Gaudy Christmas - Gaudy Peace

Will Huddleston
We've probably all heard the phrase, "No peace; Know God...know peace. For years I listened to that phrase and, of course, agreed. In fact, you'd probably not find any believer that would disagree. Yet, I understood it as only my eternal standing with God.
Maybe, many of you were also confused for years regarding what peace with God means. I heard and believed that God fully forgave me, and once I believed, I was in the hand of God and nothing could remove me from His grasp. Yet, while God loved me immensely, there were steps and behaviors I needed to take for God to be pleased with me. Then I could be in a place of rest with Him. Obedience isn't and never will be what brings a state of rest in His peace. God doesn't need us to do anything...He has already accepted us into the beloved, making us blameless and Holy through His Son Jesus and His sacrifice for those that believe.
Romans 5:1-2 tells us, "Therefore, having been justified, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into His grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."  We also read in Colossians 1:19-20, "For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross." We have peace with God, yet it is our choice to fully accept that truth.

God is pleased with us because He is pleased with His son Jesus.

One of the most beautiful passages in all of scripture is Luke 3:22, when Jesus goes down to be baptized. Here we are told that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form like a dove and that a voice came from heaven saying, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Once you consider that beautiful picture of complete acceptance, then the words of Ephesians 1:6 should give us ultimate peace.
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherin He hath made us accepted in the beloved." Yes, Ephesians 2 tells us that we were once foreigners with no relationship to God, but now we have been brought near by the blood of Christ...and, "For He Himself is our peace..." We no longer have to worry about whether God is upset with us, mad at us, or disappointed in us. What we know is that God is pleased with us. He is pleased with us because He is pleased with His son Jesus and He has placed us in the beloved by putting us in Christ and Christ in us. It isn't just knowledge but acceptance of this truth that allows us to rest in peace. We can know and believe that, despite how we may see ourselves, this is how the God of the universe sees us because of the Savior of the world.
Years ago, a song lyric said, "Oh how He loves you and me." Do you really believe that? Or do we think of God as a disciplinarian or disappointed Father that shows favor to His children based only on their actions? As Pastor mentioned Sunday, this peace treaty offered by God through Jesus is unconditional for those in Christ. We do nothing to get or keep His peace. However, as we believe, we can enjoy His peace more.
In the coming days before we celebrate Christmas, consider another beautiful picture shown to us in Luke 2:13-14. "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests." And if you want to know the "whom His favor rests," know that is you if you have chosen to believe in Christ! From there, rest. Rest in His peace. Give Him praise, and accept your place in the present and eternal beloved of God.

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