OUR SOURCE OF TRUE PEACE
The date was December 24-25, 1944. The world had been embroiled in war since September 1, 1939. The troops on the ground on both sides were getting tired and beginning to question the validity of this war that now had gone on for more than five long and brutal years. It was in that atmosphere that an unofficial, impromptu cease-fire was called along the Western front. It became known as the Christmas Truce of 1944.
An eerie silence came across the land as soldiers from both sides got together on the designated “no-man’s land” to exchange Christmas greetings, engage in some civil conversation, barter for cigarettes and other items of memorabilia including hats, buttons, and boots. Many even sang carols and played a little soccer. Particularly significant was the number of men that were involved and the level of their participation. Estimates suggest it was upwards of 100,000 soldiers. Regrettably, this welcomed truce ended up being a short-lived peace in a terrible war.
In the scripture narrative of the first Christmas, the Bible records how an angel appeared to a group of shepherds to announce that “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.” (v:13-14)
Many look at our world today and surmise that Jesus Christ is a failure as a peace-bringer. Where is this peace the angels talked about and later Jesus himself promised? (John 14:27) People who inquire along these lines misunderstand the nature and character of the true peace promised to the humble heart.
Douglas Harris in his book, The Biblical Concept of Peace, made a study of the Hebrew word “shalom” …which means peace. He noted, "People of Semitic background in the Near East greet those they regard as true brethren with the word “shalom.” Where there is any barrier, the greeting is impossible. …God is the source and ground for shalom. Anything that contributes to this wholeness makes for shalom. Anything that stands in the way disrupts shalom.”
It’s the absence of shalom that makes for war, turmoil, and inner conflict. “But I, the Lord, have promised that none who are evil will live in peace.” (Isa. 57:21 CEV) Even God cannot give peace to one who is unwilling to live by the principles of his inspired Word. (Psalm 1)
Jesus said, “I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.” (John 14:27 CEV) The peace Jesus gives has little to do with external factors. It stems from a right internal order. It’s the…
> peace of a clean heart (John 1:29)
> the peace of a right relationship with God (John 1:12)
> the peace of a Spirit-controlled life (Galatians 5:22-23)
> the peace of knowing your worth to God the Father (Matt. 10:29-31)
> the peace of a proper attitude toward others (John 13:34-35)
> the peace of a worthy purpose for living (Phil. 2:12-13)
> the peace of knowing God’s supply for every need (Phil. 45:19)
> the peace of an unshakable hope in Jesus. (John 14:1-6)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Isaiah 9:6; 32:17; Psalm 29:11; Romans 5:1; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:6-7