Jesus came to bring peace on earth. I think we can all agree that we need a good dose of peace in our lives. The world we live in is divided. The things that divide us are as diverse as the divisions that we face. Politics, religion, preferences, and beliefs---the list goes on and on.
This Christmas season we have the chance to refocus. Jesus came and our lives were forever changed. You are probably familiar with the story. Mary was approached by an angel and told that she would give birth to the long awaited Messiah. Mary embraced this call even though it was dangerous to her reputation as well as her life.
God worked in the heart of Joseph, Mary's fiancé, and he embraced the call to be the earthly father of Jesus. The day came for Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem in order to be counted in a census. Let's be honest. God was putting Mary and Joseph in the right place at the right time to fulfill His perfect plan. (Never forget that God is faithful to do the same for you and me!)
The couple made the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and scripture records what happened next. "The time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:6-7, New International Version)
A baby boy, a Son, a Savior---He was finally here. Everything on God's Kingdom calendar had been preparing the way for this moment in time.
Why did Jesus come to this earth? The angels, who were present at His birth, proclaimed the answer to this important question. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:14) Jesus came to bring peace. Peace in our hearts. Peace in our lives. Peace in our homes. Peace in our relationships. Peace in the midst of our differences.
How do we experience God's peace? The answer to this question is simple. In fact, it can be answered with a single word---Jesus.
There is only one way to experience God's peace in our lives. It is through a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus came to this earth and lived a perfect life. He died on the cross to provide peace. As Jesus hung on the cross, He paid for our sins and provided the only way for us to have a relationship with God.
If you long to have real peace in your life, confess your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you. Invite Jesus to come into your life and save you. You can be sure of the fact that He will. Jesus came to bring peace to you and your family. Your life can be forever changed!
If you already have a relationship with Jesus but find yourself in the middle of a challenging situation that feels less than peaceful, remember that peace is not the absence of problems but rather an assurance that God is with us.
In the midst of your challenging situation, remember that God is willing and able to help you. He will meet your need! He will take care of your heart! He will use your challenging circumstance for good! These truths certainly provide a sense of peace during hard times.
Not long after Jesus' birth, a small group of shepherds set out to find Jesus so that they could worship Him. "When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." (Luke 2:17-20)
On that first Christmas night, lives were forever changed. Thousands of years later, the same opportunity exists. This Christmas season you can worship Jesus and experience the peace that He freely provides. Jesus came and brought peace to this world. His peace heals the divisions that we face in our culture and in our lives. Jesus, He Himself, is our peace!