Peace on earth

When I think of peace, I think of snuggling with my children when they were young, watching TV together in our family room. We felt secure, loved, at rest. I think of Christmas Eve church services when the lights are low, the candles are lit, and the congregation joins in singing “Silent Night.”  That is, for me, a moment of settled peace. I think of traveling with my late wife, quietly talking, holding hands as I drove. In those moments, love made me feel serene. When I led a congregation as their pastor, peace filled my heart when we took the Cup and the Bread and celebrated our Savior’s work described by Isaiah in these horrific words of ultimate love:  “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV) Renewing our hope in the Covenant is a moment of wonderful peace!

The Hebrew Scripture promises us a “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9.6)  Do you know Jesus in that way? He invites us into a life where we are made whole and complete, where we are not restlessly searching about for something or someone because He is our Peace.  The peace that He is and that He gives to us is so much more than the absence of conflict. The Hebrew word is “shalom.” Shalom” a word describing a life that includes wholeness, completeness, prosperity, settledness of mind and heart!

So many people live without peace, trying to find it in buying more things, experiencing more pleasures, trying on different identities, working for success, seeking a new relationship. Yet, they remain without peace.  Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36, NIV) But He did not, nor does He, condemn those who are restlessly wandering. Instead He invites us to find Him as the great Shepherd, to be cared for by Him, to live in peace.

It is the lack of internal peace that is most painful, and the cause of most of our external conflicts as well. When a person is anchored in Christ, when he has answered, in Him, the question of why he exists and for what purpose he walks the face of the earth, living in peace is the fruit that grows from the Seed of the Gospel!  Those who know Christ and His ‘shalom’  no longer need to be constantly evaluating their accomplishments, their possessions, their position in this world to try to find some sense of peace.  Serenity removes the envy and jealousy from which comes ‘every evil work!‘ (James 3.16)

Isaiah writes, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!” (Isaiah 9:6-7, NLT) What a glorious promise! But before we apply it to the nations, we need to apply to our heart!

The Messiah, God’s Messenger of Peace, came to be our ‘shalom.’ He came to bridge the gap between the Father and us, restoring us from the dis-inherited state into which our disobedience has sold us. He came to establish the rule of the Spirit, our Mighty God, so that we would not continue as slaves of sin. He came to be our Counselor, so we could know how to live wisely and purposefully, with insight to discern the way of Truth! Yes, He is our Peace.

Are you conflicted today?

Do you want more — respect, things, possessions, power, comfort, pleasure, control — because you think that such things will finally let you feel ‘at rest? Dear friend, that is a mirage! If you should get that desire, the shimmering waters that promise refreshing would still be on the horizon.

Peace, true settledness and wholeness, comes through Jesus Christ.

The word from the Word for today invites us to come find our peace with God. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13, NIV)

(Video of this blog at this link)


There Is A Savior

There is a Savior
What joys express
His eyes are mercy
His word is rest
For each tomorrow
For yesterday
There is a Savior
Who lights our way

Are there burdens in your heart
Is your past a mem’ry that binds you
Is there some pain
That you’ve carried far too long
Then strengthen your heart
With His good news
There is a Savior
And He’s forgiven you

There is a Savior
Who lights our way

Bob Farrell | Greg Nelson | Sandi Patti Helvering

© 1986 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Songs (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) Greg Nelson Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Jubilee Communications Inc. (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Sandi’s Songs Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Sweet Ransome Music

CCLI License # 810055

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