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Friday, December 18, 2009

peace on earth

We sometimes get so wrapped up in all the hype and the traditional messages of Christmas that we neglect to look any deeper than the superficials. Today I want to think about the idea of Peace. Get your bibles and follow along. (don't ever just read a devotion or a message and accept it flat out without looking in your own Bible at the surrounding verses to see if the writer or speaker is using the scripture in context..)

One of the things we hear most about during this season is the concept of Peace. The message of Peace on Earth is bandied about freely by every religious or even semi-religious person. It is of course a popular topic and the thought of those angels singing about peace on earth and good will is overwhelming.

But we generally apply the message differently from the way it was spoken. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2: 13 - 14

We take it to mean that men on earth are going to have peace and good will toward each other. And while those who have experienced the redemptive power of Christ do have that peace and good will toward all their fellow men, it is not something the common man experiences or ever will experience outside of Christ.

So what was the message of the angels? They were glorifying God and stating His intentions toward the men of earth. Jesus came to bring peace and good will extending from the Father to men. One translation says "Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased " We see by this more clearly that the peace of God rests upon those with whom he is pleased. He offers it to the entire world, yes, but only those who receive His Son's offered Salvation will experience it. We must understand this concept or we will come up against one of the so called "contradictions" of the Bible.

The peace of which the angels sang is that peace which Jesus came to bring to the hearts of His Own. Until Christ's coming the hearts of men across the world had been in turmoil with sin and confusion and spiritual darkness. Jesus came to seek and save the lost and to instill in them His Peace. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: John 14:27 These are the people to whom that angels' song was dedicated.

So when we say, "I bid you peace" we are bidding men the peace of the spirit. In this world [we] may have tribulation . . . but [He] has over come the world! Tribulation and conflict will always exist in this world. Let's bid men the salvation of the Father that brings peace in this earthly body. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

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