Editor’s note: Today, take a break from the busyness of the season and reflect upon the birth of your King. Let the peace of Jesus guide you to Christmas, fill your heart with joy on December 25, and be your one true source of comfort for every day beyond that. This devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies Glory to the Newborn King, one of CTA’s Christmas themes.
If you’ve ever moved into a “fixer upper,” you know what a nightmare it is to remodel a home. You start with the headache of permits and blueprints. Then you’re in for the continuous eardrum-busting noise of demolition and construction—and the mess that comes along with it. You can’t even walk across the floor in your own home without tripping on a paint can or a pile of stray boards!
After that, you’ll make countless trips around town looking for the perfect paint color, furniture, fixtures, and artwork. And don’t even get started talking about the budget. The financial stress of remodeling is the worst part!
This, my friends, is why most people who remodel hire a general contractor. He’s the guy who will pull the permits and verify the blueprints and answer all of your questions. He’s the guy who will clean up the mess at the end of the day. He’ll point you in the right direction for materials and order them for you—he’ll probably even get you a discount.
Oh, the peace of mind you have when you hire a general contractor! Without his direction, without his leadership, the situation is sheer chaos.
This Christmas season, does your house feel like a peaceful sanctuary where you can concentrate on the real meaning of the holiday or does it feel more like a chaotic circus—perhaps a home renovation site? We have all our normal responsibilities like work and kids, but then shopping, holiday parties, and family obligations pile on top. There’s little peace to be had when you hardly have time to stop and take a breath!
Peace is often hard to come by, and not just during the Christmas season. Our busy schedules knock peace right off our calendars; life’s challenges shut peace out of our hearts, too. Do you know people who have lost their jobs in December? Ask them about peace. Look around after the funeral of a young person. Do you see peace on the faces of mourners? More likely, you’ll see anger or just plain misery. Or even after watching the evening news, do you feel peace in your heart after hearing about refugees, epidemics, and natural disasters?
The truth is that sin stole peace from this world in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in perfect peace at first, living among God’s beautiful creation. It was literally Paradise! Peace galore, not a worry in the world! But, as we know, it didn’t last. Now we feel the effects of sin in our hearts every day. Peace is crowded out by anxiety, sadness, anger, and hurt.
But know this: even before the Garden, God had a plan to push back the chaos that sin has caused in our world and in our hearts. This was not a do-it-yourself project! We could never have renovated our own hearts. Instead, God himself would restore peace, and he did—on that first Christmas morning with the birth of his own Son.
That morning when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the angel chorus sang out: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace” (Luke 2:14 KJV). Peace! There, in that little manager, laid our Savior—the One who would rescue us from our sins and bring peace to rule in our hearts once again. Jesus’ birth meant that we would be friends of God. We would be reconciled with our Father. We would be forgiven and free.
That first Christmas was just the beginning of God’s plan to bring peace in Jesus. That Baby grew up to live a perfect life so that instead of our chaotic, sinful lives, God would see his Son’s perfection. Jesus hung upon the cross until his very last breath was gone, so that sin would be defeated once and for all. And, his glorious resurrection on Easter morning means that peace will rule in our hearts—forever!
So now that you’ve heard the promise of God’s everlasting peace through Jesus, has all the chaos of the Christmas season been erased? Did all of your troubles vanish? Of course not. We still live in a sinful, chaotic world. We still struggle with temptations. Jesus said this to his disciples. (Read John 16:33.) In this world, we will have troubles and challenges, but as faithful believers, we know that we can always find our peace in Jesus. Our sins are gone—peace can reign in our hearts as we trust in our Savior!
When you wake up on December 26, remember that the peace Jesus brings will still be there. It will be there on December 27 and every day after that, too. The peace that Jesus won for us on the cross has no expiration date and it will never run out. Share that peace with those around you. Use that peace to serve with a giving heart and love unconditionally. Shout your Christmas praises all year long: Glory to God in the highest!
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