Finding Peace On Earth

Part of the Christmas story are angels appearing to shepherds proclaiming, “Peace on earth”! Where is that peace in the midst of warfare, famine and community violence? The answer is found in a letter Paul wrote to a local church.

Part of the Christmas story is the angels appearing to shepherds in the field. As they announce the birth of creation’s Messiah, they proclaim (Luke 2:14):

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

This connection of peace with Christmas has been inseparable ever since. And rightly so. However, there are some misunderstandings. The foremost being there can be no peace on earth or good will toward men until glory is given to the highest God.

The Advent Season building up to Christmas reminds us that there must be a Second Coming of Jesus to earth. It is at his return that heaven’s government will be brought down to earth. Until that time, wars and rumours of wars will persist. Christmas is the first Advent. There can be no second Advent without a first. Therefore, Christmas is rightly the time to celebrate the coming peace to earth.

Still, peace has come down to earth with the first Coming of our Lord. Because of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, peace can be found within the heart of every believer. The same Gospel writer who gave us the angelic proclamation to the shepherds also recorded these words:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20-22

When demanded for the time heaven’s government will descend to earth, Jesus responded God’s kingdom is already here – it is inside of your heart; it is within you.

The key to finding peace on earth is stop looking for it from others.

The government will not be able to supply lasting peace. No project or program, no matter how much it is funded, will be bring lasting peace. No promotion or career will bring you lasting peace. No education achievement will bring you lasting peace. No person will bring you lasting peace outside of Jesus Christ himself.

Stop looking outside of yourself for the answers. The answer lies within yourself. Jesus, in your heart, is the source of all eternal peace.

How does one find that peace while living on earth? How can one enjoy the contentment of peace in the midst of despair and negative news? How can one remain at peace during heart-breaking relationships? In Paul’s letter to the Colossian church, he gives three answers to our question in 3:12-17.

  1. You find peace on earth when you forgive one another as Christ forgave us.
  2. You find peace on earth when you withhold speaking evil of others and God.
  3. You find peace on earth when you determine to be thankful in all things.

PRACTICAL CHALLENGE – NEW YEAR RESOLUTION

The Psalms is a particularly helpful resource for cultivating the inner attitude for peace on earth. Why not resolve that in 2019, you will read 1 chapter from each of the book’s 150? You can take 22 days to read chapter 119 if you like. Meditate daily on each psalm and discover peace on earth before the end of June 2019!

Full Sermon Audio available under Videos.

Morning Prayers

The following seven prayers each represent a day in the Creation Week. They are modelled after the Lord’s Prayer. They have been a source of strength in my life. I pray they will be for you as well.

Peaceful blessings,

Tim

Sunday morning – Prayer for my Spirit

Creator of Light: thou hast created all things. I have risen on this first day of the week from the darkness of sleep. I beseech your Spirit to move upon the face of my soul so that I may glorify you today. Manifest for all to see your light in me, for it is good. Divide the light from the darkness within my being. Enable me to shine forth the Gospel of thy Kingdom. Help me to enjoy Thy Radiance and share its warmth with all I touch today. Keep me from the cold of Night and deliver me into thy Day. For thine is the Universe with all its power; thou alone art worthy of eternal glory. Amen.

Monday morning – Prayer for my Soul

Creator of Firmament: thou hast created Space. On this second day of the week I have risen from the midst of the watery emotions. I beseech your Word to divide my earthly soul from its heavenly spirit so that my heart’s intentions discern with praise. Enable me to think on the virtues of Heaven: Truth, Honesty, Justice, Purity and Love. Help me to walk today in such a way where all I touch will report my actions as good. Keep me from the simple and deliver into thy Wisdom. For thine is the Division with all its Space; thou alone art worthy of eternal praise. Amen.

Tuesday morning – Prayer for my Body

Creator Gatherer: thou hast pooled the waters. On this week’s third day, I have risen from the Sea’s instability to plant my feet on Earth’s solid ground. I beseech you to let me take root in thy law so that I may be planted by the pure river of water of life. Bless me to yield fruit in season and with leaves that never wither. Help me to prosper in whatever I do. Keep me from becoming chaff serving wind that cannot withstand your judgment. For thine is the Gathered congregation to righteous Unity; thou alone art worthy of eternal fruitfulness. Amen.

Wednesday Morning – Prayer for my Mind

Creator of Lights: thou hast created Time. I have risen on this fourth day of the week under heaven’s lights. I beseech your Rulers to protect my mind so that I may serve you today and defend against rulers of darkness. Clothe me with truth to stand within the strength of thy Kingdom and brightly shine your Light. Help me to be a fire in his dark world, a season of refreshment for others, a window for Time’s Wisdom to faithfully guard Truth year by year. Keep from the strangers that would rob me of thy Strength. For thine is the Light with all its stability; thou alone art worthy of eternal power. Amen.

Thursday Morning – Prayer for my Growth

Creator of Abundance: thou hast created Growth. On this week’s fifth day I have risen from stillness of darkness. I beseech you to let me manifest your command so that I may swim through the waters of Life and fly through its Air. Regenerate my being for all to see your abundance in me, for it is good. Multiply the effect of my actions to move people to fruitfulness. Help me to fill this day with Thy word and propagate its power. Keep me from all thoughts that prevent me from soaring in your heavens. For thine is the Fruitfulness with all its regeneration; thou alone art worthy of eternal pleasure. Amen.

Friday Morning – Prayer for my Victory

Creator of Man: thou hast created Victory. I have risen on this sixth day of the week from the dust of Earth. I beseech your Spirit to breathe into my being so that I may honour your Image today and subdue my dominion. Empower me to subdue earthly elements, for it is very good. Equip me to overcome Evil and escape its pollutions to establish thy Kingdom on Earth. Help me to enjoy thy bounty and share its plenty with everyone today. Keep me from worldly entanglements and deliver me from the wicked. For thine is the Victory, with all Faith; thou alone art worthy of eternal worship. Amen

Saturday Morning – Prayer for my Perfection

Creator of Endings: thou hast created Perfection. On this final day of the week, I have risen from the labours of work. I beseech you to finish your work in me for your eternal glory. Complete me with thy sanctification. cause this day to be one of blessing for all the miracles that advanced your Kingdom this week past. Help me to rest in thy Creation and enjoy its beauty with everyone I touch today. Keep me from temptation to work and deliver me into thy joy. For thine is the Sabbath with all its rest; thou alone art worthy of eternal sanctification. Amen.