Does Peace on earth sound like a Christmas cliché?
The good news is that Jesus, our Prince of Peace, wants us to experience true peace in him today. Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:14) is as relevant today as it was when the angels declared it to the shepherds.
Jesus was born into a time of trouble for God’s people, and hardship and persecution were the backdrop to his final words to his disciples. He knew he would be arrested and crucified shortly after.
The following excerpts from John 14-16, Jesus’ final pep talk to his disciples, instruct us in how we can have peace on earth.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 14:1
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. 14:27
You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ 14:28
I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 16:1-3
While Jesus’ words do not make our current troubles disappear, they do give us courage in knowing that Jesus understood first-hand, severe troubles and great suffering.
Jesus reminded his disciples that we can have peace because:
This earth is not our home.
We are likely frustrated by our current culture and mourn freedoms we have lost in a short period of time.
Let it be a reminder that our ultimate hope is in Jesus alone. He will return for us and he is currently preparing a place for us in heaven. Jn 14:1
Ask: What opportunities can I take to be a light, before getting to my final destination?
Do I have neighbors who don’t yet know Christ or his forgiveness of sin? A great ministry is www.blesseveryhome.com. When you sign up, it gives you a daily email so that you can pray for your neighbors by name. Pray they know come to know the Prince of Peace.
We have the Holy Spirit. (John 15:26)
We don’t talk much about the Holy Spirit, but He is God and we can pray to him and ask for wisdom in how to live in this time and for his help in relationships where we’re experiencing a lack of peace.
Ask: How can I be a peace maker and bring peace to those around me?
In what relationship do I need his help?
Just because I think something or have an opinion, I don’t have to say it. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit’s help to know if it’s something that needs to be said out loud. If it is, ask for him to season my words with humility and grace. If not, ask him for the restraint to keep my mouth closed.
We have been forgiven of our sins.
Jesus IS our peace. We were literally destined for punishment for our sins, to hell. But Jesus intervened and took our place. If we have received his gift of grace and forgiveness of sins, we are no longer condemned; we are in good-standing with the Creator of the universe! Those who have been forgiven much, love much. They also have greater peace.
Ask: Of what sins has God forgiven me?
A sin inventory can renew my appreciation for God’s great love for me. It can prompt a response similar to the woman who poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and washed his feet with her tears. When we recognize the depth of our sin and the great depth of Jesus’ forgiveness, we respond by loving and thanking our God more fully.
Imagine yourself before the throne of God with all of the saints. You will hear the great name of Jesus and feel no shame. There will only be glory and honor and praise for the one who came to earth as a man, to suffer, to die and ultimately rise again to conquer death and hell.
We will sing with the angels, Glory to God in the highest, and agree with them that Jesus truly brought real peace on earth to those on whom His favor rests.
May you experience the peace of knowing that the God of the universe loved you enough to send his son Jesus so that you could live in a right relationship with him.
If you’d like to know more about how to have a relationship with God, please click here to contact us. We would love to introduce you to the Prince of Peace.