Summary: The whole world, it seems, is in turmoil. Well, let it be so; but, I need peace. Jesus is the only One who has ever brought peace to my life, and so He is the One whom I shall follow, adore, and worship.
"Peace--I Need It, I Want It, God Desires Me to Have It"
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: Luke 1:67-80, KJV
Purpose: The whole world, it seems, is in turmoil. Well, let it be so; but, I need peace. Jesus is the only One who has ever brought peace to my life, and so He is the One whom I shall follow, adore, and worship.
I don’t suppose I have ever been much of a materialist. Things, material things, do have their place in my life; but I know that "things" cannot make my life truly better. The old pop song rang out, "Can’t buy me love, no!"
What has always been important for me, and is becoming increasingly valuable to me is this: PEACE.
* I need peace: suffering through another few decades of life without peace seems an intolerable proposition. Even the Christian life needs peace.
* I want peace: who desires a life where there is no peace?
* God in Christ desires for me to have peace: that is the Christmas story, namely, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men," (Luke 2:14).
But what about peace? What about good will toward men? I can’t say that the world knows these godly things. But I can say with absolute surety: I know these things; and I want more and more peace. God approves.
Our Scripture is the last paragraph of Luke chapter one, specifically, verses 67-80, as follows:
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying:
68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, 69 and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; 70 as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; 73 the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, 74 that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life."
76 "And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; 77 to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.
THE NEED FOR PEACE
So many people are looking for peace. Isn’t it true?
The World Needs Peace
Who would deny that the world needs peace? In today’s situation, we in America are fighting because of the terrorist acts on New York and the Pentagon and also in Pennsylvania. Fighting is definitely not peaceful, but we do it so that in future we shall have peace. That’s the hope.
But for now, peace is not everywhere. It never has been everywhere.
Just last week (December 7, 2001) we all remembered the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It has been 60 years since that awful day. Peace did not follow that horrible incident; not until thousands of men died fighting a bloody war.
==> No peace. We knew, though, that we needed peace.
Christians Looking for Peace
Even in church, Christian people sometimes forget about the tremendous peace that comes with salvation in Christ Jesus. I’m trusting here that you have known "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding," (see Philippians 4:7). We Christians have all sought Jesus because we knew that OUR LIVES WERE NOT IN PEACE. We need peace.
You wouldn’t think that Christians would suffer so much, but they do. We do. And the sufferings we must endure now sometimes overwhelm us to the point that we simply lose the peace that Jesus has given to us.
In fact, over the past few years it has become clearly evident to me that peace is in short supply in church folk. And there is such a need for peace.
==> Where do we find that peace? Simply, we find peace in the words of Jesus:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)