As regular readers of this blog know, I read Our Daily Bread as part of my daily devotion time. Most days, really great things appear there and I often share its insights here.
But I have to take major exception to today's piece written by Pastor Joe Stowell. He refers to the "peace on earth" proclaimed by the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:8-14) and concludes that, in His teaching, Jesus gave us the tools to make peace.
This, it seems to me, misses a big part of the New Testament's message. Ephesians 2:14 says of Jesus, "He is our peace." Jesus is the peace proclaimed by the angels that night. Nothing we add to the presence of Jesus in our lives will bring peace. Jesus is all we need for peace--with ourselves, with others, and most importantly, with the God Who made us.
All who, in the power of the Holy Spirit, dare to repent of sin and believe in Jesus are filled with God's peace. They are reconciled to God and to others and are called from that time forward to do the admittedly hard work of living in that peace.
Peace comes as a gift from God to all who believe in Jesus. Earlier in Ephesians, we're told, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life (Ephesians 2:9-10).
Peace on earth has come to us in Jesus. We don't manufacture it with the tools Jesus gives, as though Jesus were just another teacher of religion, guru of morality, or a pop psychologist or motivational speaker selling the latest metaphysical wares.
Jesus is the Savior, the King of all kings, and God in the flesh. He brings peace. The call of believers in Jesus is simply to walk in the peace God has already created to be our way of life!
May our walk with Jesus be filled with His peace, irrespective of the conflicts which may roil this world, and may God use us to bring the peace that comes from believing in and belonging to Jesus to all we meet!