He Is: Experiencing the Power of Jesus' Name | Week Four
Prince of Peace | December 20:
Wanting a deeper relationship with God must involve forgiveness on our part towards others. Is there someone in your life that God continually brings to your mind because you harbor unforgiveness towards them? They may be completely unaware that you feel this way. What instruction are we given in Ephesians 4:32?
Will you trust the Lord to help you to forgive them just as you have been forgiven by Him? Forgiveness sets you free from a prison of your emotions. It is only possible when we remember all that Christ has done for us and forgiven us from. When our eyes are glued to the cross, forgiveness will be the overflow of our love and praise to Him.
Write Colossians 3:13.
Prince of Peace | December 21:
The moment sin entered this world, man’s peace was destroyed. In its place, a restless, hopeless struggle against sin took root in our hearts. History plays out the drama, and we can see in our own lives the continued discord, strife, and brokenness. Humanity knows no peace apart from right relationship with God.
Every year as Christmas rolls around, the hope of peace surges throughout humanity. Though the world attempts to provide a festive and cheerful celebration, the peace we anticipate at Christmas does not come from magical visits from Santa, extraordinary presents placed under a tree, or even preoccupied family time punctuated by happy moments. Instead, it is in the image of a newborn baby — a Prince, a King, God become Man — lying in a manger one auspicious night over two thousand years ago, that this peace for which we so desperately search first makes its appearance. For we know that this baby did not stay little, but became a Man. And it was this Man, Jesus, who purchased our peace through His death on the cross. He bore our sins upon His shoulders so that we might once again know God.
Read Isaiah 53:1-6.
Christ took the punishment, or beating, that we deserved so we could have peace with God. Praise Him for the peace He has extended to you through the cross.
Prince of Peace | December 22:
As we can attest from the testimonies of our own lives, just because we have access to Christ’s peace does mean we dwell in it throughout our days and nights. He has granted us His peace, but our great struggle between the flesh and the spirit repeatedly threatens to rob us of His peace (Romans 7:14-25). In other words, though Jesus has purchased our peace and offered it to us freely, we must also consciously choose to live in His peace.
The Lord’s answer to this struggle lies in the practice of abiding. Jesus explained in John 15:1-11 that as we abide in Him — obeying His commands and living as He has lived — we will bear godly fruit and know His overflowing joy. Abiding in Christ is not a magical practice that must be only done in the secret, quiet places. We can abide in Him throughout our days, no matter what we are doing.
Read Philippians 4:6-7.
What are some specific things you can do with the uncertainties, anxieties, and struggles you face so that you can allow Christ’s peace to reign in your heart?
Prince of Peace | December 23:
All around the world today, people struggle for peace and fight against human evil, catastrophic weather events, disease, death, and other such tragedies. This natural, discontented longing for peace, for making things right, has been ongoing throughout the course of history, and it will continue until the end of this age. As we all know, Christ has promised and delivered His peace to those who follow Him, but His peace has not yet been fully restored to His creation.
The Hebrew word for “peace” in Isaiah 9:6 “…implied an end of war and is reminiscent of the ideal peace described in the kingdom of God…” elsewhere in scripture (i.e. Isaiah 2:4, 11:6-9).(1) While Christ’s peace reigns in our hearts, we as His children long for the day when His peace will completely heal the brokenness of this world. Our hope is not quieted in the delay, and we persevere in the heartache because of His promise of full restoration. We endure great trials and suffer unimaginable loss in order to bring Christ’s salvation to all men. Jesus has done His redeeming work, and He has now passed the torch to us, His people, to deliver HIs peace to others.
Read Colossians 3:15-17 .
Prince of Peace | December 24:
Read Psalm 29. This Psalm of David magnifies the greatness of the Lord as well as His nearness. He is the God who thunders His voice, breaks the cedars, shakes the wilderness, flashes forth flames of fire, and He is also the God who strengthens us and blesses His people with peace. Praise Jesus, the Prince of Peace, for being strong and near to you. Write a prayer of thanksgiving in response.
Prince of Peace | December 25:
Today is the day you experience the true wonder of Christmas. You might be visiting family today or filling the tree with presents for loved ones and little children. You may also find yourself experiencing Christmas in a new way like never before without a loved one present. No matter where this day finds you, remember that He is still Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, both today, tomorrow, and everyday after. As Sarah learned from Ruth, who Jesus is changes us from the inside-out. He is the God of the present, and He is the Greatest Present. He can’t be wrapped up and placed under a Christmas tree. Instead He was born, wrapped up in swaddling cloths, and laid in a manger. Every day He lived on earth He lived for the glory of God so that we could experience Christmas the way He intended us to.
Read the narrative of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:1-21.
Join the angels in praising God, saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 1:14) As you offer gifts to your family and friends today and open them, remember that the greatest gift you could ever give or receive is the gift of Jesus Christ. He is the meaning of Christ. For He was, is, and will always be the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Price of Peace.