Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace?
Then learn to know him better and better.
2 Peter 1:2
Hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus, the prophet, Isaiah, penned these words about the promised Messiah:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
More than 250,000 nights later a band of angels announced the birth of that Messiah—a baby named Jesus—to a group of shepherds, declaring:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward all people. (Luke 2: 14)
Thirty-three years later the promise of peace, coming as a babe born in a lowly manger, would die a violent death on a wooden cross.
Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus spoke with his disciples.
For three years, he and his beloved friends had done life together. The young men who’d left all to follow Jesus had walked with the teacher many miles. They’d shared meals together. They may have teased one another while visiting and laughing around a campfire. They’d been puzzled more than once upon hearing Jesus’ radical teaching. They’d seen upfront and personal the marvelous miracles he performed.
This band of disciples loved Jesus, and Jesus loved them. Scripture records words he spoke to his friends shortly before his death. He warned them difficult days would come. They would suffer horribly—perhaps to the point of martyrdom—because of their alignment with him. Then, he said…
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
The world in which we live needs peace—lots and lots of peace in lots and lots of places. I wish I had some grand idea for promoting world peace, but this second week of Advent, the only suggestion I have is to consider the words of one of Jesus’ disciples.
Peter told his friends in the latter years of his life that the way to experience more of God’s peace is to learn to know God better and better.
I hope you’ll join me in considering ways we can promote peace in the corner of the world in which we’ve been placed. How can we learn to know more and more about God’s character? In what ways can we increase intimacy with God? How will we more clearly hear God’s still small voice and yearn to say, “yes” to God’s promptings?
May peace fill your days…