Luke 2:13-14 “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Christmas is so much more than a Bible story. It is more than a history lesson. It is more than songs, lights, parties, and pretty presents under a tree. Christmas is more than just a yearly holiday celebration. Christmas represents not only the birth of the King of Kings but the incarnation of the God man. Leaving the eternal and taking on the form of a man, Jesus stepped out of Eternity and into time. He took on a temporal life so that He could invite us to have an eternal one.
Who, but the King who defines Himself as love, would be willing to be born in a stable so that the Shepherds who received a heavenly invitation to come and celebrate His birth would feel right at home when they arrived? The message of the angels was that God had sent Peace on Earth, The Prince of Peace. God blessed mankind with good will. Through Christ God’s good will was done on earth as it is in Heaven.
We must remind each other and teach our children these basic truths in such a way that when we are opening those pretty packages under our tree, we will remember that on that first Christmas God wrapped His Son in human flesh as a gift of salvation to all mankind. The truth of God’s unbelievable love should be so much a part of our Advent lessons that as we buy presents for those we love, we understand that Christmas is about loving our enemies too. That first Christmas was God giving the most important gift to a world at war with Him and His ways. But even when we were at war with God, He sent His Son to pay the price of our peace (Romans 5:10). As we sing the Christmas Carols of peace on earth, our songs remind the world Christmas is when God announced Peace on Earth by sending us the Prince of Peace to bring peace between man and God. “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
It is one thing to read the story of Christmas. It is another thing to understand how to live it. I pray that God will help each person here this morning share the Christ of Christmas in such a way that He will be well remembered throughout the season. He is worth remembering; truly Jesus is the reason for the season!
From my experience, I do not think that Christians experience the full peace of God and as a result we are vulnerable to the attack of Satan. As I look around I see so many who live in fear and anxiety. Parents who are anxious about their children, families who are anxious about their finances, and churches anxious about their programs and facilities- anxiety appears to be a staple of day to day life. We speak on Sunday about the sovereignty of God but our anxiety about the day to day tasks of our lives often conflict with the tenants of our faith and the character of God.
Join us this Sunday as we examine the spiritual armor of the gospel shoes of peace as we continue in our study of Ephesians 6 and the armor of God.
“Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE…”
From my experience, I do not think that Christians experience the full peace of God and as a result we are vulnerable to the attack of Satan. As I look around I see so many who live in fear and anxiety. To parents anxious about their children, families anxious about their finances, and churches anxious about their programs and facilities – anxiety appears to be a staple of day-to-day life. We speak on Sunday about the sovereignty of God but our anxiety about the daily tasks of our lives often conflict with the tenets of our faith and the character of God.
Peace is something God has accomplished in Jesus Christ but it is something the Christian must pursue. The question we must be answer is how does the Christian pursue peace? Our pursuit of peace must begin at the cross and cause us to return to the cross continually to consider its ramifications in our life. We must make peace a priority and a guiding principle that governs our conduct. We must focus on the character of God and His sovereign plans and purposes. We must recognize He gives us peace in the midst of adversity and suffering. We obtain peace the same way we obtain all of God’s gracious gifts to us: as gifts of grace by faith.
True peace comes from delighting in God. He is our salvation and our security and peace is the result of rejoicing and resting in Him. Peace is the fruit of pursuing unity and harmony while graciously enduring the weakness and faults of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We find peace through prayer as we petition Him to meet our every need and then trust Him to do so. Peace comes when we refuse to allow our hearts and minds to entertain thoughts which fall short of truth and righteousness. Peace comes when we put into practice what we know to be true and have pondered in our hearts.
Peace comes from God and God alone. Peace comes through Jesus Christ who made peace between God and man. He is the One who gives us true peace and enables us to stand in the midst of Satan’s schemes. Inner feelings of peace are not proof that we are in the right, but being in the right is the basis for peace. May we all find peace in Him by trusting in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. For it is by His righteousness that we have fellowship with God and each other.