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Spark Wonder | Be Thyself Our King of Peace

"'The scepter will not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler's staff from his descendants,

until the coming of the One to whom it belongs,

the One whom all nations will honor.'" - Genesis 49:10 NLT

"You will enlarge the nation of Israel,

and its people will rejoice.

They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest

and like warriors dividing the plunder.

For you will break the yoke of their slavery

and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.

You will break the oppressor's rod,

just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.

The boots of the warrior

and the uniforms bloodstained by war

will all be burned, they will be fuel for the fire.

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." - Isaiah 9:3-6 NLT

"'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.'" - John 14:27 NLT

"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory." - Romans 5:1-2 NLT

"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." - Colossians 3:15 NLT

Jesus is our King of Peace on every level.

God has always promised peace, through Jesus. Isaiah 9 (among other prophetic Psalms) speaks of warrior's gear being burned as fuel for the fire, when Jesus claims His Kingship. The Israelites thought that the coming of the Messiah would bring an end to their oppression under Roman rule. For centuries, the Israelites found themselves in exile or under the rule of one kingdom or another. Their hope for a Messiah was in the physical salvation from their oppressors. But God had a much bigger plan in mind. God wanted His people, and wants us, to be reconciled to Him first and foremost. Without this reconciliation, freedom from earthly oppression would only bring temporary relief. Freedom and intimacy in our relationship with God is always the deeper and root cure.

That is what Jesus came to earth to do when He appeared as an infant, to reconcile humanity to God. This, and all the work He did during His life that was in direct opposition to the systems of the time: touching lepers, talking with and caring for women, challenging the religious authorities, all of it was more impactful and subversive than overthrowing the current government system would have been. Jesus brought His people peace and freedom, no matter who was in power, or what systems of oppression would come into play on earth. In Christ, we can have peace no matter our circumstances.

Jesus completely undid many prejudices and conflicts by showing a new way, the way of God's Kingdom. Now, we await the second coming of Christ, when true peace and harmony will bring all nations and people together in the very presence of God.

In this new Kingdom, there is no partiality toward a particular group of people. All tribes and cultures and nations are celebrated as unique reflections of God's character. And we will all be one in Christ. All creation united once again in the Kingdom of God! Jesus brought peace everywhere He walked.

Because of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, we have peace with God, we will have peace forever when at last war and suffering is silenced. And we can have peace within ourselves.

Jesus gives a gift that the world CANNOT give. As daughters and sons of God, we are incapable of finding true peace in anything this world has to offer, apart from God. The peace or relaxation we find in the world is fleeting, unless it is rooted in Christ's presence. When we look to Christ, in any circumstance, and lift our hearts and minds above the messages of the world that bombard us, we find true and lasting peace of mind and heart.

How else could the disciples have sacrificed their own lives for spreading the Good News about Jesus? How else do we overcome the hard valleys of our own lives? Our own resolution and determination and positivity fall short too quickly. We can only find lasting peace in Christ.

"'Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.

In quietness and confidence is your strength.'" - Isaiah 30:15 NLT

One of my favorite quotes is, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." The way we learn to surf the waves is by using the love and presence of Christ in our lives. Think of Jesus as the surfboard (like a really big one you won't fall off of). He sustains us through the highs and lows of each wave. Jesus is our peace.

Think of ways you can be an ambassador of peace to those around you this season and beyond.

How have you experienced the lasting peace of Jesus in your life? What were the circumstances around that time? Do certain activities or attitudes help you keep your heart and mind on Jesus?


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