Advent: We Enjoy Peace!

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Colossians 1:19-20

We learned in our Bible Project Reading Plan that the original Hebrew translation for ‘peace’ means completeness, wholeness, and restoration.  So as we savor that definition, desiring for that kind of peace in our lives, we choose hope as we look forward to Christ’s return and our eternity with Him.  Yet what does peace look like right now as we celebrate Christmas? And how we can enjoy His peace in the present?

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 us. Because 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.

Romans 5:1-2

For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.

Ephesians 2:14

Jesus came to bring peace . . . to bring completeness, wholeness, and restoration.  He came to give life to the fullest!  And while we value and cling to His teaching, it was through His sacrifice that true peace can be enjoyed.  He died so we can live in His complete, whole, and restored peace!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

Our response to His life, death, and resurrection must reflect this sacrifice to experience and enjoy His peace. When we don’t feel His true peace, there might just be something we need to surrender ourselves. I love how Alisa Keeton addresses this personal sacrifice, or burning fire, inside each of us in the podcast episode about enjoying peace. Click HERE to listen while you walk, bike, or clean your house.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. 

Matthew 10:39-40

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

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

Philippians 4:4-9

The Bible passages here shed light on this continual, sacrificial fire burning within us that allows us to enjoy His peace.  We give the Lord our worries, fears, comforts, pains, areas of control, idols . . . even marriages and families. We must surrender our lives to receive Jesus’ peace, practice this peace as a living sacrifice, and enjoy peace fully and completely under the reign of our Prince of Peace, trusting in His restoration of all things!

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

Isaiah 58:11-12

Ask the Holy Spirit what you need to surrender and lay on the alter to enjoy His true peace this Advent . . . then do it. Through this sacrifice, your fire will burn even brighter and you will enjoy His peace!

I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:25-27

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