Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent. Peace.

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful.  Grow to maturity.  Encourage each other.  Live in harmony and peace.  Then the God of love and peace will be with you.

I am currently share a series of messages with church that deal with the topics of the Christmas season known as Advent.  Subjects such as hope, joy, peace and the like are being looked at, and it continues to amaze me that the simplicity of the Christmas story and our Savior. 

Advent is about the beginning.  Jesus’ life is what split time, BC and AD.  His beginning of humility marks the truth that we can begin again.  Jesus was there when it all began (see John 1), and Jesus is there when it all ends.  He is our hope.  He gives us peace.  Peace is a reality as we rightly place our hope and trust in Jesus.  Peace is the result of some choices we make.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

Peace is not found in a place but in a person.  When we want peace, what we really want is a person.  I am sure you have found that peace alludes us when we search for it in the wrong place or in the wrong person. 

When we have lost peace, we can look in the direction of the place where we lost it, and there God will reveal His strength and give us peace.  Peace comes to us because we admit that it only comes when we are at the end of ourselves and admitting that God is the author and giver of life.

Often instead of returned to embracing God we turn away from God.  There is where we leave peace behind.  Yet peace comes when we leave a sense of entitlement or perfectionism behind.  All kinds of things will make the peace go away.  Fewer times than we would think that peace leaves us because of something that happens to us.  It really is most often when we think too much of ourselves and too little of God that peace leaves.

John 14:27  NLT
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Not intimidation but intimacy.  That is what God wants from us.  He doesn’t scare us in to being close to God.  He loves us so we will come closer to Him.  He came to earth in the person of Jesus to deliver lasting change and His peace to those who seek Him and His presence.  Draw close to Him.

Make space in the pace of your life for the peace that only Christ can give.
Spurgeon said, “Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you despair, but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you to the haven of peace.”

I pray that my family will know the peace of Christ like they know and love the people closest to them.  The peace God gives is a treasure offering to us all the time.  Not just went we celebrate the Advent, the birth of Jesus.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

NOTE: much of today’s post was shared by Ann Vockamp on her blog on this post.

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