12 Days of Christmas Devotions: Day Five

This Christmas FiG is helping you to keep yourself focused upon Christ in this busy season where we celebrate our saviour's birth. The fifth day is brought to you by Rob Chamberlain.

Peace On Earth?

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.

It's a classic Christmas slogan, emblazoned across Christmas cards and Christmas song lyrics. But is it really an appropriate saying? After all, the last 2000 years since the birth of Christ have been no more peaceful than the previous thousands of years since mankind first rebelled against the Lordship of God. That is the crux of the world's conflicts- we're enemies of God and at enmity with one another. If "shalom", holistic peace looks like the love of God and of other people, then the opposite of peace on earth is the hatred of God and of other people that so often defines our sad world.

In context, the angels declared to the shepherds "peace on earth to those on whom God's favour rests". So Jesus' birthday didn't usher in an unconditional global peace (evidently), but began a process that would lead to the reconciliation of favoured sinners with a holy God. The peace the angels declared wasn't a political truce between God and mankind, but the ushering in of God's Kingdom in the hearts of all who acknowledge that "Jesus is King". The peace that Jesus brings to His favoured ones doesn't fast track us to paradise. As Jesus Himself said, "do not think I have come to bring peace on earth, but a sword"- speaking of the divisiveness of His message and the persecution that plagues His people to this day.

When Jesus first came, it was as the Prince of Peace who saves His people. Sadly, the prince of this world continues to war against the people of God, until the return of the King to judge the world and usher in everlasting peace. If Christ's first advent was like D day, the beginning of the end for the devil; His second advent will be victory day when peace is established on earth forever whilst all that is unrepentantly hateful. So, are you at peace with the Bethlehem born King of kings? If so, rejoice! If not, make your peace with Him before the return of the King! Cry out to Him to favour you with His peace, that transcends all that life can throw at you.

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