Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- December 23, 2010
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
Peace on earth begins with peace in the human heart. It is the result of an inner transformation in you that affects all of your external conditions. So, for example, if a home is conflicted with angry adults, then peace will only come when their hearts have been captured by their peace with God. When Jesus enters the arena of life, He brings peace to those who submit to Him.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5:1-2a).
Are you stressed out over meeting everyone else’s expectations during this holiday season? Is the pressure of buying gifts, planning menus and making year-end financial decisions pushing your patience to the edge? If so, inhale the peace of God and exhale the expectations of others. Be careful to not miss the joy of Jesus during this celebration of His birth. Focus on His desires, not those of others.
Peace on earth does not mean all wars will cease. As our Savior taught, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7). In fact, many times following Christ means a clash with the mores of society, a discomfort with family members or a conflict with your work culture.
However, in the middle of our situations of unrest, we can rest in the Lord. The calming presence of Jesus was illustrated as He lay in swaddling clothes yet He was the world’s Savior. His peace pursues impure hearts—He came to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). So begin by surrendering to your Master Jesus who began His reign in a humble manger.
Worship the glory of God in all of His goodness, mercy and grace. Wise men and women still seek Him, because He is the originator of wisdom and peace. His favor rests on those who rest in Him, who love and obey Him and who follow Him all the days of their lives. So settle down and seek Jesus. Replace your frantic pace with calm faith and make a loud noise of celebration but with quiet resolute. Invite the peace of God to enter into your hurried heart. His peace settles all stress.
Lastly, use this season of celestial celebration to celebrate your salvation in Christ. Maybe bake a birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to your Savior. Dress up in His honor and read the Christmas story. Encourage the children and grandchildren to take on Bible character roles and act out that special day in Bethlehem. Most of all, by grace, be a model for a world without peace—the world of peace Jesus gives you.
Have I made peace with God and how can I rest in His peace under stressful situations?
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