Tag Archives: peace on earth

What in the World is a Peacemaker?

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9 NASB)

What in the world is a peacemaker? Jesus said that the peacemakers shall be called sons of God, and as the only begotten Son of God, and the Prince of Peace, He must have been a peacemaker, right? For the commands He gave to us, and the lessons He taught, He demonstrated in His own life. Let us therefore examine Jesus’ life and discover how we, too, can become sons of God.

Jesus was and is the Prince of Peace. Throughout the scriptures, we see that He repeatedly spoke of peace, and yet He had many enemies, who wanted nothing more than to destroy Him, from the time of His birth. So the peace He was speaking of, obviously had nothing to do with whether or not we have enemies.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27 NASB)

Indeed, Jesus warned us in Matthew 10:34-42, that He didn’t come to bring peace on earth, but a sword. He said that He came to set families against one another. That doesn’t sound very peaceful, does it?

I remember when I was first saved as a child of around eleven or twelve years old. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents the good news. I was sure they would be proud and happy for me. As soon as I jumped off the church bus, I hit the ground at a run, delighted to share the wonderful news of my salvation with my mommy and daddy.

Yet, their response to this good news wasn’t what I expected. Instead of rejoicing, they were angry at me and at the church bus captains that they sent me to church with every week. I was told that if I was going to turn into a holy roller, like my church bus leaders, I wouldn’t be allowed to go to church with them anymore, did I understand? I didn’t understand, but I promised to obey them. I couldn’t bear the thought of not being allowed to go to church anymore. So, I began to read my bible in secret, and I didn’t talk to them about my relationship with Jesus for many years.

I didn’t understand their reaction back then. I was heartbroken, and sure I had done something wrong. Maybe they reacted like that because I didn’t know enough to share the good news about Jesus. There was one thing I was certain of though. I knew that Jesus was and is the Son of God, and though it would have made my parents cringe, I knew that I wanted to be like my church bus captains, who loved the Lord and served Him so joyfully. They truly lived according to His ways, and I wanted to live like that too.

Beloved reader, my relationship with Jesus did not bring me peace with my family. It drove a wedge between us. There was much conflict between me and my parents throughout the years, and they often seemed to hate my faith.

34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.

35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36     Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ (Matthew 10:34-36 NLT)

So, if Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the One who blessed the peacemakers and said that these would be called the sons of God, didn’t come to bring peace on earth, what kind of peace was He talking about? I know without doubt that Jesus walked the walk He proclaimed, so there must be an answer to this, right? Why did He come?

1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for usBecause of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:1-11 NLT)

Beloved reader, rejoice with me, for the answer to our question is found in this scripture passage. Jesus didn’t come to bring peace on earth. He came to bring us peace with God! Do you want to be a son of God? Then work to bring others to peace with God. It is both as difficult and simple as that.

Don’t get it twisted. Even though you may be attacked at every side, and even though you are surrounded by enemies, our goal is not to be at peace with the world. Our goal is to love our enemies, even though it goes against everything we’ve been taught by the world, and seek to help them make peace with God. Keep your mind fixed on God, and don’t allow the troubles of this world to cause you to lose focus…

You will keep in perfect peace
   all who trust in You,
   all whose thoughts are fixed on You! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)

Do you want to be called a son of God? Then beloved, stop seeking your peace in this world. True peace comes from knowing and loving God. True peacemakers share the peace that God has given them, with others. True peacemakers don’t lose focus of this goal…

Do you long for peace? Seek the Lord with all your heart. Trust in Him, and no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, don’t lose focus of the One who loves you with an everlasting love. While you may never have peace even in your own household, true peace comes from your relationship with God.

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9 NLT)

© 2019
Cheryl A. Showers

Imagine the Angels…

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a Baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

    “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:9-14 NLT)

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/motions/16159/Angel-And-Shepherds-Loop
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/motions/16159/Angel-And-Shepherds-Loop

Do you ever think about how the angels must have felt on that first Christmas evening, so long ago? I do. Think about it with me and dream about what it must have been like to be an angel on that wonderful evening so many years ago…

Imagine living in heaven with Elohim, Almighty God, Maker of the heavens and the earth, God the Father, in all of the splendor of heaven. Every day of your life, since the time you were created, long before the earth and all that is in it was created, you stand in the presence of Almighty God. You not only call heaven your home, you have the honor and the privilege of standing in the presence of God. Can you see it?

Just imagine, You have seen and bear witness to Holy Spirit, as He hovered over the deep. You were there, as His breath was breathed into mankind, a curious being, created in the very image of God. You have beheld His glory, when He would fall upon the prophets of old, equipping them with power to speak the Word of the Lord in the midst of trials, tribulation and circumstances of great joy. You were there to observe Holy Spirit as He descended from heaven like a dove and lit upon Jesus. Do you see the image in your mind?

http://kidsworldag.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-characters-shepherds.html
http://kidsworldag.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-characters-shepherds.html

As Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, King of glory, was with His Father, while Holy Spirit hovered over the deep, you were there to see Him, the Word of the Lord, there in the beginning, going forth and creating. You watch as He even now, holds all of creation together.

Since the instant you were created, who knows how long ago, you have witnessed Almighty God, in all of His glory and magnificence. You are blessed to hear His voice as it thunders across the sky. You are honored to hear as He speaks in His still, small voice. You were present at the rebellious outrage of Lucifer and 1/3 of your fellow angels. You saw with your own eyes, how the Almighty God cast them out of heaven and threw them to the earth below, causing mass destruction.

You watched in consternation as God has allowed Satan to prowl about the earth, like a roaring lion, seeking to destroy all of mankind and the earth as well. You watched in alarm, as Adam and Eve sinned against the Almighty, and you witnessed the Lord’s response to them. Were you surprised that He showed such mercy to them?

And, when the Lord chose Gabriel from among you, to deliver two separate messages, to two different people about the appearance of the Son of God, were you bewildered, or were you not informed of this mission until later? When Holy Spirit came upon Mary, overshadowing her in His presence, did you watch in wonder, as this meager peasant girl was granted an honor that no one else in all of eternity would ever experience before or again?

When Jesus stripped Himself of His heavenly garments, and clothed Himself in the frail flesh of humanity, were you confused? As you watched Him lay aside all of His heavenly privileges as the Holy One, the Son of God, and allow Himself to be carried in the womb of that peasant girl, were you curious to know what was going on? As you watched the girl’s perilous journey to Bethlehem with her betrothed, did you stand ready to leap to their defense for the sake of the One who was carried in her womb?

http://www.radical.net/blog/category/christmasadvent/
http://www.radical.net/blog/category/christmasadvent/

As the King of kings made His entrance into the world on that first Christmas, borne into the squalor of a filthy stable, were you amazed? And when the Lord commanded you to go forth and deliver the good news to the lowly shepherds who were in the field that night, were you perhaps just as awe-struck as they were? Did your heart pound with joy and wonder as you too, beheld the newborn King who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid to rest in a manger of straw?

Do you try to puzzle in your mind what the Lord’s plan is as you see the Ancient of Days, crying helplessly, as the girl gently lifts Him, kissing His holy face before nuzzling Him against her breast, feeding and sustaining the very One who gave her life and sustains her? Is it possible that you have not been informed about what God’s majestic plan is? Could it be that you don’t yet know of the suffering in store for this infant King?

Do you understand that this, not the presents, the commercialism, Santa Claus and all the other hype, is what Christmas is about? As people bustle about giving glory to themselves, their families, the merchants and the things that they receive on Christmas, do you give glory to the One whose birth is to be celebrated on this day?

While still others try to deify the angels who were merely witnesses to this miraculous event, rather than the Holy One who gave His One and Only Son as the perfect Christmas gift, do you honor Him? Are you aware that this glorious gift of salvation from God is so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. (1 Peter 1:12 NLT)

This Christmas, let’s give glory to God with the angels, as we rejoice in the gift of Jesus Christ, Messiah, Son of the Living God, the Word of God, the Light of the World, King of kings and Lord of lords, Lamb of God, Lord and Savior!

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize Him: You will find a Baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this Child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished… (Luke 2:8-18 NLT)

http://creationrevolution.com/2011/12/the-angelic-proclamation-to-the-shepherds-2/
http://creationrevolution.com/2011/12/the-angelic-proclamation-to-the-shepherds-2/

Can you picture it? Some shepherds were out in the field one night, doing what shepherds do. When they got ready for work that morning, they weren’t expecting anything unusual. They had a job to do, much like each one of us has a job to do each day, whether we work outside the home or not. I imagine they woke up just like they did everyday, and made sure they had enough food, and enough clothing to keep them from getting cold, when the chill of the night set in.

When they got to work that day, they counted their sheep, to make sure that they were all there. If one sheep was missing that day, its shepherd would have gone to find it and bring it back to the rest of the flock. The shepherds guarded their flocks at night, protecting their sheep from the attacks of wolves and lions and other predators. Sometimes theirs was a tedious, thankless job, but it was how they made a living, and so they stuck to their job. Thus, while others were at home sleeping on that night so long ago, the shepherds were awake, in the fields, protecting their sheep.

Don’t you find it interesting that the first ones to receive the birth announcement of Messiah were the shepherds? Have you ever really thought about it? Just think about the awesomeness of this… The first ones to be informed of the Good Shepherd‘s birth were shepherds. Did you catch that? I’ll say it again… The first ones to be informed of the Good Shepherd’s arrival were the shepherds.

There is something so profound in this… What do shepherds do? They protect their flock. What did Jesus come to do? He came to protect His flock. “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11 NLT)

What do shepherds do when one of their sheep wanders away? They go and search for that sheep until they find it, then bring it back home to safety. What did Jesus say He came to do?  “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV)

The shepherds have a personal relationship with their sheep. Messiah came to have a personal relationship with us. For a shepherd enters through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep hear His voice and come to Him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they recognize His voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t recognize his voice.” (John 10:2-5 NLT)

Don’t you find it utterly important that God sent the angels to reveal Messiah’s advent, the coming of the Good Shepherd, to the shepherds watching their flocks that night?

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
“Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind,
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.”
“To you, in David’s town this day,
Is born of David’s line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord,
And this shall be the sign:
The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
And in a manger laid.
“Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God and thus
Addressed their joyful song:
“All glory be to God on high
And on the earth be peace,
Goodwill henceforth from heaven to men
Begin and never cease.”

(Nahum Tate (1652-1715), ca. 1700)

Related articles