FINDING PEACE THROUGH THE PRINCE
-Read Luke 2:4-19; Isaiah 9:1-7
Christmas preparations in the United States have seen a continuing trend to cut Jesus Christ out of the celebration. References to the Son of God simply do not fit today’s politically correct views.
In Egg Harbor, N.J., the local board of education originally banned "Silent Night." In Seattle, Wash., libraries banned Christmas trees. John Boykin, a National Public Radio commentator, made the suggestion that Christmas be turned into a gift-giving secular holiday and move what little of Christ is left over to Easter.
Oh my friends, we live in a day when many kick Christ to the curb. "You Christians do what you want behind your church doors, but there’s no room for a Messiah in the marketplace, we need no Savior in our schools", and then they wonder why we have no peace in our world.
“Peace often seems to be the most sought for and, at the same time, the most elusive treasure. The great cry of the world is for peace. The diligent and devoted effort of so many world leaders and diplomats is on behalf of peace. Yet history seems to mock their effort and confirm the futility of man’s search for peace. A famous French historian estimated that there had been 3,313 years of war in contrast to 227 years of peace from the 15th century BC to his own day. The world has seen 13 years of war for every year of peace…
[Henry Gariepy, 100 Portraits of Christ, (Victor Books, 1987), 121-2].
As Isaiah says, Our Lord is the Wonderful Counselor – He knows all things. He is the Mighty God – He can do all things. He is the Eternal Father – He is omnipresent, He has and always will be. And He is the Prince of Peace. There is no peace apart from Christ.
My friend, I don’t care what present you get this Christmas, none you receive will ever compare to the gift God sent us 2000 years ago. Oh my friend, Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and only with a personal relationship with Him will you ever find peace. Jesus makes peace available to us in three areas. First, Jesus makes it possible to have peace with God.
I. JESUS MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE:
1. Peace GOD –
Think back with me, if you will, to the days there in the Garden of Eden. Imagine what it was like in those days. Picture with me what it must have been like when God the Father, would come and walk in the Garden each day with Adam and Eve. Imagine the talks they must have had. Imagine how they laughed as they watched the frolicking and the antics of the animals. What joy they must have known, what peace they must have enjoyed as they fellowshipped with the Father.
But the Bible tells us that sin entered the picture. The fellowship was destroyed, and for the first time man was separated from God. The Bible says in:
>Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Oh my friends, for the first time, man was separated from God and had no peace. For the first time, man experienced emptiness in life.
I remember working in Round Lake Illinois one summer, trying to help start a church. For 10 weeks that summer, I and my partner went door-to-door, trying to tell people about Jesus. As the people opened their doors, I would look into their eyes and I saw such emptiness. They had tried many things to fill that void, to find that peace. They tried, alcohol. They tried drugs. They tried sex and marriage. They tried work and career, but nothing had brought them that peace.
How many times I remember crying, Please let me tell you about Jesus. Let me tell you about God. Let me tell you how you can find that peace, how you can find that joy. Time and time again the doors were closed in my face.
How many times I remembered Jesus looking across the city of Jerusalem and crying, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I have longed to draw you to my side as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not.
But things do not have to stay that way. Listen to what the Bible says in Colossians 1:20 and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross…(HCSB).
Oh my friend, only Jesus can give you peace with God.
But, not only did Jesus come to bring us peace with God, but Jesus also offers us peace within.
2. Peace WITHIN
Not only is there a lack of peace in the world, but we also see little peace in man. “Man is beset by neuroses and psychoses that undermine his peace within. The fears of man are so many and varied that psychologists have charted them all the way from a to z: acrophobia, the fear of heights, to zoophobia, fear of animals. People cannot sleep. Americans are the champion insomniacs, consuming billions of pills a year.”
[Henry Gariepy, 100 Portraits of Christ, (Victor Books, 1987), 121-2].
We look to the future and are wracked by fears. But Jesus says in:
>John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. …
We look at the past and are overcome by guilt and regret. We look at others and are overcome by pride, ambition, jealousy, covetousness, greed, busyness, lust, and laziness. We’re torn by indecision, twisted by competing passions, pulled by multiple loyalties, and led along by advertising. Often, we spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like, and then worry about how we’re going to pay for it. We’re overworked, overwhelmed, over come, over looked, over booked, and over loaded. 1/2 the time we don’t know if we’re coming or going.
The heart of the problem is a problem of the heart.”
> Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. My goodness. When was the last time you had any rest? When was the last time you had any peace?
Praise God, Jesus is Almighty! He is all knowing! He is ever present, and He is the Prince of Peace! He is the Alpha and Omega, the Ancient of Days, the Firstborn over all creation, the Word, the Beloved, Only Begotten Son, the great I AM, Immanuel, God with Us, the Son of Man, the Redeemer, Rose of Sharon, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, the Bridegroom, a Friend that sticks closer than a brother, the Horn of Salvation, the Lamb of God, the Living Water, our Savior, the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone, Lord, All in All, Our Hope, our Mediator, our Ransom, the King of King and Lord of Lords, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Bread of Life, Light of the World, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the True Vine, the Bright and Morning Star. Jesus is God. He is the Prince of Peace and He can give you peace within.
I don’t care what you have in your past. I don’t care who you’ve hurt or what you’ve done. Jesus can free you from all of that. Come unto Me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Oh my friend, Jesus offers us peace with God. He offers us peace within, and thirdly, He offers us peace with others.
3. Peace With OTHERS
> John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
My friend, only Jesus can help you love the unlovely. Only Jesus can curb your passions so you can have peace with others. Only Jesus can give you the strength to think of others before yourself. Only Jesus can give you control of your tongue. Only Jesus can help you turn the other cheek. Only Jesus can help you love others as you love yourself.
II. THE KEY TO FINDING PEACE
> Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You.
This means you depend on Christ with your:
> John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believes on Him should not perish but has everlasting life.
> Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
> Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. HEROD DIDN’T