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The Christmas Gift of Peace

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Have you ever had one of those days when everything went wrong? You begin to think… I shouldn’t have even gotten out of bed today.
Guy who wanted to make a shake - he put everything in but forgot to put the top on the blender… he was wearing his smoothie…
Guy who jumped off the overpass to kill himself… I can’t even kill myself…
Guy who is sitting in stand still traffic… you see a guy coming up behind you … texting and he hits you...
Those are the kind of days, you need the Peace of God in YOUR life.
Today it’s rare to find people who are truly at peace. Most people are busy… stressed.... tired… and burdened. But rarely do we run into people who are living in peace.
Peace is a rare quality but it’s the reason Jesus came.
God sent Jesus at Christmas to bring us peace.
700 years before Jesus, Isaiah predicted that the Savior of the world would come and he would be called the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NLT
6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Then at the first Christmas, the Angels announced…
Luke 2:14 NLT
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
So Isa announces peace, the angels announce peace and then Jesus announced that he came to give peace.
John 14:27 NLT
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Jesus gives the kind of peace no one else can give… bottle won’t … relationships will not…
This Christmas, I want us to consider what peace really is…
The kinds of peace Jesus offers… The keys to experiencing that peace
Some of you are frustrated, tired, worried and stressed out. You have come to the end of 2019 and praying and hoping that 2020 will be better.
Listen, you are not here by accident. You came to the right service because God does not want you to go into 2020 worn out and stressed out.
God wants to give you His gift of peace.

What kind of peace does Jesus offer?

There are three kinds of peace: Spiritual Peace, Emotional Peace & Relational Peace
Eternal Peace, Internal Peace, External Peace

3 Kinds of Peace Jesus offers

There are hundreds of verses in the Bible about Peace.

1. Jesus brings Peace with God

1. Jesus brings Peace with God Spiritual

This is the most important one because if affects everything else. You begin with peace with God.
If you have ever been at odds in a relationship with someone you live… nothing else is important other than getting it back on track. When your relationship is strained it robs you of your joy and your peace.
It’s the same way with God. WOG says that Jesus came to make peace between God and us.
2 Corinthians 5:18 CEV
18 God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others.
Why do we need this? Anytime you disobey God it disconnects your relationship with him. But God doesn’t want us to be disconnected… that’s the who reason Jesus came. God made you an I to be connected to him.
Romans 5:1 The Living Bible
1 So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
Peace with God doesn’t come from what you do but from what was done for you. There is noting you can do to be at peace with God… it was done for you on the Cross.
Romans 5:10 TEV
10 We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life!
We were enemies of God but Christ made peace between us…
A lot of religions around the world offer Peace offerings to their gods.... But you don’t have to do that. God did it for you!
Hebrews 7:27 NLT
27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.
Jesus came to die for our sins… why the wise man brought him Myrrh… that’s what every kid wants for Christmas right?

2. Jesus brings Peace within me.

2. Jesus brings Peace within me. Internal/emotional

Bible calls this the Peace OF God.
Colossians 3:15 NLT
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
This is internal peace… it’s your emotional peace. It’s the one that feels good.
Jesus peace is about inner peace that brings happiness and joy… This peace also brings comfort to you when you are hurting. When you feel ashamed, he gives forgiving peace.
When you have peace with God, you can experience the peace of God… within me.

3. Jesus brings Peace with Others

3. Jesus brings Peace with Others Relational

The further we get away from the Lord, the more it messes up your relationships with other people… the more conflict you will have with others. The world is not becoming more peaceful, but more fractured and dysfunctional.
How can we have any unity when we are so different?
Ephesians 2:16 NLT
16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
Jesus brings us together and when we have peace with him, we can have peace with each other.
Galatians 3:28 TEV
28 So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.
These three kinds of peace build on each other. Eternal peace with God leads to internal peace with yourself which leads to external peace with others. It all starts with Jesus.
So how can you enjoy the peace of God?

3 Essentials to enjoying God’s peace

1. You must experience a moment of clarity.

A MOC is a life-changing moment that transforms you forever because you see everything in a clear way for the 1st time.
You see God as he really is… yourself as you really are… other people as they are. … Your problems as they are.... your past the way God sees it.
In the first Christmas several people had moment’s of clarity.
Joseph had a moment of clarity in a dream. He had a dream and all of a sudden he understood…
Wise men had a MOC in nature looking at the stars.
Mary had a MOC when she understood the WOG spoken to her.
Shepherd's has a MOC when they saw the Angels.
Elizabeth had a MOC through her cousin Mary.
Here is what Paul said about an MOC
Ephesians 1:18 The Living Bible
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him!
God knows everything about you; you know almost nothing about God. What you need is a moment of clarity where all of a sudden you go, I get it! I see it! For the first time in my life I actually see it.
Until that happens you’re not going to have peace in your life. It just isn’t going to happen. It isn’t going to happen. It starts with a moment of clarity.
The opposite of MOC is denial.
When you have a moment of clarity you stop blaming other people for your unhappiness. You’re as happy as you choose to be. You can’t blame your husband or your wife, your son, your daughter, your mother, your father, your co-worker, your boss. When you have a moment of clarity just you stop blaming other people and you realize the biggest problem I’ve got is me. Me. I am the problem. It’s the way I’m responding to all of these things.
Luke 11:35 NLT
35 Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.
We have an amazing ability to fool ourselves. We lie to ourselves more than anyone.
Until you have a moment of clarity you don’t understand what it feels like to have real peace. You can have lived your entire life so long without peace that you think that the way you’re living is actually the normal way to live. You think that all that stress, all that anxiety, all that fear, all that fatigue, all that tension, all that stress – that’s just normal. That’s the way everybody lives.
No, they don’t! There is the peace with God and there is the peace of God that gives you peace with others.
In an MOC, you admit that God knows more than you do.
Isaiah 48:18 NLT
18 Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.
When we obey the Lord, we have more peace than we ever imagined.

2. You must express an attitude of humility.

God blesses humility.
James 4:6 NLT
6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
When we get filled up with pride, we get opposite of God and you don’t want to be there.
God is NOT moved by our complaining or whining or arguing. Instead God works in your life when you display humility & faith. He is moved by our faith and humility.
The path to peace begins when we humbly admit that God ids God and we are not.
Isaiah 26:12 NLT
12 Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you.
Have you ever done this? Have you ever admitted that everything you have… God gave you. You were created by God for God… to be loved by God and to learn to love Him.
I know some of you have had a rough year and you are barely hanging on. Listen, we are all broken in some way. We are broken, but God uses us anyway.
If you have a broken heart...
Psalm 34:18 NLT
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
If you are hurting, He is right there with you.
Here is another verse for you…
Philippians 4:6–7 NLT
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
If you do this, you will experience peace.
A Moment of Clarity .... An Attitude of Humility... leads to the 3rd key

3. You must expect Jesus to help you.

This is the faith factor.
Jesus summed up the Christmas Gift of Peace in a 3 step formula you can follow every day.
Matthew 11:28–29 NLT
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
He doesn’t say come to me and I will give you more to do… He says come to me and I will give you rest. He will give you rest for your souls… much deeper than physical rest. Your problem is not overworked muscles, but over worked emotions. You need rest not from physical labor. You need rest from anxiety. You need rest from tension. You need rest from guilt. You need rest from fear
How do you get that?

3 Steps to Peace

1. Come to Jesus

The source of peace is a person.
In the Bible, people cam eto Jesus for many reasons… forgiveness.... healing.... advice… hungry…
How do you unwind when exhausted and overlooked? exercise, movies, hobbies, sport, … all of these are ok, but none of these can rest your soul.
When you are running on empty, culture says to do more, get more,
Jesus says… COME… Just as you are.
The antidote to an overloaded soul is not a plan for better time management, not a program for stress relief, … philosophy or a pill…

2. Connect with Jesus

You yoke up with Jesus.
Yoke - wooden frame that joins 2 farm animals together… so they can team up. The purpose is to make the load easier by sharing the load.
Yoke = symbol of partnership
You weren’t meant to carry your load all by yourself! Jesus: “I’ll share it!” He has a stronger back than you do!Jesus says “join up with me & I’ll pull the load with you!”
Every time you become detached or disconnected from Jesus, you will be stressed. But every time you are connected to Jesus, life is better because Jesus is pulling the load.
You will be yoked to something
controlled by something or expectations of others.
Why not choose the easiest?
We think the answer is “Escape”
God says the answer is “Put me in charge”
o Every time I let go - God gives me peace!

3. Let Jesus change you

Do you think it’s possible that God may know some things about life that you don’t? Yes. That’s called humility. When you admit that – yes. There are some things that God knows that I don’t know about life. He says learn from me for I am gentle and humble.
What are the two biggest sources of stress in our lives? Aggression and Arrogance.
Antidotes to the 2 biggest causes of burnout & no peace!
Aggressionwe don’t wait…pause…consider
We just jump right into things. Get over-committed
Arrogance - we try to control everything!
Your ego is responsible for more overload than you realize!
-you try to do it allhave it all.. and please everyone!
When you experience the peace of God and peace with God it gives you peace within. You don’t have to control everything. You’re not sitting around in judgment of everything because you’re at peace. God’s cut you some slack and you cut other people some slack too. But when you’re prideful your ego is responsible for more stress than you can possibly realize because you try to do it all. You try to have it all. You try to act like super woman or superman. The antidote is gentleness and humility
Isaiah 26:3 NCV
3 You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.
Are you tired of being stressed out? No peace?
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