Are You Letting Peace Rule?
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful" Colossians 3:15
Around the world, the star is a common decoration for most Christmas trees. Whether it's on the top or snuggled descreetly between the branches, a star remains one of the most recognizable symbols of Christmas. Of course, that's because the star is closely associated with the birth of Jesus. The Wise Men saw His star from the east and followed it to see and worship the child.
The imagery speaks to the purpose of the Christ. He is the light of salvation that shines in a dark world. His presence illuminates hearts and motives, showing us the good and bad within us. As the close of November draws near, this seems like a good time to recenter our thoughts on the perfect lamb of God.
As we fill our hearts with thankfulness, what better time to focus on Jesus? His sacrifice on the cross holds the power to set us free from sin and all unrighteous thinking. His Holy Spirit in our hearts makes intercession for us - even when we don't know how to pray. It's easy to love a God like that.
One of the great lessons of Christmas is the peace which Jesus can bring to a believer, to our families, and to the world around us. Scripture tells us that the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. There is a catch. God's peace will give us a dependable hiding place if, and it's a big if, if we keep our mind stayed on Christ. This implies an admission of need from us. As we yield to His authority, we find peace with God.
In the egalitarian culture of 21st Century America, an accurate understanding of authority is rare. Dictionary.com defines authority as "the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine." In our culture, many forces have conspired to teach us to reject authority. Whether well-intentioned or not, there is a huge penalty for any people who forget the importance of authority well used.The problem with rejecting authority: it opens us to many invaders.
Self-will: The golden rule teaches us to love others as we love ourselves by doing to others as we would have them do unto us. Selfishness claims our own rights ahead of everyone around us. No matter how we clothe our self-centered desires, they sabotage our lives and happiness on many fronts.
Rebelliousness: Societies and individuals need governance. Our fallen nature and fallen world are the result of people thinking their ideas were superior to God's plan. From the beginning, God intended man to turn to Him for structure, stability, wisdom, and guidance. As we reject His authority, we embrace rebellion which leads to estrangement from others, including God.
Injustice: As much as a mob in the streets can clamor for justice, the mob's actions argue for the opposite. Rioting causes damage to many innocent people who run businesses, were just on-lookers, or who inadvertently turned down the wrong street. Increasing anarchy doesn't increase justice because it rejects the authority that can correct injustice. The same is true in our personal lives. We can't reject God's authority, or that of the Government, and expect to prosper. Favor comes with submission to authority and entreating those who rule over us to better behavior.
Most of us would welcome a time of personal peace, regardless of what evil the world is getting into in the days of ahead. Fortunately, that is an option. Jesus came to grant us eternal peace through His shed blood. As we yield the authority over our lives to Him, He will make all things new. As we embrace Him as the rightful ruler in our lives, he will provide all of the benefits of authority - bringing order to our chaos, adudicating our disputes, exercising jurisdiction over our affairs, controling our destiny, and commanding demons to flee from our path.
In the days just ahead, I wish you a peaceful life, contentment in the Holy Spirit, and joy enough to share. Most of all I wish you the will to surrender your life to His love. With Him, we all can have a very merry and peaceful Christmas.
Books make great gifts for any time of the year. It's an easy way to give a friend or relative hours of fun at a relatively low cost. Below are several of my books and a little hint about who might enjoy them.
A Baby's Right to Choose is a mystery wrapped around a strong pro-life message. Great for the person of faith who enjoys Suspense/Mystery. Click here or on the picture to learn more.
Exercise Your Faith is a Non-fiction book for men about the lies that can derail a life. It's great advice for men and even teens. Lots of frank talk about temptations, pitfalls, and Jesus: the way out of our self-induced difficulties. Click here or on the cover to learn more.
The Accidental Missionary is filled with stories of the missionary life of David Bredeman. His perspective is relatable, funny, and uplifting. Great for anyone, his story of an unlikely calling, a long courtship, and a beautiful marriage will warm even the most jaded heart. Click here or on the cover to learn more.