December 05, 2022

Advent 2022 - Peace

 Devotion for the Week...

Welcome to the second week of Advent! Last week we started this Advent series by looking at Hope and today we're continuing on with Peace.

As I was getting ready to write this devotion for today, I reread Luke 2, where it recounts the story of the angel visiting the shepherds. It's one of my favourite parts of the Christmas story, and I explain why in this devotion from 2016. This time, though, I was struck by one part of what the host of angels proclaimed to the shepherds. 

"Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased'" (Luke 2:13-14).

That vast host of angels proclaimed peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased. Various translations render it differently, but the gist of it stays the same. The peace promised is not for everyone, but only for those who have pleased God. That kind of made me do a double take since it seemed to go against the rest of the message given to the shepherds, the "good news that will bring great joy to all people" (v. 10).

But then I realized there isn't any conflict at all. The good news is for all people. Jesus had been born and He is the Messiah. He is the Savior of the world and everyone who believes in Him has their sins forgiven. Good news of great joy for all the people, indeed! 

And those people who believe in Him? They are the ones who have pleased God because faith is the only thing He requires of us. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." When we believe in Jesus, our relationship with God is restored and that, more than anything else we could ever do, is what pleases Him.
To everyone who believes, God gives His peace |
The good news of salvation is available to everyone, just as the angel presented it to the shepherds. Then, to everyone who believes and receives salvation through faith in Jesus, God gives His "peace, which exceeds anything we can understand" (Philippians 4:7).

I pray you all experience that peace this Christmas!

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