Celebrating the Peace of Christmas
Luke 2:14; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6
P. Luis Cruz, GCF Durham Celebrations have been ramping up. People have been traveling, taking advantage of their planned few weeks break with family. But I have to caution everyone to be sensitive to those who are unable to celebrate because of sudden death in the family, or conflicts and tensions in their closest relationships. These things have caused them negative emotions like anxiety, depression, frustrations, great stress, discord, agitation and animosity, to name a few. I hope and pray that God will use this message to speak into their hearts and give them inner peace. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14 1. God is glorified when we fully trust His Word. “Glory to God in the highest heaven.” Luke 2:14a • It was declared at a time of Roman rule over Israel. • A Roman census was on-going for taxation purposes. • The Jews were longing for their liberation for a long time. • They have been waiting for the scripturally promised King. Who is this baby born in the manger? “14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14.; “14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 • Jesus is the Word of God who took the human form. • He is Immanuel – God with us! • He came to represent God and to fulfill His Father’s word/promise of a Messiah. • He was born to give glory to God as He reveals the true state of our being – sinful. • He was born to fulfill His Father’s salvation plan. • The name Jesus reveals that salvation is from the Lord. • He saves us from the power and consequence of sin. • He has the ministry of reconciliation. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:18 2. God gives Jesus to His people to have inner peace. “And on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14b. • Peace in this verse does not mean a universal declaration of peace towards all people. • It is given to those who believed in Jesus as Savior and Lord. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 As people believed in Him, Jesus the Immanuel, will be their… • Ruler/King • Trust and submit to His counsel – Lordship • Believe that Jesus is the Mighty God who is able to do beyond whatever we ask for, of course, within His will. • He functions as our father because He provides, protects, forgives and guides us. • Jesus is our Prince of Peace in the midst of our difficult situation. The fulfillment of God’s promises in Jesus gives us so much peace as we go through difficult times this season. Therefore, I challenge all of us to: • Take the time to consider if Jesus is indeed our Lord and Savior. • Invite Jesus into your heart if you have not done so, yet. • Celebrate Christmas with the intent of sharing the peace of God to others.