Prince of Peace

December 05 2016
December 05 2016

Adults and children view and experience Christmas differently. For adults, Christmas is chaotic and stressful – filled with activity, preparations, and planning. Your mind is running in so many different directions because of all the things that need to get done. But for children, Christmas is calm and peaceful. Children don’t have to worry about all the preparations and planning, they don’t have to worry about what to get everybody and how much to spend on each gift. The only thing they worry about is whether they will get everything on Santa’s list or not!

For adults, Christmas is about doing and giving. For children, it is about resting and receiving. For adults, there is a lot of anxiety. For children, there is a lot of anticipation. Children anticipate and expect to receive gifts at Christmas. This is why they can’t sleep, and run quickly to look under the tree, screaming  – “Hurry and wake up, it’s time to open presents!”

What has happened to our childlike view and experience of Christmas? When we get older why do we no longer anticipate and expect to receive gifts from God?

For some of us, the only thing you anticipate is for Christmas to be over! You’ve been so busy with all the planning and preparations you haven’t had any time to reflect on what Christmas really means. You think the calm will come when the chaotic activity ends, but it doesn’t.

For others of you, there is no anticipation and expectation, because you’re living with all the regrets of this past year. You look back on this year and think of all the things you should’ve done but didn’t do, the things you wish you could undo, but can’t. Sure, you may receive some gifts from people this Christmas, but you think you are unworthy to receive anything from God.

Believe it or not, God wants you to experience Christmas every day like a child! He wants you to live every day with the anticipation and expectation, that no matter what, you will receive gifts of His grace. God wants you to live in the calm of knowing that everything has been done for you, so you don’t have to worry about trying to save yourself. Every day, God wants you to know and experience the reality of His peace. God’s gift of grace, in sending His Son, is a gift that never stops giving!

In Isaiah 9, the prophet is like a child anticipating Christmas morning. He is longing for Christmas morning. He is expecting to receive the gift of God’s grace, and he can’t wait to wake everybody up so they can unwrap the gift that God has given.

It’s a gift that “will cause those in anguish to all of a sudden rejoice”. It’s a gift that will “cause those who walked in darkness to see God’s light shine upon them”. It’s a gift that will continually increase people’s joy, because this gift will remove sin’s burden and break sin’s oppression over people.

This gift will usher in present, perpetual, and permanent peace with God! This gift does not come with an instruction manual, and there is no assembly required. You don’t have to shop for this gift, because this gift requires no payment on your part.

This is unlike any gift you’ve been given - “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”

Jesus is God’s gift of grace to you, He is a gift that will never stop giving. He was given, not to be placed under a tree, but one who was gift-wrapped, to hang on a tree in order to die for you.

His name is called “Wonderful Counselor”, because He was given to make God’s love for us more real. He came to make the invisible God known. He came to be with you so you could know the reality of His presence, and the love He has for you every day!

His name is called “Mighty God”, because He was given to fight for you. He came to conquer sin and death for you.

His name is called “Everlasting Father”, because He was given in order to make you His child forever! God will not refund this gift or exchange it for something else – He is your everlasting Father!

His name is called “Prince of Peace”, because He was given, not only to end the war between you and God, but also to remove the cause for that war – your sin. He came to take your place, to receive God’s wrath, and to pay for sin’s penalty. He came to make you God’s friend so you could know and experience His peace!

Isaiah is crying out to you this Christmas morning – “For YOU a child is born, for YOU a Son is given”. Jesus is the gift of God’s presence to dwell with you always. Jesus is the gift of God’s peace. He was given, so that you could rest calmly in knowing that everything has already been done to make you His child. Because this gift keeps on giving - “Hurry and wake up! Come to Calvary’s tree, because it’s time to open God’s present - given especially for you!


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