Aaron Rodgers a few years ago posted his famous R-E-L-A-X statement to Packer fans who were concerned about the team's slow start to that season. Just relax he said, don't worry. So as we really get into the Christmas season, can I say to you; just be at peace. P-E-A-C-E! Why? Because it's a nice little catch phrase at this time of the year? No, because the Word of God is full of encouragement about being filled with peace. I guess God knew what we would struggle with, right?
It was the message God gave to Mary, to Joseph twice, and to the shepherds. Peace in a world full of turmoil? Really? Who knew? God's people hated their representatives in Washington (that is: rulers in Rome) and wanted them out. With just a change of leadership, they would finally be at peace. Right? Ah, no.
I've always loved the scripture quoted often at Christmas from Isaiah 9:6-7: "For a child is born to us, a son given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and it's peace will never end." (NLT)
So why hasn't it happened yet? Where is the Prince of Peace promised to a troubled world then and now? Oh, it will happen in a literal sense and probably sooner than most think. Even many Christians are weary of thinking of Christ coming again. Don't be friends. It will happen. The Bible guarantees it. But what about now you say. We thought a change in leadership in our government levels would bring about what is really needed in our world. If only all the enemies of the United States were eliminated, then we would have the peace we so desperately need. Right? Wrong!
The truth is you can have the peace that God's Word promises and you can have it right now. If Christmas tells us anything, it tells us that Jesus wants to come into your life even more deeply than He is now. He said, "My peace I give to you, not the peace that this world thinks it can give. Don't let your hearts be troubled; believe and believe deeply! " (Jerry Bruette Version)
Friends, Up North Wisdom tells us that God wants you, yes you, to be His instrument of peace. Let others see Godly peace in your hearts, lives, families, circumstances and when they wonder how can it be, you tell them the answer for that peace, comfort and joy. To paraphrase a very old Christmas hymn: " God give rest, merry men and women, and let nothing bring you to dismay and discouragement. REMEMBER CHRIST THE SAVIOR was born on Christmas Day. To save us all from satan's power (to bring fear, doubt and unbelief which leads to lack of peace) when we went astray (and didn't believe God's Word). Wow! Those are words of great comfort and joy and are meant to free all those who trust in Him from the power of sin and fear."
I love it, don't you? And remember: yes, you know it is true, don't you: The Best Is Yet To Come! That is what Isaiah 9 is all about. Believe it. And a very merry, happy, joyful and peaceful Christmas season to all!
3 weeks ago