Amidst all the craziness of the season, is peace possible? In our world where nations continue to fight against nations; is peace possible? In the culture around us that is bent on arguing and fighting; is peace possible?
Jesus said in 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.”
Jesus said, I am giving you peace- but not the kind you find out in the world. Peace is the sum and substance of human well-being. That’s what everyone desperately wants. It’s what you want; you might really want political peace; a peace between people and the government or a peace between governments and countries. You may long for psychological, or emotional peace. A peace that keeps those voices in our head in harmony. A peace that keeps healthy in body and in our minds. Most of all you and I want peace of conscience and peace of heart and that only comes from peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who guides us out of our lostness in the chaos of spiritual darkness to the way of light and peace. Peace with God is the only means of peace with each other. Without that peace, the world lies in the hands of the wicked one, in darkness, chaos, and fear. This was the ultimate purpose of Christ’s mission; “through him (Jesus) to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Jesus was sent to bring peace of heart and spirit to all mankind.
Before we know Jesus, before we accept Him as our Savior- we are just walking around in the dark- with fear and death around each corner. We have no peace of mind or spirit- peace illudes us because in the dark and in the chaos peace is absent. Peace can overcome chaos and darkness- but it must be accepted. For you and me to truly experience peace we first, have to be at peace with ourselves.
I. Are You at Peace with Yourself? In other words, are you comfortable with your actions? Can you live with your decisions? Are you happy because of your choices?
Albert Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
One of the largest obstacles that causes people to fail to change is that some of the problems, some of the troubles, some of the difficulties, some of the habits, some of the addictions are so big that you cannot just stop "cold turkey." We need to take the first step- and often they will be baby steps.
Are you at peace with yourself? What changes do you need to make in your life beginning today? What baby steps do you need to take to be at peace with yourself? Secondly-
II. Are You at Peace with Others? I recently heard a person say, “I love Christmas, but when the in-laws and the out-laws come is when I lose my peace.” The word “Peace” appears some 429 times in the bible. It has about eight different variations of meaning in the Old Testament and about seven different variations of meaning in the New Testament.
The bible says in Acts 5:29 “We must obey God rather than human being!” And in Romans 12:18 “As much as it is possible, as far as it lies within you, live at peace with everyone.”
God is the one that we will all have to stand before and give an account of our actions and decisions. Peace is not merely the absence of conflict. Peace is also an action word. We need to take steps toward social justice. And steps toward equality and freedom, and actively work to ease poverty for those that have fallen on difficult times. We must be taking steps toward helping the lost find God. Our Mission is to make disciples so that Christ can transform people’s lives.
Matthew 7:2 says, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” The church, the body of believers, is instructed in the bible to not gossip or spread rumors; we aren’t to slander, or whisper behind someone’s back, and we are not to insult or judge someone. Instead, we are to practice hospitality. The bible says, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you.” Romans 15:7 Are you at peace with yourself? Are you at peace with others? One final step.
III. Are You at Peace with God? The meaning of the word Peace in the bible implies quietness and rest. Another meaning of peace is a type of “reset or fresh start.”
Peace is not something you reach out and touch with your physical hands. Peace is not something that is visible with the eye. If I asked you to draw me a picture of peace we would get many different variations of images. If I asked you to describe peace we would get many expressions of feeling as answers. But this one thing I know for sure, every step you take toward being at peace with your self is a step you take toward being at peace with God. Every step you take toward being at peace with yourself, every step you take at being at peace with others is a step you take at becoming at peace with Jesus the Prince of Peace.
Is peace possible? Peace is possible when we come to Jesus and say yes- I want your peace, I want the gift of salvation you offer- we will receive that peace that goes far beyond what is happening in the world around us- the peace that passes all understanding. Jesus said, “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.” He gives us peace deep inside our spirits- it won’t matter what the day brings, it won’t matter how our crazy and messed up our lives or family are- when we receive His peace we are full- and we need never to be troubled or afraid. We only have to trust in Him! What do you need to take that first step toward peace in your life? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you at peace with others? Are you at peace with God?
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
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