Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

We all want peace this time of year – We want peace all the time.

All beauty queens want world peace.

 

Most people believe that Jesus wanted world peace and as Christians we should promote world peace.

World peace is not going to happen.

 

Isn’t that what the angels said, World Peace on earth. – Not quite

 

Luke 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (KJV)

 

What does this passage mean?  What were the angels saying?

Many say Peace on Earth during the Christmas holiday to mean – remember the people we should be, put aside our conflicts, and give of ourselves to each other – that is what Jesus did, Jesus is the symbol of kindness and peace.

 

Jesus is not just a symbol of kindness and peace, He is kindness – He is peace – He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

 

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

Since Jesus is peace why isn’t there peace on earth.  Did the angels lie to the shepherds?

No, we have have allowed society to interpret the meaning of “on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

I guess it is easier to say, Peace on earth than to say on earth peace.  That is why Charles Wesley in 1739 wrote:

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” – Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”

 

That’s it, that is the meaning of Peace on earth; God and sinners reconciled.

 

Luke 2:8  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

 

God’s good will toward man has come in the form of a baby – God’s  grace is Jesus being born in human form and dying on the cross to save us from our sin.

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

Where does God’s favor rest?  His favor rests on those who follow Him.

There is no peace outside of Jesus..

Bumper stickers say, Know Jesus, Know Peace, No Jesus, No Peace

 

This is not a symbol of Peace

If we think this is a peace symbol we are mistaken, it is a Nuclear Disarmement symbol.

Gerald Herbert Holtom (1914 – 1985) created this symbol on February 21, 1958 for the British nuclear disarmament movement and then Bentard Russell a communist brought to America for the same reason.

The broken upside down cross means death.  It has been a symbol of death since Nero in the AD 60’s.

A broken cross wrapped with a circle  – the circle means a protection boundary

The Nazi’s used it and so have Muslims to show their hatred for Christians

 

 

Real peace comes only from relationship with the Prince of Peace not disarming nations or individuals.

 

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Peace comes from God as we trust in Him.

 

Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do you want peace or do you want to remain in turmoil?  It is your choice. Rejoice – do not be anxious!

 

What benefit is there in worrying and being anxious?

Luke 12:24  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

 

Don’t worry be happy!  Rejoice and find the peace of God.

 

How can I find peace and rejoice – Paul tells us.

  1. Prayer. Paul says, in verse 6, but in everything, by prayer and petition,

Whatever is bothering us, we need to take it to the Lord in prayer. Whatever we are facing that gives us cause for mental or emotional turmoil we need to bring it to the Lord’s attention. We do not need to be bashful about bringing any troubling matter to Him, however great or small. If it brings concern to us, it is a matter of concern to Him because He wants us to be at peace. We don’t have to be shy about pouring our heart out to Him, Peter reminds us – “He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) God is interested in the big things in our life and the small things in our life. Nothing is too trivial to discuss when you approach the “the throne of grace.” (Hebrews 4:16) Paul says, “present your requests to God.”

How would you like your situation to be? What changes would you like to see in your circumstances or in the circumstances of others? What would you like for God to do?

Present that request in the name of Jesus and according to His will – That His will be done.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray continually”

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

 

Pray and remember who you are talking to – the Creator of the Universe.

Ephesians 3:20  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

God wants you to talk with Him.  As you give your requests to Him (let Him keep them and deal with them) you can rest.  You can wait and watch what He is going to do according to His will.

It is kind of like delegating a project to a reliable person.  Delegate you problems to God and know that He will take care of you. 2. Thanksgiving. The second key to finding God’s peace is also found in verse 6. Paul says that we are to submit our requests along “with thanksgiving.” Too many times, when we are full of worry, we fail to count our blessings. We fail to acknowledge how good God has been to us already. We need to reflect upon how God has faithfully brought us to the present moment and thank Him for His past care. Think of what He has brought you through.

 

Psalm 118:29 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His loving-kindness is everlasting.”
Do not only give thanks who what He has done but give thanks for who He is.

 

As we pray and give thanks then we will expericence the peace of God.

 

Philippians 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

That peace will guard our hearts from more worry.  The peace of God will act like a soldier on guard to protect our heart and mind. It will not allow anxiety or fear to sneak back in. The peace of God is stronger than the worry and fear of the flesh.

  1. Dwell on the Positive. Paul continues and gives us a third key for finding God’s peace.

 

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

 

I tend to believe that this is the key to our having peace of mind where we fail most. Too often we allow our minds to dwell on the negatives in our lives instead of the positives. We are quite adept to seeing our glass as half empty rather than half full. Every child of God needs to learn Pollyanna‘s “Glad Game.”  The “Glad Game” is to find something to be glad about rather than finding something to be sad about. Everyone can find a silver lining in even the darkest cloud.

This is especially so with we Christians!

With God being with us, for us and working in our lives, we should be the most optimistic and positive people on planet Earth. 4. Obedience to God’s Word.  The fourth key is found in verse 9.

 

Philippians 4:9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

Obey God’s word and the example it sets for our daily lives.

When people are in sin and in rebellion against God and His Word they do not have peace.

 

Do you want the peace of God or turmoil?

If you want peace then pray, give God thanks, focus on the positives, and obey God’s Word.

 

Then you will hear what the apostles heard Jesus say,

 

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

If you have never committed you life to Jesus then come today:

Come Believing that Jesus is the Savior of the World

Come Repenting of your sins

Come willing to be baptized into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit

Then you will be able to experience the Peace of God.

 

Come as we sing!