Leon Fontaine - Peacemakers
Nobody knows any difficult people, right? Every family here has at least one, that's not in-laws or out-laws or somewhere. They're always seems to be somebody who loves to mess with people and cause strife. So, we're gonna dive right into this. In Daniel 10:19, it says, "Do not be afraid, you who are highly regarded by God. May peace rest on you and make you whole, be strong, be brave. At his words, I grew even stronger". I want you to notice the word peace. God's Word is filled with this word and we don't really seem to make much of it in our culture. What is peace? We all want prosperity. We want all of the prayers answered.
And there's nothing wrong of any of that, but peace is crucial. If you don't have peace, you won't be able to even physically heal up. Your mind won't be able to enjoy relationships and actually grow relationships properly, if you don't have peace in your heart. If you don't practice peace in your mind, you'll never ever live the life that God has for you. Jesus says to us in many places that His peace I give you, not as the world knows peace but I give you my peace, Jesus says. Now, we know for the medical doctors that are here and the scientist and those who study health, that if you live in a stress out manner, that switch is always turn on. That fight or flight, said that your body will never heal up.
Now, when you give your life to Jesus Christ, He's called the Prince of Peace. And I think it's a very important thing for us as believers to remember that He has given us His peace. And I believe we need to practice that. If you're here today, and you wake up every morning with your stomach in a knot and you look at your relationships. You're hoping your marriage doesn't break-up. You're hoping you can restore that relationship with your daughter or a sister or a brother-in-law or a mother-in-law. In our world Jesus is not saying that you will have peace all around you. He's saying you'll have peace between him and you. So when you give your life to Jesus Christ, Jesus is a gift to the world. They have to receive Him though. They have to accept Him as Lord and savior. And when they do, the Bible says there is like this well of salvation. This incredible peace that is yours.
In Luke 2, well, let's go to, yeah, Luke chapter one first in verse 79. It's talking here prophetically about John the Baptist and how he is going to just declare the way of Jesus. And he says, "To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace". Jesus is the way of peace, to give Him your life and to serve Him, that's the way. But one of the things we need to remember is that His word is life. The principles He teaches us, they are peace. They're life. But yet I've noticed many Christians will live in strife. They will live in relational strife between them and somebody. They won't forgive. They will be upset because they know they're right.
I know newly married couples that they don't even want to go to the in-laws' place. They don't know how anymore to bring peace into a marriage where a family member is bringing such strife, anger, unforgiveness. And so what I wanna share today is to recognize that Jesus is all about peace. One of the powerful verses in the Bible says, if at all possible, be at peace with all men and women, with everybody, be at peace with them. We live in a fallen world but inside of us is the Prince of Peace. You know, all of us love miracles. The Bible's filled with them. It's beautiful to have a physical miracle. And you know, every time we pray with folks and we'll have one of our leaders come up here and read the miracles there often be a miracle of healing. That someone's disease began to go away, a growth has disappeared. God loves doing miracles of physical healing.
But one of the greatest miracles, once you give your life to Jesus Christ is the relationship miracles that take place between a husband and a wife, between a husband and a mother-in-law, a sister-in-law. We live in a world where the enemy has a plan. It is to bring as much strife into your life as he possibly can. So that you don't know the way of peace. You only know the pain of relationships that are always in crisis. You only know the pain of somebody misunderstanding you, judging you, calling you down, stabbing you in the back. We live in a world that's fallen. We live in a world where things, there's never going to be a complete peace around you. If you're in business people are gonna lie about you. They're gonna bribe people if you're going for the same contracts. We live in a fallen world, but inside of us is the Prince of Peace, if we've given our life to Jesus.
In Luke 2:13-14, it says, "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.'" Some people think that this peace is a peace that the earth will enjoy with each other but that's not happen. We have more wars today than we've ever have. There's all sorts of hurtful chaotic things going on in our world. Let me just make a look, take a look at the crimes and the murders and the rapes and the abductions and the wars and ethnic cleansing and all the stuff that is going on. He's not talking here that Jesus is gonna give peace to the whole earth. There will come a time when He's returning and the world will be at peace as He deals with the enemy. But today, how do you and I have peace in a world of doggy dog, in a world of insecure people struggling to get their way and to be right, who attack one another.
The Bible teaches us and on earth peace, goodwill towards men. When you know that God is at peace with you. He's not angry at you. It's amazing to me the different kinds of Christians there are today and the different beliefs. I think if they know Jesus is Lord, they're gonna go to heaven. If they've given their life to Him, they're going to heaven. But your view of God is crucial. What's your world view? If your world view of God is, He's a mean, gonna fix you, gonna nail you kind of God. You act that way towards the people around you. Your view of God makes you become like the God that you serve. And so when people preach an angry God, when people preach a dominating God, when people preach a God that's gonna get you, gonna get you, gonna get you. You better be good or He'll slap you upside the head. When you preach that kind of a God, you create followers who are like that.
And how many know Jesus was not like that? If you wanna know what God looks like, Jesus said, if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. Jesus walked this earth in the midst of traumatic situations. I mean, the Romans were dominating and militarily running the Jews and all the countries around. There wasn't a freedom politically. There wasn't even freedom to do what you want. Yet, Jesus everywhere He went, He touched lives and He sparked hope and people embraced this Jesus. And today, I wanna challenge you. First, if you don't know Jesus as your savior. That this even though you may never find complete peace around you in the business world, with your in-laws and your family and whatever, your friendships. You can have peace on the inside so great, so powerful, that healing.
You know, one of the things I've noticed is people getting sick and the doctors are telling us today that 90% and more of the disease and sickness that is in the world is starting psychosomatically. It doesn't mean that it's all in your head. It's saying that it is stress related. That where your body is not at peace. That it can heal up. I was talking with the doctor yesterday working with a lot of people and he said, "You know, he said, people don't sleep at night properly". And when you don't sleep at night properly, your body doesn't heal up. Your body isn't restoring itself from the organs to every part. If you're gonna have strong system, that's gonna bring health and vitality, then you need your sleep. But today, we are the most sleep deprived society that the doctors have ever seen, huge numbers of people don't go to bed at peace. And they'll watch three hours of CNN before they go to sleep, constant negative news. And they may wonder why they're stressed about all these issues.
Have you allowed Jesus to bring you peace? Do you spend time in His Word? Do you spend time just talking with Him? Prayer isn't about begging and bugging and pleading with God. Peter says he's freely given us all things. But to have a relationship with Him and to spend time with Him is to live in a peace and the world will look at you and see you at peace in the midst of financial crisis, in the midst of things that is going on in your home, in the midst of a season that you may walk through as a married couple, where you're not understanding each other and it's painful and it's hard. But yet, because you both know Jesus, you have a peace that He will see you through. That you will figure this out. He'll never leave you. He'll never forsake you. The world doesn't have that kind of peace. They don't know the peace that passes all understanding.
And so every crisis there's a possibility to lose everything. I wanna encourage you today. You need the peace, the Prince of Peace. You need to focus on His peace. Make sure that when you go to His Word, make sure that as you go home. You know, one of the interesting things about Jesus and His disciples, He said, when you walk into a house that you're not the owner but you're visiting them. Speak with your mouth a blessing and say, "Peace be on this house". And He says if they don't accept your peace, in other words, this people are full strife, anger, unforgiveness, and they don't want peace. There's people like that. He says, your peace overturn to you.
Now, that's an incredible thought right there. That you can speak peace to an entire home. You can speak peace into a dwelling. I wanna encourage you. When you walk into your house, speak peace. When you pray over your family, declare peace. It's in my family because peace brings health. Peace brings vitality. Peace brings great sleep. Now, this peace the Bible talks about also brings harmony of relationships. This peace brings a laughter, a joy, where you can engage in great relationships even when what's going on in your life is painful. Every person here including me is believing God for something. There's some area in your world that you need God to move. Things aren't where you want them. But even in the midst of believing Him for answers. You can live in peace. You can know joy. You know, for those who have ever lost a loved one. Which is probably everybody in the room, whether it's a grandpa, a grandma, a brother, a sister.
It's amazing as you know, we prepare funeral services and we'll talk with people. As we'll meet in the office to plan what that service would look like. People will have tears as they talk about this special person. But then in a second, they'll resort to laughing about something funny that they did that just tickles them. Families will get together as they prepare this special service and they'll open up pictures and they'll start crying and laughing. And you can't figure out why there's this mixture of tears and laughter because of this relationship. But did you know that even in the midst of pain and heartache, it is, you are able to live in peace, to be emotionally strong.
Emotionally strong people are not people who dominate others. Those are weak people. Emotionally strong people are not people who brings strife into other people's lives. Emotionally strong people are not people who have to have their way. They're not passive-aggressive. They're not confrontational to an extreme. Emotionally strong people are at peace, and they won't let you touch their peace. You can say all you want, do all you want, and they will either engage you with truth. They'll speak truth in love or they'll abandon you. What?
You see, in living in peace we are called to reach out and to love people. But one of the things that causes so much pain in people's lives is maintaining relationships where one person refuses to forgive, to not be judgmental. Where one person brings strife into the relationship all the time and you have to make a decision then. As much as I believe in God's peace, as much as I believe in working together, loving, forgiving, making sure that your relationships are succeeding. And we've got a power that's on the inside of us to love people beyond any ability of your own. It's His love, but at the same time the Bible's very clear all through the book of Proverbs and much of the epistles that bad company corrupts good morals. That if someone walks into your life.
The other day, I had a guy talked to me while I was walking into the church. And he just stopped me, "I know you have to go and preach. Can I ask one question? One quick question". I said, "Okay, hurry". He said, "My mother is causing hell in our marriage". He says, "My wife's ready to leave in our marriage and our kids. It's awful. What do I do"? I say, "I don't know. What do you do"? And he looks at me and he's waiting for some kind of deep answer. And I said, "Would you allow anybody else into your life to destroy your marriage and your family peace"? Well, no. So what makes your mother have a special license? And he looks at me and he goes, "Well, she's blood. She's family". I said, "I don't care. I still don't read anywhere in the Bible where parents get to mess with their kids when they grow up". Actually, the Bible doesn't say children or the adults obey your parents. It just says children obey your parents. Then it says as adults that we honor our father and mother. Which means we need to have a respect and honor, because of that position in our lives. But I said nowhere does it say that we have to get together. That we have to hang out.
So I've got five kids and they're all married and I said, "I know I have no power in their lives. I know that I can't push my expectations on them. So I do my hardest to love them, befriend them, and make them my friend. I want them to want me. I want them to want to come to my house. I want them to wanna hang out with me. There's no, well, there's an expectation. I really believe that's hurt a lot of people. So while I'm talking about peace, the Bible says if we do our families God's way, that we are blessed to the thousandth generation, that means generation after generation. Your family can know that peace of God, even if all around us there is no peace. We can know peace and we can have peace in our relationships. We can have peace in our businesses and finance. We can have peace in all the things that we do.