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Peace In The Storm

Peace In The Storm   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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With chaos swirling around us can we live in peace?

Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Good morning. And welcome to New Covenant Fellowship. My name is Steven and I am the lead pastor. Before I forget, if you are a first time visitor here at NCF we would love to connect with you. If you would at some point during the service, fill out a connection card, which can be found in the back of the pew, or on the pew. And then after the service take it back to our connection table, we would love to give you a cool free gift.
The connection card allows us to connect with you. We would greatly appreciate it.
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If you have not yet picked up the Covenant Membership booklet please stop by the connection table at the end of the service and we will make sure you get one.
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Today was to be our last day of our current membership series called “This is us.”. But during the week I really began to feel impressed that I needed to address a particular topic.
So, if you are interested in becoming a Covenant Member here at NCF please pick up the Covenant membership booklet, read through it and on the last page you will find a page you can fill in to become a covenant member here at NCF.
As a covenant member you are saying that you desire to walk arm and arm in our mission, and vision to reach our community with the Gospel of Jesus and to bring Life, Joy, and Beauty to our communities and one another.
After you have read through the booklet and filled out that last page, bring it back and hand it in at the connection table.
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Now today I want to talk to you about Living in Peace in the midst of chaos.
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The title of Today's message is Peace in the Storm

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Let’s jump right into it today.
Mark 4:35
Mark 4:35–41 ESV
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
I love this story. It is a story that reflects the human experience and more so the Christian experience. Chaos surrounds us, it’s waves batter the boats of our lives. We fear our lives will be capsized in all this chaos.
Like the disciples we run to Jesus, who is at rest and peace in our chaos. “What are you doing Jesus? How can you be so relaxed and chill? We are all about to die!”
After Jesus calmed the storm he turned to his disciples and asked a pointed question, I fear he often asks me.
“Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
What? My life is in chaos and you want to know why I am so afraid? You want to know if I still have no faith? My wife is leaving me, I have lost my job, my child is addicted to drugs, I have no control over my life, my life is a chaotic mess.
And yet he still asks that question. “Why are you afraid?”
With a question like that we have to ask; is there a way in which we as followers of Jesus can live in peace in the midst of the chaos, the storms? I think the Scriptures give us a resounding yes! Yes, we can and are called to live in peace in the midst of our storms. But how?
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I want to share with you two steps, the Scriptures give to living in Peace amid chaos.

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Philippians 4:4–9 NLT
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

The fist step is -

Fix your thoughts

Fix your thoughts – ponder and let your mind dwell.
On what is True – Morally upright, dependable, and real. The opposite of emotional.
On what is honorable – Dignified, majestic, of good character. The opposite of vulgar.
On what is right/just – Upright, fair, equitable for all, innocent.
On what is pure –
On what inspires/evokes love –
On what is honorable and wins people over –
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This dude named Peter got a first hand lesson on fixing his thoughts.

Matthew 14:27–31 NLT
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Peter was able to walk on the waters of chaos when he focused on Jesus

When Peter focused on the chaos he sank.

What you focus on will surround you. Try focusing on the beauty of God.

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The second step is similar -

Live what you have been taught.

Philippians 4:9 NLT
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
And Jesus said it like this -
Matthew 7:24–27 NLT
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Matt 7:24-27

Jesus never said he would protect us from the storms of life.

He said if we put his words into practice our lives would withstand the storm.

Christianity is not a magic charm, it is not fairy dust.
Christianity is Living Life for the Glory of God.
Christianity is Living Life for the Glory of God.
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The word peace is a very interesting word -

Hebrew – Shalom – To be harmony,
Greek – To be in Harmonious relationships to God, others, and creation.
The Biblical concept of peace is the effect of living in the order of God’s intent.
That is exactly what the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles do, they align your life in order with God’s intent.
The result is peace.
When we put into practice the teachings of Jesus –
(Love your neighbor, love your enemy, seek justice and equality, care for the hurting, lost, forgotten, mistreated, do good to those who would do evil to you, and etc.)
You are creating a space for peace in the midst of the storm.
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We often allow the chaos to determine how we live.

Rather than acting out of truth we act out in emotion
Rather than acting out of honor – we act out in a vulgar manner
Rather than acting with right justice – We lay in bed pondering evil, revenge, and stoke our anger with crazy thoughts. And as soon as an opportunity arises we snap and act our of evil imaginations.
Rather than acting with pure motives – Our motives become mixed with selfishness and pride.
Rather than words and actions that inspire love in others – Our words and actions are used to tear down, belittle, and rather than creating peace, we create enemies.
Rather than living in a kind way that can win people over – We purposefully become offensive in our words and actions. Looking to strike out. For some it is seen in aggressive words and actions, for others it is seen in a passive aggressive nature.
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When we set our minds, and put into practice the teachings of Jesus -

Then the God of peace will be with us.

The God of peace is always with us, as believers.
But when we are focused on the chaos around us we tend to move towards the chaos and away from God’s peace.
When our thoughts are focused on the good things of God, and our actions follow suit we are in fact drawing near to our God of Peace.
Like a hurricane there is a place of peace, the center known as the eye of the storm.
When a hurricane of chaos surrounds our lives, we must center our selves on God. In doing so we move towards the only place of peace.
When we set our minds on His goodness and when we put into practice His teachings not only will we find peace in our storms of chaos, but we will become peace makers.
God not only wants to bring clam to your storms, he wants to use you to bring peace in the lives of others.
Blessed are the peace makers.
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We do not have to live in chaos, we do not have to live in anxiety, we have been promised peace.
But we must learn to control our thoughts by fixing them on God and all that is good.
We must learn to take control over our actions. By allowing the goodness of God to dictate our actions and not the chaos around us.
There is beauty all around us, if only we would stop and look for it. The Kingdom of God is always peeking through the chaos.

Fix your thoughts

Put into practice all you have been taught.

And then you will have peace and you will be a peace maker.

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