Scriptures with Songs

“The Promise of Peace”

file0001145387462 The Promise of Peace

Prelude Music

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: p.116 –We Gather Together

Hymn 2: p. 17 – Thou Art Our God Forever

Introduction:

Meaning of Peace. We live in a world that is full of violence; wars and killings are almost everywhere. We are witnessing deaths and sufferings, almost every day! On the other hand, our personal and daily lives can be marred by these conflicts, and the eventual shattering of our peace.

In situations such as these, what should be our recourse? To whom should we look for answer, comfort and assurance?

For our Songs and Verses, we look at how the Scriptures promise peace. Almost unrealized by many today, the Bible has given us the blueprint for peace. When was peace given, how it can be achieved, and even when we live in a troublesome world, how peace can still be experienced and maintained, and finally, how and when lasting peace will come.

As one saying goes,

“Peace does not merely mean the absence of war, peace means the presence of harmony, satisfying life, and oneness.  Peace means the flood of love in the world family.”

The Hebrew Bible uses a familiar but very meaningful word, shalom. In purest sense, shalom means "peace." Its meaning and connotation point to something that is always positive, akin to a blessing that is always sought and given. That’s why when someone says, “Shalom,” (or, “Peace unto you,”) it doesn't mean, "I hope you don't get any trouble", rather it means, “I hope good things will always come your way.” It is a positive affirmation of everything peaceful, peaceable, harmonious, everything pleasant and satisfying.

Most people in our world don't understand peace as a positive concept. All they know is the negative aspect of peace, which is merely the absence of trouble. That’s how peace is fleeting and superficial (temporal) these days, and the need for the real and lasting peace.

As can be observed in the beginning, the Scripture clearly showed us that peace comes from God’s original intent/plan for us to live in harmony with everything in His creation. This showed us that the biblical peace is the goodness of life that is both innocent and pure untouched by sin and other external force or influence.

Our first batch of bible readers will be reading the peaceful coexistence of man and nature, in the beginning.

Bible Reader 1 – Peaceful Coexistence

Genesis 2:1-25; Psalm 19: 1-14

Bible Reader 2 – Shattering of Harmony and Peace

Genesis 4:1-15; Psalm 139:1-24

Thank you bible readers. Brethren, let’s all stand and sing the following hymn…

Hymn 3. p.18 – Great is Thy Faithfulness

B. God as the Source of Peace. God alone is the source of peace, the Bible describes Him as “Yahweh Shalom” (“The-LORD-Shalom,” see Judges 6:24). With the fall of mankind it has become His desire again to enter into a relationship with them  but not after man sees the futility of his actions that inevitably results in pain, violence and death. It was He who established a “covenant of peace” for those who will respond to his call which He sealed with His continual presence (see Numbers 6:24-26). For those who will accept the “Covenant of Peace” ,the benefits that were promised will be perfect peace (Heb. Salom salom) so long as they maintained a right relationship with God (see Isa 26:3; 2 Thess 3:16).

In the New Testament, this was further confirmed and reaffirmed by the coming of our Messiah.  As promised, this Peace would be mediated through Jesus Christ as the “Immanuel”(God with Us” see Isa 9:6-7). Reconciliation and peace with God came through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1; Eph 2:14-17; Col 1:19-20; see Heb 13:20). As Peter declared to Cornelius:

“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36).

Let’s follow the verses from our next Bible readers…

Bible Reader 3 – God as the Source of Peace

Judges 6:21-24

Numbers 6:24-26

Isaiah 26:1-4

Isaiah 9:6-7

Micah 5:4-5

Bible Reader 4 – God as the Source of Peace

Luke 2:9-14;

Colossians 1:19-20;

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Hebrews 13:20-21

Thank you reader. Please all rise as we sing

Hymn 4 p.25 How Filled with Honor is the Place

Hymn 5p.43 God of Our Fathers

C. The Relationship of Peace and Righteousness. One of the key issues among the prophets was the doctrine of "peace." The false prophets proclaimed "peace, peace" and in that announcement hoped to create peace for their constituency. The true prophets argued that peace could never be achieved apart from righteousness and justice. The psalmist poetically described the relationship between the two as righteousness and peace kissing each other (Psalm 85:10). Thus, it is the God of peace and the peace of God that sanctifies (set us apart) and assures us of peace.

On the other hand, the Scriptures specifically state that there can be no peace for the wicked (Isa 48:22; 57:21). In the New Testament, Paul described the difference as follows: "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" (Rom 2:9-10).

In this light, one can better understand what Jesus meant when he declared, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matt 10:34). And Paul wrote, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom 16:20). Judgment on sin, historically and eschatologically, must come prior to peace.

Bible Reader 5 – Peace and Righteousness

Psalm 85:8-13

Isaiah 48:20-22;

Isaiah 57:19-21

Matthew 10:34-39

Romans 2:2-11

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Thank you reader. Please all rise as we sing responsively…

Hymn 6p.45 O God of Every Nation

Hymn 7p.81 Lord of our Life and God of our Salvation

D. The Gift of Peace.God promises peace to every believer. He has freely given it to us as a gift. This peace, therefore, doesn't come from what or who we are, but from what God has done and will do. Thus we cannot have true peace apart from God. We must seek it earnestly, and we must pursue it with all humility.  God wants all of us to ask for His mercy, confess our sins, and trust Him for deliverance and salvation—that’s the essence of His plan for everyone yearning for peace. It is fundamental  to experience His wonderful, continuous gift of peace.

Jesus Christ bridges the gap between man’s alienation with God. Through Him, we have forgiveness and reconciliation (no more shame or guilt because of the past) and the assurance of His presence in our lives. Moreover, we have the opportunity to experience abiding peace—the gift promised to those who follow the lead of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Our next bible reader will read verses pertaining to this.

Bible Reader 6 The Gift of Peace

John 14:15-31

Galatians 5:22-23

Romans 5:1-5;

Romans 8:1-6

Ephesians 2:11-18

 Thank you Bible Reader. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:

Hymn 8: p.91 Wait and Hope and Look for God

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Watch And Pray:Thank you, brethren. Let us pause now as we hear the news that we need to watch and pray for.

Thank you for the special music offering and for our watchman.

E.“The Peace that Passes All Understanding.” How to have peace in the midst of a very troubling and trying times? You may feel like you are walking in the tight rope financially, be in the fight for your family, home and life. It may be that you've been diagnosed or having a life threatening and painful illness. It may be that your work and family are falling apart. You can fill in the blank. We're either headed into a crisis, or in the midst of one.

When we are surrounded by much gloom and even depression and when we are constantly threatened with the three great enemies of doubt, fear and worry, what does the Scripture promise?

There is no promise anywhere in the Bible which encourages us to believe that we can be exempted from pain and trouble—even the most righteous man of God went through it: Abraham, Job, Moses, David, the prophets of God, Jesus Himself and his disciples, etc. But the Scripture tells us that there is something far better – there is the promise of peace in the midst of trouble.

Of what value would freedom from trouble be if peace will not come from within? Yet it’s beautiful to know that in the midst of the fiercest battle, and while the storm is at its height (so to speak), the trusting soul may experience inward peace, a deep down calm and a quiet confidence in all of this!

So how can we get peace if we're headed into or in the midst of a crisis? God provided us the key and reassuring words, empowering us to stand (hold on) in the midst of all trials. Our next bible reader will provide us some of these uplifting verses...

Bible Reader 7The Peace that Passes All Understanding

Isaiah 26:1-3

Psalm 23:1-6

Psalm 119:161-165

John 16:25-33

Colossians 3:12-17

Philippians 4:4-13

Titus 3:3-7

Thank you Bible Reader. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:

Hymn 9:  p.89 Stand Still

Hymn 10: p.90 It is Well with My Soul

Conclusion-

F. Peace in God’s Kingdom. Peace in the age to come will be the first order, animals both wild and tame will be restored to its peaceful coexistence with man. The image in Isaiah 11:6-11 is among the most picturesque in Scripture. Animals are paired off in a strange and wonderful way:

“The wolf and the lamb, the leopard with the kid, the calf with the lion, the cow with the bear, the lion with the ox. They shall be led by a little child”, so goes the promised Peace. The emphasis is on the harmony between the animals and with man, man himself living in peace with his fellow man. Children shall, in that day, be able to play with snakes and they will not be hurt—truly a wonderful time ahead!

In addition, the curse of the ground will be removed and the land will again be characterized by Shalom, which includes both harmony and productivity (see Amos 9:13-15). The desert will become a fertile field and will bloom again (Isaiah 32:15), while the cultivated lands will drip with sweet  and “new wine” (Joel 3:18)—symbols of both fruitfulness and plenty because of peace.

One cannot overlook the fact that this harmony will never happen until man has a right relationship with God and He himself establishing peace all throughout the land.  It will be the result of the righteous rule of the "shoot from the stump of Jesse", He is called the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The nations of the world will come under the dominion of the "Prince of Peace" and in so doing, "will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks" (Micah 4:3).

Isaiah also characterizes it as a time when:

“You shall go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).

Reader 8 – Peace in the Age to Come

Isaiah 2:1-4

Isaiah 11:6-11

Jeremiah 33:8-9,14-15

Amos 9:13-15

Micah 4:1-5

Revelation 20:4-6

Thank you readers. That concludes our Song Service.

Hymn 11: p.96 We Shall Overcome

Hymn 12: p.168 Creation will be at Peace

 Closing prayer.

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