Introduction

Peace of Mind – Do you believe that you have found peace and or have peace of mind?  The search for peace of mind can be one that seems endless or impossible to many people in the world today for a couple of reasons.  First:  Many do not know where to begin to find such peace.  Second:  Many are searching for peace in the wrong places or in the wrong manner.

As you have heard me say in the past, when we think and speak of peace or mind, it is common to think about gaining this peace from a worldly mindset.  Peace of mind has been defined as a state of tranquility or quiet such as: freedom from civil disturbance or a state of security provided by community or by law.  

However, many of us have come to the realization that the worldly idea of peace is often interrupted and disturbed.  In other words, the world’s idea of peace of mind is short lived – it is temporary.  The world’s idea for peace is often interrupted and disturbed by our heartaches, pains, fears, worries, burdens, and stress; these things make it hard for us to feel secure in our mind.

I always point out that when we speak about peace of mind, we should understand that we are talking about peace in a spiritual manner.  Peace of mind is very real but the question is whether or not you go to the right place to find this peace?  So, on this Palm Sunday, I want to focus on this peace of mind:  where it comes from and how it can be received.

Peace of Mind Without God?

In my last sermon – Do You Believe? – you will recall that I focused on a woman who was troubled by her many sins.  This sinful woman sought out Christ and when she found Him, her eyes were filled with tears.  She humbly washed the feet of Jesus in the home of a Pharisee, and Jesus forgave her of her many sins and said to her, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:50).

I bring this sinful woman up in my sermon this week because this woman did not have peace of mind until she came before Christ.  Peace of mind, I want you to understand, can only come from the Lord.  Without the Lord, you and I cannot know, receive, or have peace of mind.  One might ask, “how so, preacher?”

The reason why it has been so hard for man to establish peace in our world is because for millennia, man has gone about trying to establish peace from a mindset that is not of the Lord.  It is impossible for one that does not know God nor have a mindset that is God centered to find, to know, or be capable to share true peace with those around them.  

So, in order for there to be peace in our world today, we must first have peace residing within us.  For peace to reside in us, we must first examine ourselves – that is our mind (our heart/soul) – spiritually.  Ask yourself:  Who or what is leading your heart spiritually?  Is your mindset one that is centered and focused on the Lord or is it being led by something or someone else?

Can be no peace without God

To explain this thought, we will see in his letter to the Colossians, that Paul wrote about how the true believer was once alienated and enemies of the Lord in our mind because of our wicked works (Col. 1:21).  If the one who genuinely believes today was once alienated and enemies of God, imagine what this means for those that are of no faith today.

To the Romans, Paul wrote that the carnal mind is enmity (hostile) against God because it is not subject to the law of God (Rom. 8:7).  Now, let us remember that the law of God is unconditional love.  We know that the law of God is of unconditional love because God is love.  As we have seen recently, God’s love is one that does not rejoice in iniquity (injustice/wickedness) – it does not tear down.  No, the Lord’s love rejoices in truth and edifies (uplifts) (1 Cor. 13:5-7).

Yet, this law of God – a law of unconditional love – is rejected by the world!  So, the world rejects a law that seeks to reach outwards for a law that is more inward focused (selfish).  This selfish driven law has led to all manner of evil and wickedness against oneself and those around them.  Instead of peace, selfishness creates confusion to which the Lord is not the author of (1 Cor. 14:33).

To make matters worse, we would believe that the selfish driven person would be one to love themselves but I often wonder whether that is true or not.  The reason I wonder this is because those that tend to be overly selfish end up not only hurting those around them but they end up hurting themselves as well.  If we cannot love ourselves, how can we love those around us?  If we cannot love ourselves, how could we ever say that we have found peace of mind?

Not only can those of that mindset not love themselves or those around them, but it is impossible for the overly selfish to love the Lord.  Therefore, the idea of peace of mind is far from those who are not subject to the law of God.  In order to find peace, those that are not subject to the law of God must find their way to His way.  God has left His door open and made it possible for all people to reconcile themselves to Him.

God’s Love to Reconcile

To the Colossians, when Paul spoke of peace, he desired to make it clear that peace came from God first and that God is the only one who has the power to establish true peace of mind.  Paul did this by first reminding the Colossians of the Lord’s mighty power.  Paul wrote, “For by Him, all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17).

Paul, we should understand, was establishing that God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.  Again, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent – all things are possible through Him.  So, if anyone is capable of establishing peace in the hearts of mankind, it would be the one that created all things that are known and all things that are unknown – it would be God.

The need for reconciliation

In order to bring peace to the hearts of man, we will see that reconciliation was required.  (To reconcile means to restore to friendship or to harmony).  Paul stated to the Colossians that reconciliation first began with God; the Lord first needed to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven (Col. 1:20).  

Now, this is a very interesting point that Paul made to the Colossians.  Why is this statement interesting?  Well, Paul’s statement speaks to the fact that there was discord between the Lord and His creation – God was not living in harmony (in peace) with His creation.  So, why was the Lord not living in harmony with His own creation?  The answer: sin.  God was not living in harmony with His creation because sin (turmoil and corruption) was present in His creation, not by His doing!

God is holy and righteous.  In His righteousness, the Lord does not and will not dwell in the presence of sin.  Again, this point is made clear and shown to us repeatedly throughout scripture.  When Adam and Eve dwelt in the garden, the Lord would visit with them but after they sinned in the garden, they were immediately sent out of the garden (Gen. 3:23-24).  

This pollution and corruption of sin continued to spread throughout the world and with this pollution, the Lord separated Himself from His creation rather than dwell in it.  So, in order for the Lord to dwell with mankind in harmony, reconciliation would need to be made between God and His creation (mankind).  

Now, if you notice within that statement, Paul mentioned that reconciliation not only needed to be made between the Lord and things on earth but also with things in heaven!  What does this mean?  Before there was Adam and Eve, there was Satan and the angels that chose to follow him in heaven.  When Satan and those angels rebelled against the Lord (sinned), we are told in scripture that they were all cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:9).  

Because of Satan’s wickedness in heaven, reconciliation was also needed for the things in heaven!  In fact, we know that a new heaven will actually spring forth for those that the Lord has reconciled Himself to.  Remember that Jesus said to the disciples He was going away to prepare a place for the believer (John 14:2).  In the book of Revelation, we even see that a new heaven and earth will come forth and the first heaven and earth that became sinful will pass away (Rev. 21:1).

The work of reconciliation

In order for this reconciliation to be, the Lord temporarily put Himself into His creation through His only begotten Son.  To the Colossians, Paul wrote, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell” (Col. 1:19).  The ‘Him’ that Paul spoke of to the Colossians was Christ, the only begotten Son.  Jesus, we should understand, was not half of God but was all of God.

The reason God gave Himself to the world was for the atonement of the wickedness that had corrupted and polluted His creation.  By giving Himself as the propitiation for wickedness, the Lord could easily reconcile all things to Himself and bring about harmony between He and His creation.  

Again, we must understand that without giving Himself to the world, His creation would have remained tarnished by sin.  So, without reconciliation, the Lord would have remained disgusted with His creation and that barrier of separation that He raised would have remained because of sin.  With such separation there would have never been any peace (harmony) between the Lord and mankind.

So, a child was born and a Son was given and His name was and is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6).  Through the only begotten Son of God, peace (harmony) was restored, as Paul said, through the blood of the cross (Col. 1:20).

You see, God was not going to join mankind in harmony by being a sinner like us!  So, God had to go about establishing peace in the most unlikely manner.  Instead of joining mankind in its sin, the Lord came to the world and shed a bright light on our sins.  Instead of being aggressively hostile towards mankind by condemning us for all of our wrongdoing, the Lord allowed Himself to be condemned by man as a sinner.  The road to Jerusalem ended with Jesus hanging on the cross, taking on all the sins of mankind as our scapegoat, and shedding His blood for us.  

Through His shed blood

To the Corinthians, Paul put it this way when it came to the work of reconciliation:  “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19).

Through the shed blood of Christ, peace was restored to the Lord.  What this means is that the Lord was now at peace with what His creation, specifically, those of this creation that would turn to Him.  Let’s not think for one second that God is at peace with the fully convicted sinner.  God is still not pleased with sin, however, those who turn to Him will be justified in His eyes.

You see, through the work of reconciliation, there is an opportunity for all people to be justified in God’s eyes.  As Paul said to the Romans, we are justified by our faith and through this justification we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).  So, peace of mind, I want you to understand, was not established by anything that man did but by what the Lord first did.  Just take a look around us – there is absolutely nothing that man could ever do to establish peace – we are incapable of doing so.

Go in Peace

In order for us to find peace of mind, we must have peace with God and from God.  Thankfully, God gave His only begotten Son to the world in order to perform the work of reconciliation to be in harmony with us.  The work of reconciliation tore down the wall of separation (discord) due to sin and now the doors to the Lord are open.  

Because of the work of reconciliation, I want you to understand that forgiveness, redemption, and salvation has been made possible and is now on the table for all of mankind.  The work of reconciliation led to the giving of the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of all of those that genuinely believe in Christ; a point we should not take lightly!  

Through the inner dwelling of the Holy Spirit, our soul begins to transform and we become a new creation that is led by the Spirit in the manner of God’s love and peace (2 Cor. 5:17)!  As Jesus said to the sinful woman, He says to us today, “Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace.”  We who have genuinely turned to the Lord can go in peace because the work of His reconciliation has restored His peace to us.

The Lord looks at us today and says, ‘I am reconciled to you but will you now reconcile yourself to me?’  You see, God did not wait for man to come to Him but He came to us first with His arms stretched out wide to welcome us into His arms in peace.  

God desires to take away that guilt of sin which leaves in its wake those heartaches, pains, burdens, and stress which causes turmoil in our hearts.  Again, Jesus said to us to go to Him if we are heavy laden and He will give us rest (peace) (Matt. 11:28).  So, by reconciling Himself to us, the Lord desires to snatch that guilt out of heart and give us peace – safety and security – in that He loves us!

Man’s reconciliation with the Lord

In order for us to have peace of mind, I believe the best decision that you and I can make would be to live in harmony with the Lord.  So, in other words, we should live by the law of God rather than be of a carnal mind and live in enmity with the Lord.  Enmity with the Lord only leads to a heart that is troubled and remains troubled because the Lord is not there to take away the things that trouble us spiritually.  Yet, many will still say that they have found peace of mind even though they are walking around with a troubled heart.

Do you believe that you can find peace and or have peace of mind?  True peace of mind begins with reconciling your differences with God – turn from wickedness; repent and seek the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy.  Many people know that they should repent but unfortunately, the turn from wickedness is either extremely slow or simply not happening for many people in our world today.

Many people search all their lives trying to find peace of mind but do so in worldly things:  relationships, jobs, and even wealth, only to find that their heart is not happy and does not have peace.  Because of their refusal to accept the Lord’s peace, many people in our world today struggle to find peace in their heart.  Because they do not have their own inner peace, they have no peace to share with those around them.

Reconciliation, we must understand, was towards us because the Lord desires to be in harmony with us and for us to be in harmony with Him.  Redemption is towards the Lord.  So, the question still must be answered:  do you believe?  Do you believe that the Lord gave His only begotten Son to reconcile all things to Himself so that you and I can have peace?  This is a question you must answer for yourself because you will be held accountable for the choice you make when it comes to answering that question.

Thought: Reconciled — Peace of Mind

By Rev. Leo H. McCrary II – April 10, 2022
Responsive Reading – Colossians 1:9-23
Key Verse – Colossians 1:19-20

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