Summary: In these days of conflict, unrest, and stress, God gives us his plan for peace.
God's Peace Plan
Christmas celebrates the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. However, in 3530
years of recorded history there have only been 286 years of peace, representing only 8
percent of the time. During that time, 8000 peace treaties have been broken. However,
God has a peace plan for us that will never be broken.
I GOD'S PEACE TO US
God's will for us was always for peace. In Isaiah 11, the prophet pictures a time of
peace where wild animals lie peacefully together with a small child lying near them.
This is a description of a future time called the peaceable kingdom under the rule of a
king who will establish peace. The implication is that God desires peace, despite all the
wars and violent conquests he ordained to fulfill his purpose of a promise land for the
Despite this, the fact remains that there is little real peace in our lives. Our daily
activities of commuting to work, stress on the job, tensions at home and other demands
leave little time for peaceful moments. The song which says "what this world needs is
love" could be changed to "what this world needs is peace."
However, in the midst of all of this confusion, God comes to offer us peace through
salvation in Jesus Christ. Peace comes through knowing that our sins are forgiven and
we have eternal life. Other benefits we have include:
a.Peace in being accepted by Christ. Ephesians: 1:6
b.Peace through the gift of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6: 19
c.Peace through the safety of Christ. John 10: 27-33
d.Peace of needs supplied. Matthew 6:3.
II GOD'S PEACE IN US
The best way to feel God's peace in us is to practice the presence of God. When we
practice the presence of God, we can feel his peace within us. The most famous person
who practiced the presence of God was Brother Lawrence, a priest of long ago, who
experienced God's presence while working in the kitchen of the monastery. Few people
can experience God like Lawrence did. We can experience God's presence through
prayer, Bible study, meditation, singing, and other ways. Lectio Divina has become
popular lately, involving reading scripture, meditation, contemplation, prayer, as a way of
drawing closer to God. Some people, following the Biblical advice of praying without
ceasing, form the habit of speaking a verse or a phrase such as "Jesus loves me"
frequently through the day. The goal is to keep our minds more focused on God during
the day. Some ways of feeling peace within include:
a.a restful mind. Philippians 4:7
b.an untroubled heart. John 14:27
c. a feeling of hope Romans 15:13
d.new courage John 16:33
e.less anxiety Philippians 4:6, 7
III GOD'S PEACE SHARED WITH OTHERS BY US
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus said" blessed are the peacemakers." After we have received the
peace of God and experienced it within, we share that peace with others. Romans 15:5
states that we are to live in harmony with each other. A peacemaker shares peace with
others and seeks to bring peace to situations. We as peacemakers should be humble
and not proud. We should not seek to control others. We should be open to meeting
people of different races or religions. In Romans 15, Paul speaks of the openness of
Jews to Gentiles.
Romans 12:18 implores us to live peacefully with others as we are able or as much as is
possible. We should be open to the opinion of others, but not necessarily change ours.
We must admit that some situations will be difficult. We should learn to disagree
agreeably. I remember a meeting at my home church years ago when there was a rather
contentious discussion. After the meeting as the members were going out, one
gentlemen called out, "Don't go away mad!"
On some occasions, we will have to swallow our pride and ignore some things. At one
time, I had a daughter-in law who insisted on calling me" Rev Dr". I did not like it
because it appeared so impersonal. One time I had enough of it and told her how I felt
about it. She replied, "All right, I'm not going to call you anything." Our relationship was
never the same after that. Sometimes, we have to overlook the little things. She said
she called me that out of respect. Someone said not to sweat the small stuff. It really
was not that important what she called me. At times we have to overlook things for the
sake of peace.
Peacemaking can be important in the family. My wife is good at peacemaking and
sometimes has to patch things up between her son and his aunt.
When we have received the peace of God, accepted peace of God within, and shared