Peace-Delivers-Hope As we get closer and closer to the day in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, take a minute to remember what you have been given.  When Jesus saved us He gave us peace with God.

Peace with God vs. the Peace of God

Peace with God is an objective peace. It doesn’t come from within ourselves. It is a gift from God. A gift given to us by Jesus.  Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross and,  when we repent and trust in Him, He is faithful to forgive our sins and save us.  Jesus absorbed the wrath of God that should have been ours, and in exchange He gives us peace with God. This peace is a fact, not a feeling.  It is finished and it never changes or diminishes.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

Peace of God is a subjective peace. We have it when we experience the peace that trusting Jesus brings. It is not simply a fact, it is also a feeling. We know that Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit and that His grace is sufficient in all things, so when we keep our eyes on Him and we rightly remember Who He is, what He has done for us and who we are in Him, we will experience the calm of being in Him.  That is experiencing the peace of God. However when we allow anxiety and fear to set in, our peace dwindles and our joy is diminished. Paul warns us against such worry and tells that it is “with thanksgiving” that we are to come to God.  We are to be remember all that God has given us and give Him thanks.  Then we will find our rest in Him and we will experience the peace of God.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Jesus IS Peace!  That’s why when we read of the angels announcing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, we read that they praised God by proclaiming:

Luke 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The angels proclaimed peace, but this verse does not mean that there will be peace on earth (in daily life and circumstance).  The angels’ proclamation was that Jesus being born brought peace.  By Jesus’ presence there was now “on earth Peace.”  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  He is our peace and He is our rest.

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

I venture to say that we are all familiar with the words of this popular Christmas carol by Charles Wesley (1769).  Take a minute now and reflect upon the peace that is promised—the peace that is only found in the Babe lying in the Christmas Cradle—the Saviour who hung on the Calvary Cross.  

Hark! the Herald Angels sing, Glory to the new-born King, Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconcil’d.

Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.

Hark! the Herald Angels sing, Glory to the new-born King.

  Consider what this song proclaims about Jesus. He came to earth to reconcile us to God—to give us peace with God and the peace of God.   Jesus is the Heaven-born Prince of Peace, the Sun of Righteousness and the new-born King.  He brought light, life and healing, so man no more may die.  All who repent and trust in Jesus have been raised and given the second birth. This song beautifully tells of Jesus’ birth and His mission. The angels hailed His birth to the shepherds and they sang of His glory.  The shepherds went with haste to find the baby lying in a manger (Luke 2:16), ….and then they went and told the new abroad (Luke 2:17). Let’s be like the angels.  Let’s be like the shepherds.  Let’s sing of His glory and make Him well known.  There are many this Christmas who do not know the little Baby or the loving Saviour.  Let’s change that.  Let’s help others find Jesus—in the manger and on the cross. Jesus alone makes Christmas the most wonderful time of the year. Rejoice and be glad in Him.

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. (Psalm 40:16)

 One last thing about this popular Christmas carol that we love to sing.

“The Sun of Righteousness”

(excerpt from Why the Butterfly? A Book About Remembering Jesus, pg 54.)

 Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings.

  Sometimes the word “Sun” is replaced with “Son,” so the lyrics read, “Son of Righteousness.”  Although this is an attempt to recognize the Lord’s Sonship, it is actually an error to make this change.  The “Sun of Righteousness” in these lyrics is meant to speak of Jesus being the “sun” of the world, the true Light of the world. There should be no doubt about the accuracy of Wesley’s use of the word “Sun.” Wesley simply borrowed the Messianic title from a prophecy given to the prophet Malachi and he proclaimed it’s fulfillment.

But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness 

shall arise with healing in His wing. . . (Malachi 4:2)

  In every English Bible translation, you will find this verse in Malachi uses the word “Sun.”   Therefore, when we sing this song we should remember:  The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ brings light into the world and He gives us His peace:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . (John 14:27)

As we await the celebration of Jesus’ birth, reflect on the peace that God delivered on this earth through the birth of His Son.  Ponder the great gift of peace that we have WITH God because Jesus has saved us and justified us.  Reflect also on the peace OF God that is ours to receive. john-16-33

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The Season of Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas)

Will You Find Rest This Advent Season?
Advent Candle 1 – HOPE: Prophecy Gives Hope

 

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