is wonderful? Amen? Did you know - JD are you here? There you are. You're a great counselor, but we got the ultimate counselor who is Jesus Christ. Amen? When you're not available, we can go to Him. And when you're giving counsel, go to Him. Amen?

James Greer: 07:42 He is wonderful. He's a counselor. He's a mighty God. Man, He's mightier and stronger than anything you'll ever come against. He's an everlasting Father. He doesn't come and go. Once you got Him, you've got him forever. He is a prince of peace. You know what? I said he's the prince of peace, so I looked up prince. It means He's the captain. He's the ruler. He's the keeper. He's the principal. He's the general. You know why He's the general? Because the prince of peace came down from God the Father down to earth. He wanted to be the captain of the army. He wanted to go through the same problems, trials and tribulations we do plus some. And so therefore now He can relate to us. After He was resurrected, He went back with the Father. Listen, the prince of peace went back to the Father. When he comes back, he's going to be the King of kings. See the prince is in line to be the king. He came as a prince, as a human. He's coming back as a king. Amen?

James Greer: 08:38 See the first step to having peace is having Jesus Christ in you. So you got the peace in you. You got the peace around you. You've got the peace in the back of you and you got peace of God for you. So when you invite Jesus Christ into your heart, you have to have though peace with God. You can't have the peace of God to you have peace with God. There's too many people that don't have the peace of God, but you hadn't made the peace. You don't have the peace of God yet. The only way you can have peace with God is through Jesus Christ and that gives you the peace.

James Greer: 09:11 Romans 5:10 says for if when, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God. In other words, we were enemies. Jesus came. He said, I'm going to reconcile you. How did He do it? Through the death of his son. Much more having been reconciled, you shall be saved by his life. In other words, you couldn't have peace. Ever since the garden of Eden we lost our peace. I'll prove it to you later on. and after that, God start prophesying. One day I'm going to send peace back. One day I'm going to send peace, but one day I will send peace back. He sent his son who is His peace and he came back. Now he reconciles you, and now you can have peace with God, not because of what you did, but what Jesus Christ did for you.

James Greer: 09:48 Peace comes second, by having a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Godly peace no one can take from you because it's relational, not circumstantial. When you understand it's spiritual and relational not circumstances. Circumstances can change. They'll rob your peace. Relational, spiritual peace you can keep no matter what.

James Greer: 10:13 Romans 8:28, and you know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. See, when you have relational, spiritual peace, even when you're facing problems, even when you have trials, even when you know you're doing something. Even when I leave the house and I'm fixing to have a major decision, I may have a major confrontation. I start saying, hey God...

James Greer: 10:32 I can have a relational peace number one, because Jesus lives in me. I could have relational, spiritual peace. Number two, because God, no matter what happens in my life, you're in control and you can take however bad it is and you can turn it around into something good. You do understand that God is sovereign in control of your life and this world. The president can make a good decision and God can do it. The president can make a bad decision, and God can still make it come out to good. God is sovereign. He said, every single day in my life and your life, when you have the peace of God living in you, I can turn it around into something good. That spiritual, relational peace, not circumstantial. Second, that peace comes from a right relationship with God. People can't take it and people can't give it to you.

James Greer: 11:17 Ephesians 2:14 says, he himself is our peace. Who is our peace? Say Jesus. The blessings of peace is given by being in the right relationship with God. Apart from the right relationship with God, you cannot have internal harmony and peace. But on the other hand, when you're in the right relationship with God, nothing can steal your peace.

James Greer: 11:57 Psalms says it like this. Psalms 29:11, the Lord, He will give strength to His people. Who gives strength? The Lord. Who does he give it to? His people. If you want the strength of the Lord, you've got to be one of his people. Amen? You can't claim the power of God and the strength of God unless you come to God. The only way you can come to God is through the Gift of God, which is his son, Jesus Christ, which is the gift of peace.

James Greer: 12:09 Okay? The Lord, he will give strength to his people. The Lord will bless his people with peace. One of God's blessings is the peace of God. But do you know what? When you lack peace, when you're going through turmoil in your life and when you're depending on the circumstances and when you're depending on people, you get so tired you can't even function. Have you ever been so discouraged and so tired you didn't want to get out of the house? I can remember a time that all I wanted to do is lay on the couch and lay on the bed, and it seemed like I had lost all my strength. See, I'm going to tell you when you quit the power and presence of God, when you don't have the peace of God, you don't have the strength and power of God, so what you gotta do is get rid of that junk in your life and let the peace and power come back to your life. He said, I want to strengthen you. He said strengthen my people and he said, I want to give you peace. Peace is a divine byproduct given to us by God. When we lose our peace, we lose our strength. So what happened to peace anyway?

James Greer: 13:08 Third, what happened to it? Way back in Genesis 1:32, it says, and God saw everything that he made and indeed it was very good. Everything, God said it was very good. And the [unintelligible] morning it was the sixth day the Lord created the world. It was a perfect peace and perfect harmony in wholeness. Unfortunately, peace and harmony with God originally created was destroyed and broken when Adam and Eve sinned. See, when Adam and Eve's sinned, they experienced the loss of peace and felt guilt and shame for the first time in their life. See what God said was just like he says to me, he said he had his boundaries.

James Greer: 13:46 He said, you've got this entire Garden of Eden. Just don't do this one thing. Do you understand that God within boundaries gives you great freedom to choice. It's just the one thing they did, and so when they did that, they experienced shame and guilt and separation from God because they disobeyed him. Before they lost her intimate relationship, see, and now they hid from God. Not only they hide from God, they began to blame each other. See, when you're living in sin instead of the peace and power of God, if you're not careful you'll blame God for your problem. The next thing is you'll blame your mate.

James Greer: 14:22 Genesis 3:9 said, and the Lord called Abraham and said to him, where are you? And so he said, I heard your voice. It was in the Garden. I was afraid (he lost his peace) because I was naked and I hid myself. And he said, who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?

James Greer: 14:49 So what happened to our peace? Adam and Eve sinned, and ever since then lost the peace God. God kept saying, but I want you to have peace. From very beginning, God had a plan in Romans 5:12 He said, therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world (who is Adam) and death through sin, then death spread to all men because of sin. Ever since Adam and Eve, the sin of death has been passed to every one of us, and the Bible says the wages of sin is death. When I was young and stupid, sometimes when I'd go to church, they'd say the wage of sin is death, and I said, man, I sinned last night and I'm not dead.

James Greer: 15:18 So what does it mean? It means you're separated from God. I couldn't experience the power and peace of God. I was talking to Darrell a while ago and he said his grandfather would say you can't get peace that way. My mother used to say, hey, you're never going to really be satisfied with what you're doing. So what would she do? She would leave peace scriptures on the way to my bedroom and under my pillow. She knew something that took me years to learn. There's only one way to have peace. That's through Jesus Christ. There's nothing else we can do. The Bible says the wage of sin is death. It means it separates us from God, from the presence of God.

James Greer: 15:58 Isiah 48:22 says this, you ready? There is no peace, saith the Lord for the wicked. If you're saved, you've got the holy spirit and the peace lives in you, but if you live a lifestyle of wickedness, you don't have peace. The word wicked, it says if you live a lifestyle of immorality, He said, you can have Him there, but you don't enjoy Him. It doesn't mean that you sin one time, that you say something one day. I've sinned, you've sinned, we've all sinned. But it says, do not live in continued lifestyle of sin, knowing that it's sin and expect to have peace because He said there is no peace for the wicked. So how can we have it then? How can it get restored? How was the peace restored? Right from the beginning God had a plan to restore peace.

James Greer: 16:45 Ephesians 2:13, but now through Jesus Christ, you who were once far away didn't have peace with God, had been brought near by the blood of Christ. He says, listen, how did you do it? I'm going to restore peace to the world and to God through Jesus Christ. Then he says, so he is our peace. He goes on to say, and in his body he made Jews and gentiles both. He broke down the wall of hostility to keep us apart. I love that part in Ephesians 2:14, he said he broke down the wall. He said, I am your peace, and I broke down the wall of hostility. Did you know when you get married, if one's a Christian and one isn't, you've got a wall, but if both of you are Christians, He breaks down the wall and he says, the closer you get to me, the closer you get to each other.

James Greer: 17:25 And so God says, listen, I am the peace for your family. I'm the peace for every situation throughout the whole old testament. God promised he was going to restore peace. In Ezekiel 37:26 He said, I'll make a covenant of peace with them. In Isaiah 9, he said, he's going to give a son and he's going to be the prince of peace. The greatest Christmas gift you ever got from Jesus Christ is peace. Malachi 5:5 He says, I will be their peace. He was talking about the son, the baby that is born in Bethlehem. He will be their peace. In Luke 2:14 it says, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men and favor. He said, peace to men on earth. Let me tell you, we will never have physical peace on earth with everybody. The whole government won't have peace. When they start saying peace, peace, it just tells you Jesus is going to return. You can only have spiritual and relational peace; it's an inside peace that only comes from God and you're not going to have physical peace until Jesus returns.

James Greer: 18:25 So what did they tell us? God said we can have peace; it's relational and spiritual, and you've got to believe in God's word not the world. The only way you can have peace is to accept God's gift, his son Jesus Christ.

James Greer: 18:39 But how do you maintain that peace? How do you maintain that right relationship, that spiritual relationship with God? Do you understand today that every single person here, I don't care what you're going through, I don't care what you've been through. Emotionally, financially, I don't care. Whatever you're going through you can leave today if you'll follow these next few things and you can have peace.

James Greer: 19:01 Number one, you gotta remember, it's relational, not circumstantial. So the beginning of the relational said, Jesus said, I am your peace. You got to make sure there's a time that you invited Jesus Christ into your heart. Say, maybe you did that.

James Greer: 19:17 Second of all, you got to ask him for that peace. See in Luke he says, you know you being evil, know how to give good gifts. Don't you know how much more your heavenly father wants to give to you? See if you got the one that overcomes the world and if you got peace in you, maybe you need to just ask him today. God, I need your peace.

James Greer: 19:40 And do you know what He said? Number three, he said, Have you confessed and forsaken all known sin? See the known sin is the trash on top of the fire.

James Greer: 19:50 It says in Acts 3:19, repent, therefore be converted, that your sins might be blotted out and time of refreshing will come and the presence of the Lord. The word refreshing means it's like we're covered to be relieved. It's like refreshed, it's like something new. So you've got Christ. You've asked Him for peace. He said, confess all known sin. He said, hey, get the dirt. Get the trash. Don't keep living in sin. A time of refreshing, a time of peace will come in your life. Maintain a clear conscience with God and all men. What does that mean? I've accepted Christ. I've asked God for peace. I confessed all known sin, and I'm trying to maintain the conscious void of offense with God and men.

James Greer: 20:33 Acts 24:16, I do exercise myself. He said, you got to do it yourself. What I'm telling you now, nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it for yourself; to have always a conscious void of offense towards God and towards men. How you do that? How do you do that? People that have hurt you or you've hurt somebody and you hadn't tried to make it right - well you're not going to have the peace. See, what happens is when somebody hurts you and you don't forgive them and you don't go forward, see, they're going on and you're hurting yourself. The Bible says, vengeance is mine. I will repay saith the Lord. Not you. When you forgive somebody that's hurt you, you haven't released them and set them free. You just gave a porthole to let God take care of him instead of you. So if there's anybody that you hadn't made things right with today's the day to do it. When you leave here, you call them and say, I'm sorry. Let's try and make things right.

James Greer: 21:23 If there's anybody that you haven't forgiven, you forgive them. So you accepted Christ. You asked Him for peace. You confessed your sin. You made right with everybody else, and the last thing is you've got to believe that God will do what He says He'll do.

James Greer: 21:39 Hebrew 11:6 tells us without faith, it's impossible to please God. For He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. In other words, do you believe God will do what He says He'll do?

James Greer: 21:48 Will you stand? Let me pray with you and pray for you. God wants to bring peace in our church, in our families, in our lives like never before. God, I just thank you for your peace. I thank you that you sent your son and He is our peace. God, you had a plan even from the first minute that Adam and Eve sinned. You said, hey, I've got a plan. They separated. They lost their peace. I'm going to bring it back to them. I'm going to send my son and my son is their peace. God I know, I know, I know, there are people here today God that needed this message. I know they came with turmoil and they believed that they were looking for circumstances to change before they can find peace. Now the circumstance doesn't need to change. You need to change. You need to get the trash out of your life. You need to forgive whoever it is. You need to accept God's love. You need to forgive yourself. Maybe God's called you to join this church. Today's the day. Maybe He's called you to follow through with a public baptism. Whatever God's called you to do, you do not have to leave here today without relational peace unless you choose to do it. It's in Christ's name I pray. Amen.



Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360
318-640-1273