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Thursday, December 22, 2016
Three Kinds of Peace God Wants to Give You This Christmas BY RICK WARREN — DECEMBER 22 Thursday
“God ... sent Christ to make peace between himself and us” (2 Corinthians 5:18a CEV).
You may have had a good year. You may have had a bad year. But as we come to the end of 2016, you’re likely pretty tired. You’re worn out physically, mentally, and spiritually.
There’s hope! God doesn’t want you to go through another year without his peace.
As we head into 2017, the Lord specifically wants to give you three different kinds of peace.
Peace with God. This is spiritual peace — and it’s the most important. It affects everything else. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18, “God ... sent Christ to make peace between himself and us” (CEV).
God doesn’t want us to live disconnected from him. Peace with God doesn’t come from something we do. Peace with God comes from what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. God wants to give you that important peace this Christmas season.
Peace within. The Bible has a word for this: emotional peace. It’s called the peace of God. When I have peace with God, then I get the peace of God inside me. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (NIV). God wants his peace to rule in our lives.
The Hebrew word for “peace” in the Bible is shalom. You’ve heard this word. Shalom means more than just ending of hostilities.
In fact, you’ll find more than 790 verses about the peace of God in Scripture. For those with a broken heart, God gives us comforting peace. For those with a confused heart, he gives us guiding peace. For those with a shamed heart, he gives us forgiving peace. When we have a worried heart, he gives us confident peace.
He provides peace for every problem.
Peace with others. Then the Lord offers relational peace. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:16, “Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death” (NLT, second edition). The further we are from God, the more our relationships with others are messed up. If you want to strengthen your relationship with others — like your spouse or your kids — strengthen your relationship with God. It’ll pull you together.
The only way to have lasting peace with others is to be united as children of God.
This Christmas, as we sing and talk about peace on Earth, know that God wants to give you real and lasting peace in each of these three areas.
Peace isn’t an unattainable dream. It’s a free gift from God.