Conditional Peace

Probably the most well-known passage of scripture heard around this time of year is from Luke 2. The angelic announcement of the birth of the Christ-child is engraved on Christmas cards, heard in television specials, and sung in familiar carols.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

Most people assume the angels from that night in Bethlehem’s sky proclaimed that peace had now come to everyone, but if you look just a little closer, the angel didn’t say that the peace he spoke of would be a comforting blanket intended to cover all people.  Instead, it’s a result of God’s favor resting on a specific group.

In this life, it’s easy to think about the favor of the Lord in terms of the things that He does for us. And while it is most noticed and perceived by easily recognized blessings, the favor of the Lord goes much deeper than provision alone and is, instead, rooted in a fundamental attitude God has toward those who’ve become His children through a relationship with His Son. By faith in Christ, the wall of sin that separated us from God is removed (Eph. 2:14), and we’re and brought near to Him. (Eph.2:11) Now, with the approval, and acceptance of the Father, (favor) He invites us into his household (Eph. 2:19) and calls us ‘friends.’ (John 15:15)

So if the peace of God seems to be elusive for you this Christmas, the Good News of great joy is that you can have it by reflecting on and accepting the greatest gift ever given.  When you do, you accept the magnificent offer of true and enduring peace that only comes through the favor of God. But remember that it isn’t just a feeling. It isn’t only an attitude.

Peace is a person, and His name is Jesus. (Eph 2:14)

 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. ~ Isaiah 9:6


6 thoughts on “Conditional Peace

  1. Walter Kahler says:

    I always love the way you share the truth. When I was reading this it reminded me of (Colossians 3:15) about the peace of God ruling our hearts. You beautiful reminder of the importance of formulating a relationship with Christ in order to find favor with God. Thanks Karen.

    1. Karen says:

      Thanks Walter! Very true. We have to establish peace WITH God through a relationship with Christ before we can ever enjoy the peace OF God.

  2. Mel Thompson says:

    Thanks Karen for this message. I wished I had read earlier, but I’m just a bit behind schedule in reading and writing.
    Actually, PEACE fits right in with my thinking. HEART PEACE versus WORLDLY PEACE. shalom. And as you pointed out so vividly, PEACE finds its ultimate expression in an intimate relationship with God, made possible by the saving work of Christ. Indeed, JESUS is declared as the embodiment of peace, bringing about the eternally permanent reconciliation between man and God. AMEN! Thanks Karen.

    1. Karen says:

      Yes indeed. Much of the time the world thinks of peace of in the negative… peace is the absence of conflict, war, hostility.
      But it is more than that. God sees peace not as the absence of strife or conflict, but as the presence of righteousness.
      Righteousness that brings about right relationships. Peace isn’t just stopping the war; it’s bringing about righteousness so that the two warring factions are brought together in love. as you brought up, probably the best understanding of peace is found in the Hebrew greeting “shalom.” The meaning here is not… may you have no conflicts… but roughly, “I desire for you all the righteousness and good God can give.” And there is no greater good that God gives than Christ Himself. So, Mel, shalom to you, my friend!

  3. Amy Bovaird says:

    What a wonderful way to put it: “Peace is a person and his name is Jesus.” I love that! Thank you for this excellent reminder put so succinctly, Karen!


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