As we continue our preparation for celebrating the Birth of Christ, Peace is next up; Hope, Joy, Peace, the building blocks of life. Hope is essential to have Joy. Joy is when our mind tells our heart to be at Peace even in the chaos of the world around us. Joy produces peace, a peace that transcends understanding. They form a foundation allowing us to stand firm in spite of the craziness around us. Are we at peace with the way things are? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Peace is impossible without Christ. Today we are faced with the harshest of realities; man can know no peace apart for Christ. We see the revelation of it all around us, man is a selfish creature. We look out for number one without much thought of how it affects others.
I am reminded of one part of the Christmas story we don’t like to think of or even recall very much, the reaction of King Herod to the birth of Christ. A man so self-centered, so fearful of Christ that he ordered all newborn males under two years old to be killed. Joseph was warned in a dream and packed his family up in the middle of the night and headed to Egypt. Staying there until he was called by God to lead his family back home to Israel and settle in Nazareth.
Matthew 2:13-18; When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
How depraved is man that we can take our vengeance out on a precious child? It is a day that should sadden our heart. It is a day that should open our eyes. We live in a world that allows us the freedom to do many things, but when we remove the presence of God and His moral standard from society, we set ourselves up for very tragic days.
We have seen it all too often since that day in Colorado. Too many lives have been taken by the evil presence in the world because we have turned away from God. Christ came, lived among us, taught us, gave his life for us, rose up victorious over death, is seated at the righthand of God interceding for us and will come again to take home those that belong to him.
Christ came so that we might have peace.
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.
Peace is the eternal security that comes from a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In a world that only has concern for itself we can only find comfort in the arms of our Savior. We need to return to Him and receive the peace only He can provide.
Life is precious and we need to hold that in the highest regard. My hope and prayer is for all mankind to come to their senses, seek God while He still can be found and hold precious the very thing He gives all of us, life. I pray for a world that doesn’t understand the peace that Christ brings.
Romans 5:1-11; 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Christ is the ultimate peacemaker. We are powerless to bring peace into our lives. In fact, we create a tremendous amount of turmoil trying to find peace. Have you ever wanted some peace and quiet? You chase everyone away. You shut everything out. Ah, peace at last, but at what cost? Peace isn’t something we achieve for ourselves, it is something we offer to others.
Philippians 4:4-9; Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
The decision to be at peace rests in the hearts and minds of men. We can receive the gift of a Savior. We can have the security of eternity. We can be at peace with God. We can behave in a way that honors God and experience the peace that transcends understanding. God will be with us.