WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 22, 2020
TOPIC: HOW MIGHT THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased’” (Luke 2:13-14 Amplified Bible).
One of the names of Jesus that was prophesied before His birth is the Prince of Peace. The prophet Isaiah said, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 New King James Version). The Prince of Peace!
Peace is a scarce commodity on the earth today. Peace is missing in most lives, communities and nations. If there is anything many people want today it is peace – peace of mind, peace in their societies and peace in their nations.
Because peace is absent, we have violent crimes, escalated armed conflicts, terrorism, religious riots and carnage, and ethnic-communal crises. Some nations have been described as the most dangerous places to live on earth. Death is so cheap there. People are killed and maimed with reckless abandon.
In a certain country, the threat to peace and security is frightening as the so-called unknown gunmen, bandits and kidnappers have taken over everywhere such that the people’s faith in government is now abysmally low. Because the security agencies appear overwhelmed by the criminals, the greatest prayer of the people now is for peace and security.
All over the world, in a bid to restore peace, wars have been fought, peacekeeping forces have been deployed, peace talks and conferences held and so on. So many resources have been committed to maintain or restore peace. Nevertheless, the greatest need today still remains peace and security.
Upon the birth of Jesus, the angel who came to announce it to the shepherds who were watching over their sheep in the night also talked about peace in relation to His birth. Luke 2:13-14 says, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (New King James Version). On earth peace! But where is the peace?
The Amplified Bible presents Luke 2:13-14 thus: “Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased’” (Amplified Bible).
One of the reasons for the birth of Jesus is to bring peace to the earth. Did He achieve this or not? He did by His eventual death on the cross. However, to enjoy the peace that He brought depends on the decision of people to embrace Him. The world cannot enjoy the peace that Jesus brought to the earth by rejecting Him.
Jesus brought peace between man and God. This is called reconciliation. He brought peace within each person and He preached peace between and among people. This is how the apostle Paul puts it in Ephesians 2:15: “By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups” (New Living Translation).
He continues in verses 16-18: “Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He has brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and to us Jews who were near. Now all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us” (New Living Translation).
Writing to the Colossians, Paul says in Colossians 1:19-21, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (New King James Version).
Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Embracing Him is the way to peace with God, peace within yourself, peace with your neighbours, peace with others, peace in your community and nation and peace all over the world. Peace talks and other measures could at best scratch the issue of peace on the surface. The peace Jesus gives is different from the peace the world gives. Jesus told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 New King James Version). Please take note of that phrase: My peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
One day as Jesus approached Jerusalem, He wept over the city and said, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace ! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42 New King James Version). That’s the condition of many people and nations today. They have rejected or have not embraced the way to peace: Jesus. The New Living Translation renders Luke 19:42 thus: “I wish that even today you would find the way of peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from you.”
As the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, sinners must embrace Jesus for peace with God, peace with self and peace with others before it is too late. The people of the earth must accept the Lordship of the Prince of Peace now. Nothing else will be sufficient.
Let’s go back to what the angel said to the shepherds. According to the English Standard Version, the angel said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14).
The Amplified Bible says a similar thing: “Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.” Did you see that? Jesus came to bring peace to the world but only those God is pleased with or the men with whom He is well-pleased will enjoy it.
In other words, only those who believe in His Son and accept Him as their Lord Saviour will enjoy His peace, which is different from the peace of the world. Thus, the condition must be met to enjoy His peace. This perfectly agrees with what the Bible says in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (New King James Version). Whereas Jesus died for the whole world, only those who believe in Him will not perish.
The birth of Jesus brought peace to the world. The gospel of Jesus is the gospel of peace (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15). The way to peace is Jesus Christ. “‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says my God” (Isaiah 57:21 New Living Translation).
Peace comes on earth when you and the people of the world accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and obey His teachings, which can be surmmarized as loving God and loving felow human beings (Mark 12:28-31; Matthew 22:34-40). Romans 13:10 says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (New King James Version). Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; O Lord of the harvest, please send labourers into Your harvest that more souls may be saved. Holy Spirit, convict sinners to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Father, have mercy and let everyone find and follow the Way of Peace. Let there be peace on earth.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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