December 18, 2017

Peace

George Stiekes

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

…a multitude of the heavenly host… Can you at all imagine the impact this would have made on the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem? Nothing like that had taken place for centuries. In fact, there was a period of about 400 years when there was no word from God, no message given to the prophets to be communicated to mankind.

Certainly by this time there were those who denied that the Messiah would ever come to the earth. The whole area was under the domination of the Roman Empire by this time and many would have given anything to be out from underneath Rome’s rule.

Moral pollution would have been great at this time and heathenism was rampant. Much like our day there was much superstition, worry, prejudice, hatred, tension, anxiety, fear and harassment. The main problem among mankind was sin. This is the world in which Christ was incarnated for the purpose of saving sinners (I Timothy 1:15; Luke 19:10). Paul was explicit in I Timothy 1 for Christ did not come to heal sinners or even to teach them but to SAVE them. O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear (John M. Neale).

It is the failure of mankind today to recognize that the struggle for peace is a spiritual matter and not a political one. Not much has actually changed since the day Christ came into our world. The Zealots thought that peace would reign if they could just get rid of Roman rulership. The key to peace is to rid the world of sin. If that was the main reason Christ came into our world, it would make sense that this ought to be a key priority of ours as well.

How about you today? Does the peace of God rule in your life? And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). The peace of God includes both peace with God (Romans 5;1) and the special gift of peace from Christ Jesus (John 14:27). To say that peace rules or reigns in your life is to experience an inward tranquility and satisfaction that reminds you that all is well between you and God. You can say with Horatio Spafford, “It is well with my soul” regardless of the circumstances you face daily. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Daniel was given a vision of Christ’s millennial reign on our earth in Daniel 7:13-14. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

For two thousand years, the prophets proclaimed the first coming of Christ into our world. Every detail spoken by them came to pass as was prophesied. There is no reason to doubt the prophecy in relationship to Christ’s coming again. Like the shepherds long ago, it is both exciting and almost unimaginable to think what our world will be like under Christ’s reign when for the first time in the history of the earth, since Adam and Eve, there will be perfect peace. Peace on earth, good will toward men. Let us be faithful in proclaiming this glorious message during this Christmas season.

The angels came to the Shepherds with a message of peace that was that was directly related to Jesus Christ. Isaiah 26:3 gives us the key to genuine peace. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusted in Thee. Ask yourself this question – Is Christ enough? Is there any other source that would bring more peace in your life? Only a life in fellowship with Jesus Christ can lead to true peace.


George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.


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