Paul tells us, straight and simple, where and how to find peace: set your mind on the Spirit.
The path of life, the path to true joy is through focusing on God, listening to God and learning to trust him.
God’s plan for you is this: (1) he is with you always, (2) delight in him and you will be satisfied, (3) be fruitful.
‘Because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’ If you remember nothing else from this morning, remember this. If that is too much, remember this: because of the Lord.
Jesus wasn’t born to enjoy the view: he was born to save us from the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. It isn’t magic or make-believe, but won at great cost: Christmas is not a fairy tale.
Advent is a time, like Lent, for us to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ return, to make sure he finds us waiting patiently, living holy and godly lives – not to earn his love, but because he already loves us.
I don’t really know why Jesus called this ‘the parable of the sower’, because it isn’t really about the sower, it’s about the soil, and why the gospel does not impact everyone in the same way: the sower is the same, the seed is the same; it’s the soil that produces different results.
‘Everything happens for a reason’? Nonsense. Everything has its time, true, but that doesn’t mean everything is good. Wisdom tells us how it is: but it is not all there is.
It is my prayer that in all we do here our focus would be on Jesus. Yes we need to fill more chairs. Yes we need more money. Yes we need to reach out more effectively – but in all that, let our focus first and foremost be fully on Jesus.
Do you want to know the peace of God? Are you willing to put your faith into practice, to be constant in prayer – in every situation – so that the peace of God will guard your heart and mind in Jesus?