My Peace I Give You 私の平安をあなた方に与える

Last week, Pastor Andrew gave a fantastic message on the topic of JOY. In the Bible and the Christian faith, there are several such inspirational themes, of which JOY is one. The other similar themes that come to mind are PEACE, FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. So, which of these themes would you like to hear about as a message?
(take a vote)

Well, after all of that, I’m sorry, but the message today will be on PEACE, because that’s what I prepared for today. 😉
(PROJECTION: now you can show the message title slide)

The Bible text we’ll be looking at today comes from John 14:27.

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. –John 14:27

To give this some context, these were Jesus’s words to the disciples at the Last Supper. He told the disciples that he was leaving, and he spoke these words to encourage and comfort the disciples.
Jesus offers PEACE to ENCOURAGE and COMFORT his disciples. イエスは弟子達を励ます為に、または弟子達を慰める為に、平安を与えました。      So, what does PEACE do to us? Rephrased, what happens to us when we have PEACE?

We don’t need to look any further than what today’s Scripture said.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.

Simply put, if we have NO peace, our hearts become “TROUBLED.” Some other translations say “ANXIOUS.” But if we have PEACE, our hearts experience REST. Furthermore, if we have NO peace, we become “AFRAID.” But if we have PEACE, we experience ASSURANCE/SECURITY.

And that’s how I want to define PEACE today.
PEACE gives our hearts REST and ASSURANCE/SECURITY. 
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you.” 私は平安をあなた方に残して行く。
と言いました。Jesus wished PEACE upon us.
Jesus desired REST in our hearts and ASSURANCE/SECURITY. 

And let’s not overlook the important point that’s made here. Jesus says, “MY
PEACE I give you. I do NOT give to you as the world gives.” 私の平安をあなた方に与える。私が与える平安は、世が与えるような物とは異なる。と言っています。

Jesus didn’t leave us the peace of this world. He left us HIS PEACE. Jesus wished HIS PEACE upon us, because only HIS PEACE can give us REST in our hearts that comes from ASSURANCE/SECURITY.
Remember last week? Pastor Andrew spoke on the stark difference between GOD’S JOY and the cheap imitation of JOY that the world offers. Similarly, there’s a huge difference between GOD’S PEACE and the cheap imitation of PEACE that the world offers. In English slang, we call such cheap imitations “knock offs.”
(PROJECTION: show images)

This is the most important point for our message today: the difference between GOD’S PEACE and the cheap imitation of PEACE that the world offers. これが今日のメッセージのもっとも重要な要点です:神の平安と世の安っぽい偽物の平安とは異なる。
1) The world would offer us PEACE in the form of “absence of all conflict,” because the world would argue that any conflict is “undesirable.” But the Bible tells us that Jesus came to bring conflict! 世は争いの無い事が平和だと示し、全ての争いは「良く無い」と示唆しています。しかしイエスは争いをおこす為に来たと聖書は書いてあります。

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. –Matthew 10:34-36

He said these words, because the Gospel message demands a decision. He said these words, because he knew that such a decision would cause conflict and division, in our own hearts and in our relationships with others. I’m sure this is a very real, and often very uncomfortable and very painful, experience, especially for those of us with family members who are unbelievers.
But in the midst of such conflict that the world would define as “undesirable,” does God offer us HIS PEACE? “You’d better believe he does” (もちろん)! Because the PEACE that God offers does not prioritize INNER CONFLICT or CONFLICT WITH OTHERS. GOD’S PEACE is concerned with a far more important issue.
Because for God, the most important issue is to settle the inherent human problem: the CONFLICT that we inherently have WITH GOD because of our problem with sin. 神にとって、もっとも重要な事は人間の先天的な問題を解決する事です:その問題は罪のせいである、私達と神との間の争いです。

Perhaps you’ve never heard it described in this way. I’m talking about our salvation. When we were NOT saved, we were in CONFLICT WITH GOD. But when we were saved, the conflict ended, and we became reconciled to, or at PEACE WITH GOD. This is one aspect of GOD’S PEACE.
I’m also talking about our on-going relationship with God. When we are obeying him and following his lead in our life, our relationship with God is in good standing.
We then sense GOD’S PEACE in our life, a GODLY PEACE that comes from knowing that we’re doing what’s right in God’s eyes. This is also GOD’S PEACE.

Seeking this PEACE, GOD’S PEACE, in our life is a far more important pursuit than seeking PEACE with OTHERS. この神の平安を望む事は、人との争いの無い関係を望む事よりも、もっと重要なのです。
That may sound insensitive and cold to people and relationships, but it’s the truth.
Look at it this way. Would it be more important for you to be saved and have a good relationship with God, or to have conflict-free relationships with people? Of course, it would be ideal and blessed to have both, but sometimes we don’t have that luxury.
Personally, in making my decision to follow God wholeheartedly, time and again I had to disappoint, offend, and disrespect my parents and my parents-in-law, who, at the time, did not agree with and were even angered by my decisions regarding my career, my family, and my life. I may be speaking casually about it now, but trust me, at the time, they were very difficult decisions for me to make. And time and again, I had to ask myself, “Is it more important for me to please God with my decisions, or to please people?”

How about you? Is it more important for you to please God with your decisions, or to please people? Yes, even the people you love and are closest to? Which PEACE would you choose? God’s PEACE in knowing that you’re saved and in knowing that your relationship with God is in good standing? Or superficial PEACE that merely says that you get along with people around you?

あなた方はどうでしょう? あなた方にとって、人々を喜ばせるのが大切なのか、それとも神を喜ばせる方がもっと大切なのでしょうか?

2) The world would offer us REST in our hearts (心の落ち着きさ) through ASSURANCE/SECURITY that comes from money, family, job, etc., but the Bible speaks extensively on how fleeting those things are. 世はお金や家族や職から貰う心強さと安心感を通して心を落ち着かせなさいと言うが、聖書はそんな物は無駄だと多く書いてあります。

Those things are not “bad” things, and the world would argue that we should trust in those things. But the problem with that argument is that those things—money, family, job, etc.—aren’t 100% secure. They’re not 100% reassuring. Thus, they can never completely eliminate anxiety in our life.
Money comes and goes. Stock markets crash. Real estate can lose value. No family is perfect. Parents fail. Spouses disappoint. Kids make mistakes. Your job comes and goes. “Lay-offs” (リストラ) happen. “Axes fall” (くび). Do you “get the picture” (言っている事を分かりますよね)? We can find no assurance, no security, and no rest in these things of the world. There’s no PEACE in these things.
On the other hand, God is constant. He never changes. He never fails. Furthermore, God is God. He’s perfect. He’s not an imperfect human like us. The Scriptures say, 一方では、神は一定であり彼は決して変わりません。神は決して失敗しません。
“God is not human, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind.” 神は人のように偽る事はなく、また人の子のように悔いる事もない。(Numbers 23:19) Do you “get the picture” (言っている事を分かりますよね)? God is completely trustworthy. We can find true assurance, security, and rest in the PEACE that only God can give. 神を完全に信頼出来ます。本当の心強さと安心感と心の落ち着きは、神だけが与えられる平安に限る。
Let me give you an illustration, since Pastor Andrew did such a fantastic job with his illustration last week about sin and being filled with the Spirit.
(demonstrate “trust fall”)

Will you choose the ASSURANCE and SECURITY that the world would have you believe in? Or will you choose to find REST in the ASSURANCE and SECURITY that only GOD can provide? Which PEACE would you choose? The PEACE that the world offers, or GOD’S PEACE?


So, how do we get GOD’S PEACE? Simply put, it’s a choice. This may sound like an insultingly simplified answer to a seemingly complicated issue. But the reality is, the solution is that simple. It’s a choice. It’s choosing to trust God. It’s choosing to accept God’s definition of PEACE over that of the world’s. It’s a choice.
では、どのように私達は神の平安を得る事が出来るのでしょう? 簡単に言えば、それは選択です。これは一見複雑な問題のように聞こえますが、すごく単純に答えられます。でも本当に実際はその答えは簡単です。選択なのです。神を信じて選ぶのです。神を選ぶか選ばないかなのです。神が平安なのだと信じる選択なのです。

Now, to make such a choice is not simple, of course. It takes a lot of faith, a lot of trust, and a lot of courage. Nonetheless, the answer is simple. It’s a choice. And no one can make that choice for you. You must choose for yourself.

So, which will you choose? Will you choose GOD’S PEACE or the PEACE that the world wants you to believe in? Remember, GOD’S PEACE and the cheap imitation of PEACE that the world offers are starkly different.
Why settle for the cheap imitation of PEACE? Don’t settle for Mr. Mahmoud’s or OFC. Don’t settle for Paradi, or Cooch, or Channel. When it comes to PEACE. Choose GOD’S PEACE.