Lesson notes

An abbreviated set of Richard Van Vels notes from Sunday.

Many things can cause worry and a lack of peace in your life.  Here are some Richard Van Vels shared from his life. 

  • When Star Wars comes out with another garbage TV show/movie
  • When my Amazon delivery isn't on time
  • When my kids act out in public
  • When the news comes on, and I see a report of death and destruction
  • When I hear of the deaths of those close to me
  • When I see my fellow believers wrestling with deep heart struggles (e.g., Resurgence of a hidden sin, am I saved, where is God?  Does God love me?  Does God see me?
  • When I get into conflict
  • When I think about where I will pastor, Lord willing, in the future
  • When I see the direction of our nation and how that will affect my children
  • When I consider whether my kids will grow up to know the Lord.
  • When I have to carry the person who carried me as a child because she was too weak to walk.
Caring for a loved or lost one is not against this fruit of the Spirit.
The burden of caring for another is a way that we can reflect the living God who created us.
But when this becomes an inordinate desire and consumes or tears apart, then there is danger.  

What brings peace?  How can one grow in peace?

  • Growing in knowing who God is
  • Growing in an understanding of where God is
  • Growing in understanding what God's desire is for me
  • Knowing who your enemies are.

There are 6 significant usages of the word Peace throughout Scripture:

  1. A national state of tranquility  (Lack of War)
  2. Peace Between individuals (harmony)
  3. Security, Safety, Prosperity, felicity  (Prosperity is a sign of peace)
  4. Of the Messiah's Peace  (The way that leads to eternal peace, that is, salvation)
  5. Of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatever sort that is.
  6. The blessed state of devout and upright men/women after death.

Philippians 4:4 - 9 is filled with peace.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

This passage reminds me of the following.

  • Joy is in the Lord: vs. 4
  • Let your gentle Spirit be known to all people: vs. 5
  • The Lord is NEAR(vs 5) 
  • we don't need to be anxious vs. 6
  • But!... Let your request be known to Go.  (He already knows, but he wants you to ask!)
  • Prayer is humbly approaching the throne of mercy.
  • In prayer, Plead because God wants to hear what you have to say, and this heartfelt pleading shows what we believe about God. 
  • We pray, with thanksgiving, because of who God is and His secure promises.

Do you know who your enemy/enemies is/are?

Is your enemy God?

If you are saved, N   He is not your enemy.  God is perfectly just and can be trusted.

If you are saved, your enemies are the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and they will not fight fair.

The Devil, your enemy, is a prowling lion.

The world will turn against you.  Read through the Bible.  You will see that nations will fight against one another.

Your flesh fights against you.

Who is Go ?  Who am    Philippians 4:9 states He is the God of Peace (vs. 9).

Where is Go   Philippians 4:4 states His is nea   He goes with his childre   He sees all.

What is God's desire for me?  

God desires to see His children transformed into the image of His Son, bear fruit, and flourish.

Who is your enemy?  

The world, the flesh, and the Devil are against you.