|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The awesome reality of the presence of God”
Our Bible verse for today: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The peace of Jesus is better”
In recent days we’ve been thinking about what it means for Jesus to be “The Prince of Peace”, as Isaiah identified him in Isaiah 9:6. Yesterday we learned that since the world continues to be filled with hostility, hatred, and violence, including one war after another, the peace that Jesus came to bring must be different than what we might expect. And sure enough, in John 14:27 Jesus alerted us to the truth that His peace is different from the way in which the world understands peace.
Yesterday we also considered the rich and beautiful Hebrew word “Shalom”, which is the word Isaiah used for “peace” when he described Jesus as the Prince of Peace. The actual phrase in that passage reads “Sar Shalom” for “Prince of Peace”. It was sometimes used to describe a good human prince who brought peace and prosperity to his people. When applied to Jesus, as Isaiah was doing, Sar Shalom certainly includes the understanding of blessings and peace as the world knows it, but it goes much deeper than that as well. It speaks of internal peace in the heart and soul. This is the peace Jesus as the Prince of Peace offers us. Here’s what that means:
First, it means being at peace with God. In Romans 5:1 the Apostle Paul told us, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Second, the peace Jesus gives allows us to be at peace with ourselves. Isaiah 26:7 is an Old Testament promise but it was fulfilled in Jesus. In the NIV it reads, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you.” We also see this in the writing of Paul in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Third, the peace of Jesus enables us to be at peace with others. Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts.” In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus even called His followers to be “peacemakers” so we can be at peace with others.
The peace offered to us by The Prince of Peace runs so deep and is so pervasive that in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 Paul describes it as being a peace that impacts us in every way, “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way.”
Jesus really is The Prince of Peace. The peace of the world is superficial and temporary. The peace of Jesus runs deep – to the core of our being, and is eternal. His peace is different from how the world understands peace, but it is better. Much, much better. We’ll see this tomorrow as we go back to thinking about the situation in Ukraine this Christmas.
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