September 24, 2023

PEACE: Where Do We Go from Here!

The Peace of God which passes all understanding begins here: in The Church… Our Church:

God-Inspired / Christ-Centered / Spirit-Filled

It’s what makes a church: but, what makes a church great?

  • Not soft seats and stained-glass windows, but strong, courageous leadership – past, present and future!
  • Not the sweet tones of music and singing, but the sweet personalities of people reflecting the love of Jesus.
  • Not a big budget, but big hearts in people who welcome and love friends, neighbors and visitors.
  • Not the amount of offering received, but the amount of outreach given in Jesus’ name.
  • Not a large membership, but God’s presence and direction and power.
  • Not what it has done in the past, but what it is doing now, and will do tomorrow.

It’s what makes Our Church Great:

God-Inspired / Christ-Centered / Spirit-Filled

GOD-INSPIRED PEACE… Makes a church great;

Psalm 145:

Theme: Because God is full of love, God satisfies all (you) who trust in him.

3. “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

From the four corners of the earth to the four corners of the heavens, no one can fathom God’s greatness!

4. “One generation will commend your work to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

We, disciples and followers past, present and future; sing like Shania Twain: “Look how far we made it!”

13b. “The Lord is faithful to all his promises…

14b. “…and lifts up all who are bowed down.

Yes, sometimes our burdens seem too great to bear, alone, and we wonder how we can go on. This praise Psalm of David points us toward the Lord… for only God is able to lift us up, because God does mighty acts across many generations. God is always near to you who call on Him for your help, for God hears your cries and saves you. Therefore, if you are bending under a heavy burden, and feel you are about to fall, turn to God for your help. God is always ready to raise you up, as on eagles’ wings. Faith that is “God-Inspired” trusts that God knows the plans He has for us, tomorrow, next year and on into our next 50 years…So, let

21. “My mouth… speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.”

CHRIST-CENTERED PEACE… Makes a church great; Matthew 20:

So, how much does God really love you? This parable of Jesus teaches of the Workers being Paid Equally, to clarify the membership rules of the kingdom of heaven; where entrance is not by your works, but by God’s grace alone! Jesus teaches:

1. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner  who… [hired] men to work in his vineyard.”

[When those hired first questioned their receiving the same pay as those hired last…]

13. “…he answered… ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you.

14. “… I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.

16. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Whether you came to Jesus long, long ago, or found Him just yesterday, no one is a greater, more worthy “Christian” than the next. It doesn’t matter when you join the team, when you join the team, you’re in! And, truly, the peace of God is not about works and rewards, but about God’s grace and generosity; first or last, God’s peace is for all! For faith that is “Christ-Centered” is fully focused on God’s gracious benefits; and your thankfulness for what you have! And, as always…

SPIRIT-FILLED PEACE… Makes a church great;

Psalm 105:

Theme: Remembering God’s miracles raises your peaceful, joyful spirit within. This psalm, then, was sung as part of the celebration of David’s bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem… symbolic of faithful believers past, moving believers present, forward into the future! Praise the Lord!

1. “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name…

3. “… let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

If God’s plan for you seems far away, persevere in your search for God; for God rewards those who sincerely seek Him!

5. “Remember the wonders God has done; his miracles, and the judgements he has pronounced.

Always remember, never forget how the Spirit of God moved the people of (Madrid / Louisville) in the past, as we seek God’s help to move us forward into the future…

24. “The Lord made his people very fruitful…

God has already given us everything we need for everything we need to do; therefore we give thanks!

42. “For God remembered his holy promise…

So, “Where Do We Go from Here?” Fear not, for God has promised, the faith of “Spirit-Filled” people will not be disappointed. For God searches for us till we find God; and, God guides us till we go in the way of God; and when we go forward in faith, “Peace Begins!

45. “Praise the Lord!”

~Pastor Richard Lenz, Sermon, September 24, 2023