And On Earth Peace
Peace on earth, nice thought.
Peace on earth to men of good will.
That is how we usually hear or read it.
The line in the Bible is: on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.
In my source it is this way: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.
Text passage for today: Luke 2: 4-14 entitled The Birth of Jesus.
The Christmas word for today is peace.
We had an add campaign a while back: Got Meat?
A Christian campaign would be: Got Peace.
I hope each of you knows where from peace cometh.
God and only God can give a human being peace of the heart, mind and soul.
Does one have to please God to have peace?
I have two images I like. Well actually I have several.
But when it comes to this I have a couple that stand out.
One is God having me in the palm of his hand.
When I left Nathan in AZ for school and he looked at me as if to say, if you love me how can you leave me.
I prayed for Father to take care of him and sooth his anxiety.
I heard, I have him in the palm of my hand.
That was comforting to me.
That is one image of God taking care of me.
The other is found in the song, In The Garden.
Walking and talking with God in an intimate way.
Scripture for that is Genesis when God comes walking on earth in the cool of the day and cannot find his people.
Both of those images give me peace and security in God.
I do believe that peace is only found in aligning yourself with the will of God for your life.
Surrendering, obeying, following, and doing his will gives one peace.
Isaiah speaks of one to come who will bring Godly things to earth.
He will be the Messiah, he will be a son of God, the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
And of his reign there will be no end.
Peace, everyone wants peace.
Many pray for peace.
Many wonder where the peace of Christ is.
Will it come at the end of the age when he comes back as Lord of Lords and King of Kings?
Or did Jesus fail at his role of peace maker?
These people misunderstand the nature of true peace and the character of the peace that Jesus brings to the human heart.
Jesus is peace for he 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 hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
As he appeared to the disciples after his resurrection he greeted them with, Peace be with you.
Isaiah’s thoughts about peace come from the Hebrew word Shalom.
The root meaning of the word shalom means to be whole, sound, safe.
The fundamental idea is totality.
God is the source and ground for shalom.
Anything that contributes to this wholeness makes for shalom.
Anything that stands in the way disrupts shalom.
The presence of shalom makes for wonderful community relationships in which people participate in the blessings of God.
The absence of shalom makes for war and turmoil and unhappiness.
We are experiencing Governments attempt to disrupt or destroy our shalom in order to accomplish their goals.
And it is working quite well.
You destroy the shalom and unity of people and you have them where you want them.
The word shalom is used to describe the health and well-being of individuals and true prosperity.
It is used to describe the harmony that exists when there is an absence of war.
Peace is the condition that prevails when everything is sound and solid and stable and dependable and reliable.
The term shalom is used to describe the experience of salvation, particularity when the fruits of salvation are health, prosperity, well-being and long life.
The result is joy and blessing that come from God’s will.
When there is an absence of this soundness and integrity in personal character and in personal relationships, the result is defeat, disunity, distrust, alienation, poverty and misery.
God is the giver of shalom.
In the Old Testament his concept included material prosperity as well as spiritual well-being.
Peace could not be enjoyed by those who walked away from God in stubbornness and rebellion and in self-destructiveness.
There is no peace, says my God , for the wicked. Isa.
Even God cannot give peace to one who is unwilling to live a life of faith and faithfulness.
Jesus Christ, as the Prince of Peace, came into the world to help people enter into a relationship with God and with self and with one another so that they can enjoy this precious gift of shalom.
What did Jesus mean when he said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. John 14:27
To enjoy peace is to be in harmony with God and self and others and things.
What does Christ give to us?
Christ gives us the peace of a clean heart.
He came as the lamb of God to take away our sin.
He died on the cross under the penalty of our sin that he might save us from the condemnation of sin and return us to God.
He is the Lord of life and offers us forgiveness of sin that is full, free, and forever.
By his sacrificial death on the cross he has made it possible for us to be cleansed from all sin.
Christ gives us the peace of a right relationship with God.
Until people enter into a faith relationship with Father God, they experience a shattered relationship.
The re-established relationship with God brings peace.
We need to enter into a faith relationship with God so that we might be declared acceptable by God.
In our faith in Christ we receive the peace of God.
We love Him because he first loved us and provided the way to this relationship and peace.
Christ gives us the peace of a Spirit-controlled life.
The Lamb of God who came to take away the guilt of our sin comes in the Spirit to be the Lord of our life.
He will deliver us from the power of sin.
Until we are controlled by the Holy Spirit we can have no peace.
It is only when we let the controlling authority of the Lord of love become real in our hearts that we begin to experience the true peace God has for us.
That is why Paul says to not use artificial ways to cope.
Be filled with the Spirit.
Only through the control of the Spirit of God, rather than under the influence of an false and destructive spirit, can we experience true control over our lives.
The result of the indwelling Spirit is both peace and self-control.
Christ gives to us the peace of proper attitude toward others.
A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Oh, the great inward peace that comes to the individual who relates to others in terms of unconditional love.
Christ gives us the peace of a worthy purpose for living.
Many people are anxious about their reason for being.
Jesus encourages us to so let God do his good works within us that others cannot help but recognize the presence of God in our lives.
Others will come to know God through our attitudes, actions, ambitions, and all that we seek to do.
This kind of a purpose for being will bring God’s peace into your life.
Christ gives us the peace of adequate reserves for all situations.
You might have a sense of security due to the money you have to use for your needs.
The security of funds is nothing compared to the assurance of divine resources made available to us through Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior.
Paul spoke of this sense of adequacy that came to him as a result of his relationship with Jesus “The Christ”.
Jesus “The Christ” offers you the peace of forgiveness that is full and free forever.
Jesus offers the peace of belonging to the Father God and to the family of God.
Jesus offers the peace of partnership and fellowship in his great work of bringing love, mercy, grace, power, and wisdom into the hearts and lives of people.
Jesus offers the peace of his perfect provisions, not only in the present but in the future.
When Jesus Christ is in the heart, we do not have to worry about a home at the end of the way.
Jesus Christ is the peace-bringer to the individual heart.
He will work to bring about harmony and peace within the relationships of the home and help you establish harmonious relationships with those about you.
He came that there might be peace on earth among people of goodwill with whom God is pleased.