Gifts from Jesus… Peace
December 16, 2018
By, Jim Eschenbacher
One of the most precious gifts that Jesus gave, and continues to give us is peace.
John 16:33… I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace; In the World, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
We have peace in Jesus and because of that we have peace with God. He used the same preposition to describe our relationship with Him as He used with the world… “IN”. That is tough to grasp. I can imagine living in the world; but it I more difficult to imagine living in Jesus. We don’t live in Jesus, the man. We live in Jesus, the belief system. He said to abide, live, in His words. His words define a life of faith. We live in/by faith. This sermon is about peace… His peace. He acknowledges that the world also gives peace but it is not the same. His peace is complete and alive in faith. The world’s version is circumstantial. The world’s version could be summed up in the following definition: ”lack of conflict”
‘Peace with God’ is being at ease with the creator of all things. Jesus was at peace in the midst of conflict but He could also stop the conflict at will.
Mark 4:39… And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm. The disciples were rowing a boat across a large body of water and a storm arose, causing them great consternation.
Jesus was asleep in the boat. Drew asked a poignant question, “Is Jesus asleep in your boat?” We must each answer that. It is one thing to know that He is nearby, sleeping. We don’t even have to actively compare our thoughts with the Bible. It is a different story when He is awake and aware of everything we are thinking and planning. Wake Him up.
Pastor Drew brought to our attention that the Christmas season is one of the least peaceful seasons of all. People are rushed to do everything that is expected and there is a tendency to spend more money than one has, creating further lack of peace. Is it not ironic that the celebration of Jesus’ birth is not peace-filled?
Drew tossed in a little talked about point of interest. By the time the wise men travelled from the east all the way to Jesus, the little child was probably about 2 years old. Christmas cards and songs that depict the wise men at the manger are incorrect. Form your doctrine from the Bible, not Hallmark. Another line, in a song, that bothers me is “The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.” Babies cry; it is natural and even healthy. Plus one of the popular verses in the Bible reads, “Jesus wept.” It is not a sin to cry. Now back to our regular programming.
Because we have peace with God, we should be peaceable people. Are you a peaceable person? Drew accentuated this point and rightly so. We are witnesses of God’s peace. His peace exists in His children. Show it and pass it on.
No matter what goes on around us, threatening us, we have peace that is not circumstantial; it is from God. Drew quoted from a Henry Longfellow poem:
And in despair, I bowed my head.
There is no peace on earth, I said.
For hate is strong and mocks the song,
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
“God is not dead nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail
The right prevail.
With peace on earth, good will to men
Every once in awhile, humans portray God as He is. We rejoice in that. By the end of this poem, Longfellow saw how great and victorious God is. And, we, too, have that promise. We serve God, who has no limits. He is victorious and He shares His victory with us.
Don’t confuse world peace with God’s. The world says, “Here is peace… over here.” And it offers pleasure or pills or vacations, things that change our circumstances. God offers Jesus, and He does not change with the times and blow in the wind. He is constant. Peace is ours even in difficult times.
Thank you, Jesus!