Coming Home to PEACE: the Path to Peace


Today is already the fourth Sunday of Advent, and Christmas is now just around the corner. During the season of Advent, we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christ’s first coming, as the Lamb of God and anticipate His second coming, as Judge and Redeemer, to complete God’s ultimate plan of salvation. We are waiting and longing for our savior to come again.  

But we don’t just wait while doing nothing. The Holy Spirit was sent to us after Jesus had ascended to Heaven. Jesus promised that He will be with us always through the Holy Spirit until He comes again. Jesus also invited us to join Him in His kingdom work here on earth and to journey with Him together towards our ultimate home, His kingdom. We are moving forwards with the Lord and will continue our journey until He returns.

Jesus, who is our Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace, came to us and is now living in us and working with us. That means we can experience and live in His Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace in every area of our lives. We are living in a temporary home on earth, but our ultimate true home is God Himself. When you turn to and are coming to the true home, your new life that God has prepared for you will begin.

This morning, we are continuing our sermon series “Coming Home for Christmas” and will focus on ‘The Path to Peace’.

All of us are longing for peace and continue to make efforts to bring peace to our lives or to the communities we belong to. But many of us are still struggling with some fears, doubts, worries, or uncertainties. We often experience tensions or quarrels in our marriage.

How about the relationships between parents and children? It is also challenging for many families. We often have to deal with difficult relationships at work or even at a church. Every day, we hear about so much conflict between groups or nations in this world.

We all want peace in our hearts, families, communities, and this world. We focus on the four themes of Advent every year, but it seems that peace is still far from us. We often feel like there is not much change in terms of peace in our lives regardless of our efforts. Sometimes, it seems like it is even getting worse.

That means we are pursuing a wrong kind of peace or pursuing peace in a wrong way. What is true peace? What is the right path to true peace?

Separation from the Source of Peace

Ephesians 2:14 says, Jesus Himself is our peace. Peace is not merely the absence of stress, trouble, anxiety, strife or war. It is the presence of God. God’s peace reflects His divine character, love, power, and sovereignty. His presence is our source of peace.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived with the source of peace and were in perfect harmony and peace. But they chose a wrong path that led them to separation from the source of peace.

Genesis 3:1-5

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

In verse 4, the serpent deceived Eve with two lies. What he basically said is that God lied to you, you are not going to die, God is hiding a better option from you, you can get it yourself by ignoring God’s command, and you will be satisfied. Adam and Eve decided to be their own God. That was the moment that they became the center of their own lives. As a result, they lost their identity as God’s children. They lost the source of true peace. They began to wander with no peace.

Christ Brought Heavenly Peace Back to Us

There will be no peace apart from the Lord, our source of true peace. When Christ came to us, He brought heavenly peace back to us.

As Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure, He said,

John 14:27

27 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.

When we go back to the Lord and put Him at the center of our lives, we will begin to be transformed and start putting the interest of others ahead of ourselves, which usually results in peace in our hearts and in our lives. The only right path to true peace is going back to the Lord.

Self-centered Approach to Peace

Unfortunately, the Adam and Eve story in Genesis 3 is not just an old story that had happened a long time ago. That is also what is happening to us and to others today. That self-centered mindset is deeply rooted in our hearts. People are playing God in their lives and looking out for their own interests. They are competing and struggling to find peace in pursuit of worldly desires.

Let me ask you some rhetorical questions. If your spouse always agrees with you and serves you, would your marriage life become peaceful? If your kids always listen to you and obey you, would your family be in a perfect peace? If your parents always understand you and allow you to have what you want, would your relationship with them be good? If your boss is always satisfied with your performance and admires you, would your workplace be peaceful? Maybe, yes in a worldly sense.

But you know that it is not going to happen because this world does not revolve around you. Surprisingly, this self-centered approach to peace is very common among people. They point fingers at each other and blame each other because others don’t do as they want them to do. They try to manipulate others for their own benefit. We cannot change others with a selfish mindset. There will be no peace in their hearts and in their lives as long as they try a self-centered approach. But sadly, so many people continue to pursue peace with a self-centered approach in this world.

Double-Minded Approach to Peace

Let’s look at one of Peter’s stories here. It is a well-known story, but I am going to read this scripture passage to help you refresh your memory in some detail.

Luke 22:54-62

54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Peter denied Jesus three times, but we can still see Peter’s caring mind for Jesus, and how much he was gripped by fear. All the others ran away, but Peter still followed Jesus after His arrest. He was afraid that Jesus would die, and he was also fearful for his own life so he kept some distance. We kind of understand Peter’s approach, but we can see that there was no peace in his mind at all. 

We are Christians, but we may also try to keep some distance from the Lord for various reasons. When His way seems different than our hopes or expectations, when we feel like there are better ways than what the Lord suggested, or when we desperately want something regardless of what the Lord says, we may want to keep a comfortable distance from the Lord, to do what we want to do.

If we continue in this way, we may come to have our own idea about God. We may think if He is the true God and really cares about me, He should give me this at this point, He should help me avoid trouble, and He should answer my prayers this way. We create a god in our own image as we desire and come to church to worship the god that we have made in our mind rather than worshipping the true God who created us.

We will not be able to find peace because the god we created won’t do anything, because that is simply another idol in our heart. When we pursue the wrong path, God’s answers will be very different from our expectations. He will continue to stir our hearts, try to help us truly learn who He is and who we are, and guide us to the path that we are supposed to go.

That is why some Christians get so disappointed, upset, and frustrated with God. They will not experience peace in their lives and in the relationship with God and others. They hear the words they like but ignore the words they don’t like. They want God only to be their personal helper or supporter, not their God.  

When we worship anything or anyone other than God, or when we try to worship both God and other things at the same time, it won’t work. It will be like building a house on sand. It will be destroyed when the rain comes down and the winds blow.

As a result, there will be no peace and no change in their lives. So, they may conclude that their Christian life is not that different from non-believers. Some of them might walk away from God.

Of course, our Lord always wants to bless us with the best. But the thing is, when we are setting our focus on temporary earthly things or our own idols first, they can easily have control over us.

Then, we will begin to focus more on those things and put more trust in them for our sense of security, value, and identity rather than God. You may begin to worship money, possessions, human networks, or family. You may be looking for peace through them. You will use more time and energy for those things. They will become your center and priority. But you know, they will disappoint you someday. Then, you will be totally lost with no peace.

Going back to the peter’s story, right after Peter disowned Jesus three times, He realized what he did, broke down, and wept bitterly. There was only regret. That is what we may face when we keep distance from the Lord.

Peter kept some distance from Jesus because of fear, but there was a big moment of change for him. He regretted what He did and truly repented. Jesus forgave him, restored peace in his heart, and commanded Peter to feed His sheep. His genuine repentance was his turning point, and the relationship with the Lord was restored.

We know that Peter became one of the founding leaders of the early church in Jerusalem later. He could extend and share the peace the Lord gave Him with thousands of people.

The Path to Peace

Whatever you worship and whatever you have in the center of your mind, they will shape your values and thoughts. They will determine your life. In short, we will begin to stop surrendering our life to God and will gradually drift away from Him. That is why God wants to be the center of our lives and the only one that we worship. Apart from the Lord, there is no peace.

If you think peace is still far from you, or if you do not experience peace in your lives, you may need to check if you are pursuing a wrong kind of peace or pursuing peace in a wrong way.

Philippians 4:6-9

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Jesus, out of His love and grace for us, came to us, died on the cross and rose from the dead to restore our relationship with God, to give us his peace, and to change our life on earth and the eternal trajectory of our future.

Jesus Himself is our peace. There is no challenge greater than the peace of God. You need to come back home to Peace. Set your hearts and minds only on Christ. Then, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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