The Prince of Peace

Luke 2:8-14 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you:you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

The angel was then joined by a multitude of angels (Luke 2:13) and they said… Luke 2:14 “… “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Let’s look at this “peace” that they angels spoke about…

Zechariah – the father of John the Baptist – spoke of the Savior while giving thanks for his own son just recently born into the world

Luke 1:79 “… to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

The prophet Isaiah spoke prophetically about Jesus and His birth 750 years before that very first Christmas and the birth of the Saviour announced by the angels

Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Jesus spoke of this peace to His disciples and followers…

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

So, the Prince of Peace gives His peace to His followers

Not as the world would give – peace between nations and people
But as only the Prince of Peace can give – peace of heart, mind, and soul

This peace that Jesus, the Prince of peace, gives is experienced when we are born again and ask Jesus to forgive us and then publicly declare that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9)

John 16:33a “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.

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This peace is experienced when we are “…new creatures in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The reality is that Jesus was not saying that once you know Him and walk with Him that all your problems would disappear…

John 16:33b “…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

This peace that He gives is an INNER PEACE that allows you to live with an inner CALMNESS and ASSURANCE even when your whole world might be crumbling around you

So, this peace Jesus gives is an inner, supernatural peace we can experience and live with inside us in spite of circumstances around us and situations we may be facing

This “resident inner peace” is there to help us in all of our decisions

Colossians 3:15 (GNB) “The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make…”

Have two choices in front of you – both good ones and both could be good with God

Pick one and walk down that path
If your inner sense of peace fades – wrong path

Simply go back and choose the other way… I use this “method of choosing” often in my life and in my ministry…

This “resident inner peace” is there to guard your heart (spirit) and your mind from being polluted by the world…

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As we walk “in Christ” and stay focused ‘on Christ’ we will be kept in “PERFECT PEACE”

Our call as believers and disciples of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Himself is to allow this inner peace to affect how we live so that we can live in peace with others with whom we have relationships

An outward peace reconciled to our neighbours regardless of who they are, where they live, or what they have done to us

Hebrews 12:14a “Strive for peace with everyone…”
The message we are to share with others is called “The Gospel (Good News) of peace”

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Paul explaining some basics using the various pieces of armour worn by a Roman soldier…

Ephesians 6:15 …and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”

So, our message is a message (Gospel) of peace

We are individually called to be “peacemakers” wherever we live and in all circumstances we encounter

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. To Note: Not “peacekeepers” – Peacemakers (conflict and confrontation)

Our Saviour – Jesus born in Bethlehem – is the Prince of Peace and of His rule and His peace there will be no end – AND it will always be expanding

As it is in nation after nation around the world today as people are saved and make Him their Lord and Savior

IN OUR WORLD TODAY:

We need to remind ourselves of the words of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, when we look around at our world today

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

There is a need to remind ourselves of this “peace” on a regular basis because we don’t hear of it often in our world as we watch or hear the news daily…

As we hear of “wars and rumours of wars” we need to remember the peace we live with and thus Let not our hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Africa – 24 countries at war and 140 terrorist groups fighting
Asia – 15 countries in armed conflict and 117 between terrorist groups Europe – 8 countries and 65 terrorist conflicts
Middle East – 8 countries and 144 terrorist conflicts
Americas – 5 countries and 25 “wars” between drug cartels

Total:
60 countries involved in wars

492 Militias – guerrillas and separatist groups

In the midst of all this turmoil and slaughter, intrigue and espionage – we can live in “perfect peace” because we know the Prince of Peace

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In my travels – many nations where I work – what I do is not allowed and so we work “under the radar” often in difficult or dangerous situations

Can be really nerve-racking at times – but my teams can continue to function and minister in the midst of turmoil and very tense situations because we have His peace in our hearts …

And work hard to maintain a sense of inner peace in spite of circumstances and situations

IN OUR LIVES TODAY HERE IN CANADA:
IN OUR LIVES AS CHRISTMAS APPROACHES:

Let’s be honest – we don’t see a lot of peace as we prepare to welcome the Prince of Peace (Christmas)

The level of contentment is almost nil as everyone wants more and attempts to fill that void and buy that sense of peace…

Black Friday … line-ups at the stores and the pushing and shoving to save a few bucks Cyber Monday … purchases on line overloading many web sites

Total sales – $67.4 Billion in North America

The level of peace decreases and the level inner stress / worry increases at this time of year as we add extra events – school, family, church, shopping, cooking, decorating

An overload of an already too busy personal world!

BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF PEACE:
1> Peace begins when we relinquish control of our lives to God

When you were born physically into this world – you were automatically at war with God All of Adam’s descendants are born into sin and are thus at war with God

We are an enemy of God – Romans 5:10

When you were born again – born a second time – born spiritually – God signed a peace treaty with you and then you were able to experience peace with God – Romans 5:1

More than this – He gives us a gift – ‘the peace of God” – John 14:27
An inner peace … Real calm from the inside out
You now know that God is in control of your life – Galatians 5:23 (“self-control”)

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You know that God’s plan for your future is great and anchored in a tremendous hope – Jeremiah 29:11

You have found ‘rest’ for your soul and so you are no longer striving thus you experience peace – Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:28

You will experience peace as the fruit of the Spirit grows in your life – for the fruit of love is “peace” – Galatians 5:22

This is the only way to receive and experience peace – Let go and let God Salvation – Means you have made Jesus Lord and Saviour

2> Perfect peace builds upon total trust

As Jesus, the Prince of Peace, becomes a regular part of our daily lives, our worries and our concerns – not to mention our anxiety – begin to disappear

For this to happen we need to focus on Jesus – Hebrews 12:2 We need to consider Him – Hebrews 12: 3
We need to focus on the things that are above – Colossians 3:2

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

You have heard it said (and sung) That “they are so heavenly minded they they are of no earthly good”

Wrong – In reality the opposite is true:

If you truly are ‘heavenly’ or spiritually minded, you will be of the greatest earthly

good.
When you turn your mind unto Jesus and the things of God – heavenly things

You come to trust Him more and more

You will come to have total trust in Him and His plan and purpose for your life

Perfect peace – the peace that passes all understanding – builds upon that goal of trusting in Him

Isaiah 26:3 “You (God) keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

3> Our peace will continue and not leave us as we follow the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the

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and peace.
Even as Christians we still have times when we struggle with our sinful nature

However, if you wil allow God’s Holy Spirit to control your life – that struggle will be much less intense

Because, as these verses state, you will want to please God
If you live the Spirit-controlled life you will then experience “life and peace” God’s way

It may be hard to grasp and even a little harder to live out in fullness but…

Colossians 3:2-3 “Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with with Christ in God.”

4> A love for God’s Word brings peace of mind

Romans 12:2a “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

You renew your mind – thinking – through reading and applying God’s Word “As a person thinks, so they become…” Proverbs 23:7

Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those who love your Word; nothing can make them stumble.”

The more the Bible becomes a part of our lives – the greater the peace we will experience every day

This means we should be reading God’s Word on a daily basis
This means we should be referring to it often during the day
This means we might consider memorizing some portions of His Word This means taking notes in a journal as you read and study God’s Word

And even bring your journal to church and take notes as you listen to the sermon or teaching….

Permanent record you can then refer to of things the Holy Spirit showed you and the principles you are applying to your life

APPLICATION:

As we move through this very special season known as Christmas // God’s peace needs to rule in our hearts – and thus our lives

Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body (the Church) you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

This peace can be experienced all of the time everywhere by those who believe in and follow Jesus – the Prince of Peace

Even during this Christmas season when life rushes in upon us in a big way When you live within this peace that only Christ can give:

You will not be anxious about anything but simply trust God completely Philippians 4:6-7

You will always be certain deep inside that God is in control Mark 4:35-41

You will be constantly remembering and seeing God’s blessings Philippians 4:6

You will be experiencing His answers to your prayers Philippians 4:6

You will have peace in your relationships – not holding offences or unforgiveness Psalm 34:1

You will promote and spread peace wherever you go among non-believers Romans 12:18 and James 3:18

This is what we are called to do as believers – tell other the Good News – promoting peace and spreading peace wherever we go

Telling others of their need to come to know the Prince of Peace
Telling others that Jesus is “The Way” and the only way to have peace with God

To be forgiven
To be a child of the living God
To be a member of God’s forever family To go to Heaven when they die

My hope and prayer is that this peace rules in your heart and is seen in your life
Living with a supernatural sense of peace is what we are able to do because we worship and

serve the Prince of Peace born in Bethlehem

If peace is not yet a reality in your life Or once was and is no longer…

Ask Jesus to take control of your life and be your Lord

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Give Him your worries and concerns Ask Him to replace them with His peace

At this time of year we welcome Jesus, born in Bethlehem, and known as the Prince of Peace Let’s experience that peace as we remember His birth

Luke 2:8-11 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:14 “… “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Great joy and supernatural peace this Christmas and throughout 2014

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