MANY PEOPLE WONDER at this season about the Christmas message, “Peace on earth…..” Although we sing and talk about peace our nations are spending much of their energies in wars trying to find peace. There is little or no peace in our nations, in our homes of in our hearts. At this moment, we stand more frustrated more anxious more unsure of our way than we have ever been before.
It used to be that only preachers said these things, but now politicians and philosophers have joined the preachers in declaring that our world is really sick.
Scientists have warned us that self destruction now lies within our reach. We are sick with fear and with gnawing questions for which we can find no solution. We are sick with worry and our hair is turning gray and our stomachs are tied in knots. We are emotionally upset, depressed and discouraged. Where can we find peace? The peace the Christmas angles spoke about—“Peace on earth”?
Peace for the world will be found in the Christ of Christmas. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “His name shall be called Prince of Peace.” In the same sentence the prophet wrote, “and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isa. 9:6).
Appointed to Reign
Jesus Christ was marked from eternity to reign. On the first Christmas He came as the Saviour, born of Mary in Bethlehem. When He comes again He will come as the Sovereign. He came to bear a cross for our redemption, but when He comes again it will be to wear a crown for the world’s restoration. Once He came to be manhandled, then He will come to handle men. Once He came in lowliness, then He will come in glory. Once He came and was crowned with death, then He will come and will be crowned with diadems of all creations.
Jesus shall reign where’re the Sun
Does his successive journeys run:
His kingdom spread from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more
From north to south the princes meet
To pay their homage at His feet;
While western empires own their Lord,
And savage tribes attend His word
The matter of rulership has been the underlying cause of conflict through the ages. Who shall rule in earth? Who shall rule in the hearts of men?
Two of these questions have already been answered. God is ruling in heaven. He does so now. When satan rebelled he was expelled from the courts of heaven. And Jesus said, “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be they name…. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” God’s will is done in heaven. This is a settled matter—God rules in heaven. And God shall rule on the earth. He has given to His Son the right to rule when He comes the second time.
“Out of Zion,” declares the Scriptures, “shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa.2:3,4).
But peace is not due until the Prince of Peace arrives today we beat our plowshares into swords and our pruning hooks into spears—we prepare for war. At that time we shall beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks. We will prepare for peace, for the Prince of Peace will be here.
Jesus Christ is not only appointed to reign on earth but He is also appointed to reign in the hearts of men. Christ did not come to steal away our joy, to work hardship upon us, to make us slaves of fear and men whose hearts are full of misery. He came that He might reign in our hearts and reign there in peace.
My peace I give unto you,” said Jesus. And this is why He came; this is why He wants to rule in our hearts. Not merely to rule so that He might be the Sovereign and make us do His will, but to rule in our hearts to give us peace, to make us joyful happy people. The Bible says, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Neither history nor the Scriptures know anything of peace in the human heart outside of Jesus Christ.
I have heard people say, “I would give my right arm if I could know peace with God and know peace in my own heart. I would just give anything.” Your right arm is not required and it would not suffice any way. Peace comes when Jesus Christ comes to the heart. God marked Him to reign and when He reigns in the heart He reigns in peace.
The Bible says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, who mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3). Let us not make the mistake of trying to find peace somewhere else, or of saying, “I will cover this up, I will hide that, I will try this.” We will never find peace until, by trusting in the Prince of Peace, we allow Him to reign in our hearts. This is God’s remedy for a guilt complex and for all other problems of heart.
If we have invited Jesus Christ to come in and reign in our hearts then we are really His.
Have we had enough of the spirit of hate, fear, contention, backbiting and bitterness? Do we go to church and sing without joy the songs of life, while deep in our hearts we know that we have never accepted His invitation to come unto Him and live?
Attainments Without Peace.
Culture will not satisfy the restless heart. Men of culture commit suicide every day. The church will not give us peace, and I believe in the church with all of my heart. But we can go to church forever and sing its songs and go through all the religious rites and still not find peace. The church was not crucified for us. It did not shed its blood as a sinless sacrifice that we might be redeemed from sin. Jesus did that. Nothing else and no one else can bring peace into the human heart. The prophet warned, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. But the wicked are like the troubled see, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isa. 57).
Sometimes we think that talent will bring everything our way, but we may have a lot of talent and still have no peace. Sometimes it is our abounding energy that keeps us so busy that we have no time to think of our hearts, our souls, our steps shorten. The way grows steps, and then we die to face God and eternity—still without peace.
Peace was the promise of the angels at Christ’s birth. As the Prince of Peace He came to bring men peace with God, and the daily experience of peace of heart. Only those who accept Christ as their Saviour find peace with God and it is necessary to yield to Christ as the ruler of our lives in order to experience daily peace of heart. END