Peace comes at Christmas because the Prince of Peace has come to earth. I know, for some, experiencing peace is an unfulfilled desire. It seems like all this talk about peace is a big fat lie. I get it, I have been there.
Peace is a promise and peace is real. The problem is, we believe that peace can be obtained with practical application or experienced externally in our environment. Peace is internal. It is possible to be in the midst of total chaos and feel at peace. The presence of the Prince of Peace is on the inside.
Jesus keeps us in perfect peace when we think about Him. You might wonder how that could possibly be. The thing is this: Jesus is God represented in human form. Think of it as meditation. You can access peace in chaos when you meditate on the highest power… God with us. It is possible if you choose to disengage for a moment to remember, the season is simple and the expectation is about someone else. Not what you are to obtain or produce. It is the simple celebration of God with us.
When you feel the chaos of the times, search inside for peace. That is where it lives. It cannot be manufactured anywhere except through the presence of sweet Jesus. He’s there, just say His name.
I woke up with this song in my head, Baby Boy by for King & Country. As I read the lyrics, I found something beautiful. The simplicity of Jesus’ birth and why it will be celebrated eternally. In a time of hustle and bustle, the truth of our celebration is grounded by a humble beginning.
Our Savior, this baby boy was born in a barn and laid in a manger. A King was born who would never wear a crown on earth. As we decorate and desire things of beauty, design to attract and lure, I wonder what would happen if we put that stuff aside. Can we believe that a simple manger was good enough for God with us? Could understanding Jesus’ humble beginnings stave off the holiday anxiety and stress? Would this help us lay aside all of the striving to create something temporary and replace it with something permanent? Jesus came to give us abundant life, eternal life. Christmas should be a time where we experience the reality of what the birth of Jesus really means.
As the trumpets sound in heaven, as we begin to anticipate, remember that Jesus’ birth was simple and understated. The meaning behind his life was powerful and exciting. It is everlasting. His birth meant something and yet His birth was quiet and hidden. Be excited! Celebrate! But use it to create something that lasts because the ultimate reason to celebrate is that this baby boy came to give us eternal life.
I am starting to understand something about Christmas. There is an element of anticipation. It’s about the build up to THE DAY! The day we celebrate the birth of a newborn king.
The Prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus’ birth. This prophecy created anticipation of the coming Messiah. God designed this season to be one of anticipation because he foretold our Savior from Genesis to Malachi. The birth of the Messiah was truly something to anticipate and celebrate.
I remember celebrating Christmas because it’s just what you do. There was no meaning attached to it except for the family traditions and gifts. For some, that’s enough. As an adult it left me depressed and cynical. It all seemed overrated and underwhelming.
Now that I understand Jesus is the reason for the season, I anticipate. I get the symbolism, I understand the songs, and I experience all the words and wonder of Christmas. Keeping my eyes on the reason creates the season. Love came down on Christmas Day. Real love came to earth to live among mankind.
Do you trust God? I think trusting God has a lot to do with renewing your mind. I found out the hard way that lasting life change can only come from God.
In order to receive the change God has for you, you have to trust Him. Christians hear all of the time that God is faithful, God is in control, God keeps all His promises. When you are new in Christ, those statements can seem underwhelming. God hasn’t had the opportunity to show up yet.
As a relatively new Christian, community has been important in showing me the truth of trusting God. That He is faithful. The stories I have heard from long time Christians who have endured tremendous trials and have remained faithful, with answered prayer or not, prove to me a faithful God.
Testimony is huge for newbies like me. I want to know why your faith endures. I love hearing where God showed up. I want to know your Jesus story. It builds my faith! It builds the faith of anyone who hears. Testimonies show that we can trust the Lord and be okay if we don’t understand.
Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming in church? The pastor is preaching some not so interesting stuff and you disengage because what is going on in your head is entertaining? Well, if you haven’t, I guess you’ve been perfected! 😄 God’s still working on me.
Hundreds of things go through our minds a day. Some worthy, some not so worthy, of our time. Taking our thoughts captive is a discipline. You have to catch yourself in the act of thinking to take a thought captive.
Some thoughts can be fleeting some stick around for a while. Those ones that stick around, do they line up with the Truth? Truth sets us free, lies keep us bound up. Learning the Truth requires the Word. Jump into the Bible when your thought life needs some truth talk. There, you will find freedom.
Have you ever thought that some of the things you say to yourself in your mind sound pretty awful? I remember when I was new in Christ, God showed me through a book called A Woman After God’s Own Heart that my inner dialog was a mess. See, I used to be super negative. Something or someone was always against me. No one had my best interest in mind but me. I was one of those people who believed no one was trustworthy.
How do you experience people who are negative, cynical, and untrusting? It might be okay if it includes some comedy but after a while it makes you want to stay away from them. Being around positive and encouraging people builds us up and we want to be around them. So, if Christians are supposed to be ministering to the world to display the love of Christ, which attitude would you think bears fruit for God?
If we transfer a negative belief system and lack of trust onto God, faith can remain distant and cold. The truth is that God wants to renew our minds to think the way he does. This is for our good and produces a fruitful life.
What do you think of this scripture? What space do we stay in so that we don’t stumble? Confirming and validating your salvation, that you are His.
Have you thanked God for your salvation lately? Truly I tell you, it’s a good thing. No pun intended. Go ahead, say it…”Thank you God for saving me. Thank you that I am yours!” Does that free up your mind a bit? Take a breath and check your spirit.
I stumbled upon this scripture as I was searching scripture for the first chapter of my book. Yes, the I’m Made New Devotional is being penned as I speak. Just taking a break for my daily post.
In light of the rules, our confessed salvation keeps us from stumbling. It’s hard to fall away from God when you are grateful for what He has done for you. Salvation is a foundation. Be thankful your are saved and belong to Him.
I know, I know… Some of you might be saying this is taken out of context. We have to follow the law, it’s in God’s word. If you are one of those people, I bet your face will turn red as you read my post.
As I have said in previous posts, I am not a rule follower. I am the kind of person that needs a lot of grace. People clean up my messes, turn in my time card, and remind me of the rules all of the time. I am a free spirit and free spirits tend to be all over the place. We have lots of things to see and do!
Let’s face it, sometimes, doing the right thing means you have to break the rules. Like, would you jaywalk to save a kid from on-coming traffic? Hmm… Which violates your conscience more? Breaking the law or not saving the kid? Yes, I really said that.
If you take a look at the 10 commandments most of them have to do with our interactions with others. As a Jesus follower, do you have a burning desire to treat people badly? Most people don’t. I thought Christianity asks us to think the best of people. If we assume everyone is out to break God’s law and we stick it to them, are we in sin just like the one we are pointing a finger at? You tell me.
Todd White is one of my favorite Evangelists. He says if we choose to follow the law, we can’t miss one. I guess there is over 300 laws in the Old Testament. Holy cow! Honestly, I am so uncurious about Jewish law that I don’t even know the right number. My head couldn’t even wrap itself around keeping that many laws. Seriously! I love the Grace of God. I’d choose that over the law anyday.
How do you feel about rules? They make me feel overwhelmed. Often times, rules seem unnecessary to me. If we are all good people, going after God, rules should be few and far between.
I think we like rules because it gives us boundaries. When we know our limits, it is easier to stay in a place of safety. Few or no rules leave us guessing. It is almost too free.
To me, rules were constraints that caused inconvenience. They tied up my free spirit and ruined all the fun. They required me to sit down, be quiet, and be nice. Ugh. Boring!
It kinda makes me think of the old adage, “little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice.” The rules for girls so to speak. Trying to follow the rules made me try to be something I wasn’t. I felt like something was wrong with me.
When asked by the disciples what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replies with 2. Today’s verse is our number one rule for life. Love God. Do you wonder how you could love something you can’t see? It is possible. Just like someone you can see, you’d have to get to know Him first. Love for God comes by seeking him and knowing him through His Word. It takes some digging and praying, it is worth your time if you want to be changed.
So, have you thought of a plan to guard your heart? If you have or you haven’t, it’s okay. Sometime we have to mull things over a bit before we decide we need to act. Today’s scripture might give you some forward motion.
Guarding your heart might not be your job completely. When Paul wrote this, he used a word with military meaning. That sounds a bit awkward, I am not always poetic or grammatically correct. 😊The word guard means someone is standing guard, watching over it, protecting from invasion.
The end of the scripture says, in Christ Jesus. Could Jesus be charged with guarding our heart. I didn’t study it all the way through. It is worth consideration! If we have a helper and a protector in Jesus, then I think this is plausible.
We aren’t left alone to figure life out. We have an example in Jesus. His name has a lot of meaning. By the Holy Spirit living in us, we have help in guarding our heart. We are being watched over and protected.