12 Christmas Gifts from Heaven #6 – Peace:
“And His name will be called…Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6d).
“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, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:13-14).
I remember one year going out to pick up my Christmas presents for my wife Liza four days before Christmas. She normally does most of the shopping for our kids and for the rest of our family, and usually has it started well before December, but I don’t think I ever get mine done before the week before Christmas. As I tried to find a parking spot at the mall, and meandered in and out of stores, dodging shoppers with their bags full of last minute Christmas shopping, the last word on my mind was peace. Chaos! Confusion! Madness! Those are the words that best described the scene that greeted my eyes. And yet, that was not the promise given to the shepherds by the angels on that first Christmas night. Rather, their prophetic declaration was that there would be peace on earth, and good will toward men. This is the good tidings of the Christmas Season, and the seventh Christmas Gift from Heaven – peace.
The First Coming of the Prince of Peace on that First Noel over 2,000 years ago brought with it the promise of peace. Jesus Himself said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). But what is this peace that the Christ has promised to give to His children? Peace of heart and mind, peace with God, and peace with people. Let us briefly consider each of these aspects of peace that God has blessed us with—because of Jesus.
1. PEACE OF HEART AND MIND:
How can we, in the midst of such a dark, troubled and confused world hope to have peace? The answer is found in God’s Word. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). When trouble comes in our lives, we have a choice to make. We can either choose to worry about it, or we can choose to pray about it. When you pray about your problems, casting your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you, the Bible says we will experience God’s peace that passes all human understanding. You can make a decision and say, “I will not let my heart be troubled. I will not let my heart be afraid. I will choose to receive God’s peace today.” In the world where we are dealing with a shaky economy, wars and rumours of wars, and political unrest, I believe that His peace is a timely message for all of us today.
2. PEACE WITH GOD:
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1). God loved the world so much that He sent us the Prince of Peace, Jesus, to die on the Cross for our sins so that we could be forgiven, and have peace with God. If it wasn’t for Jesus, there would be no hope of our being right in God’s sight, because we have broken God’s commandments. But when we confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, so we can have peace with God.
3. PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER:
“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Romans 14:19). Because of Jesus, we can have peace of heart and mind, and we can have peace with God. But with that peace, comes a challenge from God to pursue peace with one another, and pursue the things that will encourage, comfort and build up one another. The seventh Christmas gift from Heaven that God has given to us is that of peace. This Christmas Season, receive His peace, and do your part to spread peace on earth, and promote good will toward all men.
Pastor Chris Jordan