I want to talk about how we can achieve real peace in our lives. What did the angels mean when they proclaimed peace on earth and good will toward men? I want to talk to you today about the peace that is made possible through Jesus and described in the Bible.
The first thing that the Bible talks about with regards to peace is - Peace with God.
1.) Peace with God.
The word used for peace in the Christmas story is the same greek word used for peace in Romans 5:1 “Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Peace with God comes through a personal relationship with Christ: Confessing sin, repentance and accepting the forgiveness of Sins through the blood of Jesus and making Jesus your Savior and Lord. All who have entered into a personal and saving relationship with Jesus Christ have peace with God. It is my prayer for each of you – that you would have peace with God. He has made it possible, all you have to do is receive it.
Peace is God's gift to us achieved by Christ Jesus on the cross. Before the cross, we were at war with God due to our sin. Now, because God has made peace with us through Jesus, we are able to live out His peace in our lives.
Peace with God allows us to have Peace with others.
2.) Peace with others.
One of our markers in our vision as a church is to become more like Heaven on earth. Racially diverse. Nationally diverse. Generationally diverse. The gospel is communicated more clearly through unity among His people. The church is not the place to hold onto our culture, our preferences. It is the place where all people become equal at the foot of the cross.
3.) Peace of God.
God does not want our inner peace to be dependent upon our circumstances. His peace is not just for the good times, but the trying times too! He gives peace as John 14:27 tells us, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you."
There is a vast difference between the peace of the world and the peace of God. The world’s peace is found in external circumstances that can change without warning. It is a peace that is absolutely out of our control. It is not assured. It’s not stable. But the peace of God gives our hearts an unshakable peace.
In order to know the peace of God, you must depend upon Him - letting go of your control... whether it is in a specific situation or your life as a whole. As we allow God to rule and reign in our hearts and lives, we will know the peace of God that the Scriptures talk about.
Philippians 4:7 tells us, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
So, our Christmas challenge is to express His peace and share the message of hope. When the hustle and bustle of Christmas gets you down, remember this, the Greatest Gift has already been given. No exchanges necessary. One size fits all. Rechargeable batteries included. No assembly required. Guaranteed to last for eternity! If you’ve received the free gift of eternal life, peace with God – share it with others. If not, He is offering the free gift of peace today – You can have peace through Jesus.
If you don’t have true peace, I want you to know you can have it today. It is a free gift available to you. God loves you and wants to have a personal love relationship with you. He made that possible over 2,000 years ago, when He sent His son Jesus to earth to be born as a lowly carpenter, to pay the price for your sins through his death. He was buried and three days later rose again. Today, He sits at the right Hand of God the Father as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He desires a relationship with you. It’s possible. It’s available to you. The message I bring to you today is the same as that of the angels over 2,000 years ago, "Glory to God in the highest, Peace on earth, goodwill toward men." Peace is available through Jesus Christ.