Monday, December 14, 2015
A Recipe for Christmas Peace
He brought me
And his banner
What if we had recipes for the things our hearts most desired this Christmas? Things like peace and joy and love for one another?
Maybe there would really be "peace on earth." For there will never be any peace on earth without peace reigning in the hearts of God's children first.
But how do we find that peace? Every time it seems that I turn on the TV now I can feel my despair as I watch this world grasp for answers to problems that are beyond our ability to solve. It saddens my heart to hear empty promises and watch shows where I hear canned laughter. It reminds me of the Proverbs 14:13 which says:
"Even in laughter the heart may sorrow,
And the end of mirth may be grief."
Have you noticed that this world is running out of solutions for the overwhelming problems that face us? That the situation grows dimmer by the day? Where can we find answers, hope to even face the year 2016?
The answers are beyond ourselves. But God promises us in Psalm 119:130: "The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple."
Gaining understanding means first admitting that we have run out of ideas in trying to solve our problems in our own way. God has a better idea for all the problems we face.
5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” Proverbs 4: 5-7
I found myself in a stressful situation for the past week or so, and found that I was attempting to let people fill a need that only God could fill. Why do we expect anyone on earth to meet our needs, when there is no one here that can do that? Not even the ones closest to us can meet all of our deepest needs. But we know there is One who can.
I was out of my regular routine, and this morning I was able to return to my habit of reading the Word with my morning coffee. Such peace washed over my soul when I opened up my Bible. It was not always like this, though. I have found that the more I read the Bible, the more I love the Bible. Especially when something pops out at me that I have never seen before. We cannot just read something one time and expect to know it. With the Word of God, it takes a lifetime, and even then we have only barely scratched the surface of learning God's message to us.
If I could write a "recipe" for my own Christmas peace it might read something like this:
Heaping cups of Bible reading and learning God's gift to us wrapped up in the Person of Jesus
with equal amount of cups of praising God for His goodness and daily benefits of knowing Him
folded into an attitude of thanksgiving for all things
Add solid grace teaching, not law, which will strengthen the heart
Beat in gently
An attitude of grateful prayer
Humility and lowliness of mind, thinking of others higher than myself
And a dash of suffering by which my Christian growth expands
Put all into my innermost soul being and bake gently day by day
To yield a rich supply of peace, love and joy, and faith, plus a rich inheritance in glory.
What would your recipe for Christmas peace be? I would love to hear it.