Merry Christmas! The YouTube video above is titled, “Glory (Let There Be Peace),” sung by Matt Maher. The chorus to the song is below:
We’re singing glory, gloryLet there be peace, let there be peaceWe’re singing glory, gloryLet there be peace,
Let it start in me
The key to the chorus is found in the last line–“Let it start with me.”
In an article published on May 1, 2017, titled, “What Peace Is Not,” by J. Koon, contributor on YMI.today, she writes:
When we think of the word “peace”, we often imagine serene scenes of nature. We think of quiet country roads below blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds, vast green fields stretching beyond the horizon, and calm seas with seagulls and egrets flying overhead. We think of resting our tired bodies on a soft, comfortable bed and dozing off to unruffled, sweet dreams.
However, we know that life on this earth is not a placid existence. We live in a tumultuous world with plenty of problems on both the macro and micro scale. We face stormy seas and relentless monsoon rains in our bustling cities; we’re constantly stuck in traffic jams or in the unforgiving rat race. We face sickness, financial issues, emotional problems, injustice, and wars.
Against this backdrop, it is difficult to imagine having peace and hope. Who can we trust to grant us peace?
Isaiah 9:6 says: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
God knows that we live in a troubled world. He gave us the Prince of Peace—His Son, Jesus. Jesus Himself says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The peace Jesus grants us is not just a subjective feeling of wellness or the absence of trials; it is the confidence that we are right with God because of His sacrifice on the cross for us.
Even as we face momentary troubles in life, we can rest assured because of the hope we have—that everything will be made perfect in time.
Many years have passed since I have come to know Jesus, and He has consistently been a faithful companion and constant comfort through the ups and downs of life. Heartbreak, failures and disappointments may come my way but I am confident that only God can provide, that He cares, and that everything will eventually work out for good according to His will.
If you are facing storms in your life today, may I encourage you to surrender your problems to Christ and experience His amazing peace? (Quote source here.)
Jesus gives us the best gift of all–“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27). And he doesn’t just give it to us at Christmas but throughout the entire year.
In an article published on December 21, 2021, titled, “Christmas Every Day,” by Pete Briscoe, preaching coach and former senior pastor at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship for over 30 years, he writes:
“I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
This Christmas, remember that the true value of a gift depends on how you measure it. Sure, a gift with a large price tag might seem more valuable, but only by the world’s standards. As usual, God looks at it differently:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)
If you’re feeling like you have nothing left to give right now, that verse is worth pondering. She gave more; she gave out of her poverty; she put in all she had to live on. Think about this a little bit—it puts a whole new twist on Christmas when we consider this passage in light of who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us.
Mary carried Jesus for nine months in order to deliver Him to the world. We carry Jesus for the rest of our lives in order to deliver Him to the world. As living sacrifices, we take Him to mankind so that Christ might literally touch people through our hands, feet, and voices. When we allow Christ to live through us in this way, we are sharing our very life, everything we have, more than anything that can be bought.
Have you ever realized it? Have you ever thought about this? God basically asks us to do the same thing He asked Mary to do. He came to Mary, someone who had nothing to give, and He basically said, make your body a living sacrifice to me. Entrust yourself to me. Now He looks at us and says exactly the same thing.
“Lord, one more time, I willingly and joyfully lay myself at Your feet to be used as the packaging and wrapping of Your gift of Jesus to the world every day, all year long. In the midst of all the holiday noise, give me ears to hear the gentle voice of Your Spirit nudging me toward tangible acts of love. Amen.” (Quote source here.)
Whether we are celebrating Christmas with family, or we are celebrating Christmas alone (for any number of reasons why that may be the case), let us remember that in God’s eyes, no one is insignificant… ever.
In an article published on February 11, 2021, titled, “Significance in Insignificance,” by Trevin Wax, vice president of research and resource development at the North American Mission Board and a visiting professor at Cedarville University, he write:
Micah [see Micah 5:2-4] prophesied that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem to rule on behalf of God Himself. And in choosing Bethlehem as the birthplace of the future King, God shows how He delights in bestowing significance upon the insignificant.
1. Greatness will come from the place of humility.
Bethlehem was a minor town. Yes, King David was born there, but like David himself, there was no initial pomp to impress you. When God told Samuel to anoint the next king, He sent him to Jesse’s house, and when Samuel saw Jesse’s strongest son, God said:
Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Jesse hadn’t even thought to bring in the youngest—David, the shepherd boy. Surely if God is the Captain choosing the best for His team, He’s not going for David, the boy writing songs and playing his harp, who spends all his time with the sheep!
But God’s plan was for the great king to arise from a place of great humility. God knows that when He brings greatness out of humility, He gets all the praise. Someone humble—that’s who God can work with. God lifts up the humble in order to magnify His grace, mercy, and freedom. That’s why a thousand years later, the Apostle Paul would write:
God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one may boast in his presence. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)
God is not impressed by our achievements, by our gifts, talents, or boastings. The world has enough people who boast of their accomplishments. God raises up people who will boast only in Him.
2. Authority will come from the place of vulnerability.
Another important aspect of Micah’s prophecy: this Ruler with worldwide authority will come from a place of utter vulnerability. Even though Bethlehem was under threat of siege, Micah foresaw how ultimate authority would one day rise out of this town through Jesus.
Authority and vulnerability. Centuries later, a pregnant teen gave birth in a smelly stable in Bethlehem, and we see in that scene of humility and vulnerability the truth: the King of the world is the swaddled Baby crying quietly in the manger.
The world’s vision of authority emphasizes strength and power. Don’t you dare show weakness! Never concede. Never back down! The world looks for status in the luxurious life, not the meager manger.
But God turns upside down all expectations. The Son of God became an infant. The One through whom and in whom and for whom the whole world was made and holds together submitted to the helplessness of infancy to demonstrate that His ways surpass the ways of the world.
3. Security will come through the strength of God.
Micah foretold the coming of Messiah from Bethlehem and also pointed toward the future reign of Jesus when He comes again.
He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord his God. They will live securely, for then his greatness will extend to the ends of the earth. (Micah 5:4)
This Ruler who rises from humble circumstances, from the place of vulnerability, will return to shepherd “in the strength of the Lord.”
It’s easy in our day for leaders with authority to rule in their own strength. You may feel insecure about your status, wondering if you have what it takes. You try to compensate for that insecurity in other ways. When you’re not secure about your own name, you drop the names of others. When you’re not secure in your own status, you promote yourself and list your accomplishments. When you’re in a place of leadership, you minimize your vulnerability by blaming others for failure or by abusing the privilege you’ve been given.
Yet those of us who follow Christ must remember our security comes from God’s strength alone. Our well-being comes from knowing an all-powerful, all-good God who orchestrates all things for His glory.
So, today, if you feel “less than, inferior, that you can never measure up,” look not to yourself but to the greatness of Christ. If you feel vulnerable, small, or insignificant, remember that Jesus arose from a place of obscurity. If you feel weak, unsure, and unknown, draw your strength from God. God specializes in lavishing grace upon unworthy people. He delights in doing great things through the one the world would pick last. (Quote source and complete article available at this link.)
I’ll end this post with the words from Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor…
Mighty God . . .
Everlasting Father . . .
Prince of Peace . . . .
YouTube Video: “A Family Christmas” by The Piano Guys (47 minutes of beautiful Christmas music):
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