Summary: The problem is that we want Jesus’ peace without recognizing Jesus’ authority in our lives. We want to live our way and escape the negative consequences. We need to surrender to the Prince of Peace in order to experience his blessings.
God has a Christmas gift list for you. It involves four gifts only Jesus can give. God’s Christmas list for you is found in Isaiah 9:6.
A child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)
This is the amazing baby whose parents named Jesus, just as the angel had told them. The royal titles recorded here describe his character and behavior. These four titles – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – make up God’s Christmas gift list for you. Today we will focus on the fourth title.
A child is born to us… [his royal title will be] Prince of Peace….
I’m not the first to notice all the UN-peaceful events on the first Christmas night.
• Mary’s pregnancy before she went on a honeymoon with Joseph
• Traveling by foot, in a wagon or on donkey when nine months pregnant
• Going into labor while Joseph looked for a place to stay in Bethlehem
• All Joseph could find was a smelly, dirty shed for the animals
• Delivering her first baby WITHOUT DRUGS
• Escaping to Egypt only to hear that your neighbors’ little boys, age two and under, slaughtered by King Herod’s men
So where is the peace? Jesus’ conception, birth and early childhood were definitely not peaceful.
How peaceful is your Christmas season?
• Do you feel like your grief has been amplified until it drowns out the carols?
• Are you feeling financial tensions before you buy all the gifts you need to buy?
• Are you dreading the family get-togethers because of the issues that might explode in your faces?
• Have you noticed that you can’t even pull into a store parking lot without someone yelling at you for something?
• Are you actually sitting there thinking about all the stuff that you need to do before Christmas day?
Where is your peace? Can I safely assume your Christmas season is anything but peaceful? Do you feel like this person?
Visual Illustration: happiness.mpg
Key Question: Where is the peace? Why don’t we experience it?
A child is born to us… [His royal title will be] Prince of Peace….
• Prince = the one in charge, lord, chief, general
• Peace = shalom (far more than the absence of tension and conflict, the presence of everything that makes life what God created it to be) rest, tranquility, contentment, blessing, wholeness, completeness
Jesus is the Ruler of rest.
Jesus is the Leader of tranquility.
Jesus is the Chief of contentment.
Jesus is the Boss of blessing.
Jesus is the
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
However, we will not always experience his peace. There are Christians around the world and in this very room who are not experiencing his peace. The problem is that we want the peace without recognizing Jesus’ authority in our lives.
Can a couple dabble in sex outside of marriage and enjoy peace? No. They are doing something outside of the leadership of the Prince of Peace.
Can a couple get in a big fight and call each other names that embarrass their kids, and then experience Jesus’ peace? No. They are living in submission to the Prince of Peace.
Can a person charge up all his or her credit cards spending more money than he or she will make in two years, and then expect to have a peace? No. He or she is outside of the will of the Prince of Peace.
Here is the key to experiencing Jesus’ mind-blowing peace.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
You experience Jesus’ peace only when you submit to the authority of the Prince of Peace. He must be the one in charge in order for you to experience his peace.
Do you want to experience Jesus’ peace? Are you willing to submit to his authority?
The problem is that we want Jesus’ peace without recognizing Jesus’ authority in our lives. We want to live our way and escape the negative consequences. We need to surrender to the Prince of Peace in order to experience his blessings.
• If you long to rest in your spiritual life, surrender to Jesus. Confess your sins and receive his forgiveness.
• If you desire tranquility in the midst of your stress-filled life, submit to Jesus. Do what he says to do. Do not do what he forbids.