Thursday, December 13, 2012

‎25 Days of Christmas Presence—Day 7

By Steve Rehnborg
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:13-14 NIV

“Peace on Earth” How many times are we going to see that message this Christmas. It is probably in the top ten favorite designs for Christmas cards, window displays, and holiday advertising. It’s an easy statement to make at the holidays in these times. It doesn’t name Jesus – it’s safe. And, who doesn’t want peace on earth?

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were having a conversation about the upcoming Christmas holidays. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Since ‘gifts’ is not my love language, gifts are not high on my list of important issues, even during the Christmas season. So, I gave her my smart-alecky answer: “How about Peace on Earth?” I don’t think she found that answer very helpful, but I really didn’t have even a mental list to draw from. We left it at that and went on our way.

God laughed at my smart-alecky answer. No, He didn’t give me the “I found that hilarious” laugh. He gave me the “I’ll teach you something new” laugh. He probably tagged me with the Hebrew version of “smart-alec” on the end of that laugh somewhere.

It was during that season, when I left my daughter to figure out on her own what to buy me for Christmas, that God showed me a truer meaning for peace on earth. I don’t remember the exact setting of when the Spirit spoke to my heart on this, but I do remember the message. Peace on earth isn’t about a freedom from war, battles, enemies, strife; it’s a statement about the presence of Jesus. Jesus is the peace on earth. His coming to earth and dying for my sins and being resurrected makes peace between God and me. I, in my sin, am no longer in conflict with Him. The strife that has been destroying our peace since the Garden of Eden has come to an end. It came to an end when “Peace” arrived on Christmas. In Colossians 1:19-20 it says,


19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Make sure you read that last part: “God reconciled to himself all things…by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” This may not be as profound to you, but it was like the best Christmas present I could have received because the Spirit revealed to me a simple principle of scripture. We are still going to have wars. Men are still going to terrorize the nations. Thieves are going to break in and steal. The earth is going to try to destroy our peace with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes, but “Peace” came to earth, came to man, came to me.

I credit my daughter with bringing me “Peace on Earth” that year -or at least the meaning of it.

Prayer Today from the Rich Mullins’ song “Hold Me Jesus:

Heavenly Father, Jesus:

Well, sometimes my life

Just don't make sense at all

When the mountains look so big

And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my glory

Won't You be my

Prince of Peace

Amen


Daily Activity: Pray today. Hard. You are not going to escape the madness of the season, shopping, family, trouble, pain, or whatever robs you of peace unless you accept the peace of Jesus. Pray for that peace to fill you up. It will come when you enter the presence of God and accept Him – and He will bring “peace to those on whom his favor rests”.

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