Scriptures: Job 22:21, Luke 1:78-79, 2:13-14
Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. (Job 22:21, New International Version)
Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. (Job 22:21, New Living Translation)
Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." (Luke 1:78-79, NIV)
Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." (Luke 1:78-79, NLT)
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:14, NIV)
"Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased." (NLT)
It’s Christmas Eve. Welcome you to Si-Cheng Church. Wish you a merry Christmas and a peaceful life.
Tonight, I would like to challenge you about the purpose of our gathering here. Do you come here for fun? To accompany your girl friend? To favor your parents, or family member, or close ones? Everyone longs for peace, wishing a sound peaceful coming new year. I’m sure peace is an unfading topic. People need peace, and people search for peace. According to Romans 3:17, it says, “the way of peace they do not know”. I’m glad you come to church tonight because it’s the right place for you! Hoping you can know and find the Lord of Peace, and by trusting the Lord, you can have peace. Why ? I would like to emphasize three points.
Firstly, Jesus is the source of peace.
Jesus left his last words to his disciples and promised them that, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(Rom. 14:27, NIV) or "I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.” (Rom. 14:27, NLT)
Is there a real peace on the earth? Looking back to 2008, we were sorry to remember that in the late winter about 1.66 million people were affected by the snow storm, and the earth quake on May 12 took away nearly 200 thousand people’s lives. Then many business and companies were closed because of the global economic crises, and lots of people lost their jobs. According to Global Hygienic Organization’s survey, there are 55 million deaths every year, 150 thousand deaths every day, 6360 death every hour, 106 deaths every minute, and 1.8 deaths every second. It’s a horrific figure. And we’ve been terrified with the recent ongoing of H1V1.
The greatest satisfaction is peace, and some people named their child Ping-An (Peace). Peace brings harmony to the family. Some people grant being blest is better than power, authority, and position. It’s not a matter how much you have, how rich you are, how powerful you’ve been … or having something good to show, but a peaceful life. Where is peace? Where can we find peace? Peace comes from Jesus only, and peace is freely given by Jesus. When you accept Jesus Christ and trusting in Him, there is peace.
Secondly, Jesus is the Lord of Peace.
We are all living in the world that’s full of worries, pressures, stress, and crises, either young or old, every one face different challenges and stress.
When asking of what’s the most important thing in this world, different people may give different answers from their social perspective. And I think only one big need, the need of peace, can pull people with one chord answer. Everyone needs a peaceful heart/soul. Peace is the most important thing in the world.
Bible claims Jesus as the one who gives peace. Thus says the Bible, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, (Hebrew 13:20, NIV), or “Now may the God of peace--who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—“(Hebrew 13:20, NLT)
What’s the meaning of peace that Jesus’ promise to his disciples? I would like to put it into two sides: the peace of soul, (according to Phil. 4:7) and the satisfaction of life.
Thirdly, We have peace by believing in Jesus.
We already notice that we really need peace in our lives, and we also know that Jesus is willing to give us peace. Then how to gain peace?
One way to have peace is to know Jesus. We already read the scriptures from Job 22:21 that “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” (New International Version) Jesus is the only begotten son of God, who comes to the world to be a savior of sinners, and died on the cross. Just like the prophet Isaiah says that “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”(Isaiah 53:5, NIV) Jesus so loves us that he died for us. It’s only by trusting in Jesus that we can have peace.
The other way to have peace is to accept Jesus (or receiving Jesus into your heart). The Bible says that “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12) There are many other biblical texts talking about God’s willing to give us peace. Such as,
Some people reject Jesus or God by claiming that there is no God, regarding it’s only a psycho comfort.
If there is no God, why would the whole nation pray for our people in disaster? Whom are they pray to?
If there is no God, why we would say “May heaven protect our China”? Who take care of our homeland?
If there is no soul, why we would say “comfort the released soul”?
If there no heaven and paradise, why we would pray for the dead to be rest! Where to rest?
Why people regard a nature death in a normal world like the light goes off, yet seeking paradise in the disaster? Is it only a self-comfort?
Why people believe human is dominating when being successful, but expecting the Heaven to keep the land in despair and disaster?
We all enjoy mother’s love, we feel and taste the mother’s love ever since we were born, though it’s invisible, untouchable, one can’t hear a mother’s love with ears, can’t see with eyes, can’t touch with hands, and can’t measure. We may see the moving of the leaves and know about the blowing the wind, yet who can tell us where does the wind come from and where does it going? God is Spirit, God is love. Though no one can see, no one can touch, no one can measure, God is truly there. May you find God right there in your life!
Jesus came to the world to save the sinners. He came not to find or save a rich one, a holy one, a mighty one, a powerful one, but the sinners and common people like each of us. Jesus came to let people have peace. Because of sins, we were separated from God, and there was no peace. This is the very reason for Christmas, the coming of Lord Jesus as a savior.
It’s my prayer that “May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.” (Num. 6:26, NLT) “And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen. ”(Rom.15:33, NLT)
Si-Cheng church is located on 132 Jie-Fang Road; it’s one of the oldest churches in the city. It was built in 1927, in memory of first Chinese pastor named Zhang Cheng Zhai (called Chang Memorial Church in the past). It was reopened in 1981.
The following is our regular worship schedule and weekday activities:
Sunday: three traditional worships at 6:30am, 8:30am, 7:00pm; plus Ever Joy Group (Senior’s Choir) Rehearsal after second worship except first Sunday, Praising Leaders’ Rehearsal at 1:30pm, and Children’s Choir Rehearsal at 5:00pm
Monday: Sunday School Teachers’ Fellowship Meeting at 7:00pm
Tuesday: Adult Youth Contemporary Worship Service at 7:00pm, plus an English Bible Study and Basic Biblical Teaching Class in other rooms;
Wednesday: Bible Study and Prayer Meeting at 8:00am, evening prayer meeting at 7:00pm
Thursday: Women Choir Rehearsal at 8:00am, Inquirers’ Class at 1:30pm
Friday: Church Choir Rehearsal, plus one Caring and Bible Study Group at 7:00pm
Saturday: Biblical Teaching Class for all the Church Volunteers at 8:00am