Summary: This series is modified from Rick Warren's The Purpose of Christmas
A TIME TO BE RECONCILED
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Does anyone know the number of wars that have occurred over time? Yea, me either. Does anyone know how many wars are happening as we speak? TELL YOUR NEIGHBOR, “TOO MANY”. That is one thing that people are good at: NOT GETTING ALONG. We once thought that education was the solution. If we could educate the whole world then there would be peace. Then we had WWI and WWII. The most educated countries in the world were at war. And what did we learn? Education does not create peace. It creates a better way to kill another person. Think about it: prisons are filled with overly intelligent people. Education is not the answer. I submit to you the answer: RECONCILIATION!
A survey was completed. The question: Where would you like peace this year?
· I would like peace with my parents, my ex, and my kids.
· I’d like to see the end of the political bickering.
· I need peace in my mind and heart.
· A peaceful neighborhood.
· If people were more peaceful maybe they wouldn’t be so rude.
· Honestly, if we don’t find peace soon, my marriage will be over.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you find yourself experiencing one of these categories. If so, here is the answer. Reconciliation: it restores peace. It defuses conflict and turns chaos into calmness. It is the powerful miracle cure for broken relationships, lives and hearts. Reconciliation quiets quarrels and swaps stress for God’s serenity. It turns tension into tranquility. AND HERE IS THE FORMULA!!!! PEACE WITH GOD; PEACE OF GOD; AND PEACE WITH OTHERS.
READ AND PRAY
· PEACE WITH GOD.
Peace is attainable. “Good will toward men” is possible in spite of a culture that is cynical, sarcastic, and demeaning. The genesis is SURRENDER. We need to understand the two causes of conflict.
SELFCENTEREDNESS: What happens when I want everything my way, and you want everything your way? What happens when my agenda clashes with you agenda? War unless one of us is willing to compromise out of love.
Listen to Prov 13:10 10 By pride comes nothing but strife,
Here is the second cause. I will often council couples that are considering marriage, “Don’t expect so and so to meet certain needs that only God can meet.” NO HUMAN BEING CAN FULLY MEET ALL OF YOUR NEEDS! Instead of complaining about your unmet expectations, instead of battling it out, the Bible says to ask God instead: Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. James 4:1-2
At a stress management seminar, the instructor gave several suggestions for managing stress. One was “unload your stress by telling it to an unconditional listener.” Then he quickly added, “The best way to do this is talk to your pet. Can you imagine paying someone to tell you this? Can you imagine having a heart to heart with you hamster? Pets are great, but they cannot help you manage or resolve the conflicts in your life. But Jesus can and does!!! Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 5:1
What we forget is that when we the life that God has given us our way instead of God’s way then we are in immediate conflict with God. We then are at war with God. Here are some symptoms of being at war with God: IRRITABILITY, QUICK TEMPER, INSECURITY, IMPATIENCE, MANIPULATION, ARROGANCE, BOASTING, HOLDING GRUDGES, and many others that the Bible refers to as the “works of the flesh.”
However when we have peace with God, we experience: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. The Bible refers to these as the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.