Message Summary: Today’s message focuses on Peace: Peace is not an outcome. Peace is a perspective. The message of Christmas is God giving the gift of peace, through Jesus.
We are stressed, tired, overwhelmed and grieving. Only 17 percent of Americans feel peace on a regular basis. Seven hundred years before Christ was born, Isaiah prophesied about the Prince of Peace to a group of people who were disillusioned, disappointed, discouraged, and depressed. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, which means that God is the King of Peace.
Peace is not the absence of conflict or problems; the peace Jesus offers is different. We should be experiencing the shalom, wholeness of God, but we aren’t. Our hands are too full, our schedules are too full. The peace Jesus offers is not passive. We must actively choose to receive it. Imagine holding too many boxes, bags, and packages, we have to put something down in order to pick up or receive this gift of peace.
We want to be in control. We like to be right. We want to have all the information. It’s the same as the Garden of Eden, when Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We think if we know everything, we will be in control. Instead, it robs us of peace.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God does not promise a what he promises a who. The definition of peace according to Toby Slough is “ The, at times, ridiculous notion that I have a Father who is going to bring good out of every problem in my life.” God works with us to bring good through horrible things. We don’t have to figure it out, we don’t have to like it, in order to believe that God is at work in it.
- What do you need to put down to receive God’s gift of peace?
- What areas in your life do you need to let go of control?
- How can you get the “mind of Christ” to see your conflicts and problems through the perspective of Jesus?
- In what ways do you see God working for good in your life? If you are in a hard season, in what ways have you seen God work in your life in the past? Or, in what ways do you see God working for good in those around you?
Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Luke 2:8-14 – And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
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.
John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 Corinthians 2:16 – for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.