The Need for Peace

PEACE that Overcomes and Overwhelms


  1. By Isaiah, the messianic prophet. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
  2. By the heavenly host, at the birth of Jesus. “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” – Luke 2:13-14

— The Prince of Peace came to bring peace to men of good will.

What is that peace? Here is where the outline in your bulletin begins…


According to Luke 2:14, this PEACE is…

Personal – “Peace among men with whom he is pleased” Personal peace can come in two ways…


  1. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” so this reminds us that since we have been made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, we have peace with God.
  2. James 4:4 tells us that “do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” When you are an enemy of God, there can be no peace. He requires total surrender, coming to him on HIS terms, not our own.
  3. Paul says in Colossians 1:20 – “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

— The bottom line? Without peace with God, no real peace is possible


  1. Jesus offers peace inside, unfazed by the world around us. Consider Paul’s teaching in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  2. In a world of trouble and distress, Jesus encourages his followers in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
  3. Also in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
  4. Jesus also gives us peace even in the task (or the mission) that he has for us to do, in John 20:21, “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

— Jesus provides peace that surpasses all understanding

Finally, according to Luke 2:14, this PEACE is also…

Practical – “On earth peace among men…” we are not alone on this planet, rather we love in community.


  1. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:28 that Jesus breaks down the barriers between other people. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
  2. Paul tells us the same thing in Ephesians 2:14 he tells to “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,”
  3. Peter tells us to “be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 “He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it.” – 1 Peter 3:8-11

— Jesus makes peace between mankind possible.


So, when the Old Testament Scriptures ascribed to Jesus the title, “Prince of Peace,” He was proclaimed as One who forever has a rule of peace (offering a right relationship with God, with one another, and with ourselves).

The standard of peace becomes a great way to spiritually measure our lives: am I at peace with God, with others, and with myself.

Can you imagine being so affected by the Prince of Peace that you daily walk in peace with God, with others, and with yourself? This is the message of Christmas: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men…”

If you need peace, I’ve attempted to reinforce that there is only one place to get true peace, in the person Jesus Christ.

The Monster in the Manger

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… you can’t read those words without adding the tune, at least in your mind. Christmas is a wonderful time because it is the time of celebration of the coming of the long-awaited Messiah. He was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2). Christians recognize the Messiah to be the baby born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). The sign to the shepherds was finding the baby lying in a manger (Luke 2:12). So, much of Old Testament prophecy pointed to this great event in the life of the community.

In America, we have removed the Messiah in the manger and replaced him with the monster in the manger. To a few people, it appears to be offensive to make any reference to Jesus during Christmas, preferring to emphasize Santa, reindeer and good old fashioned consumerism (dare I say, materialism). In a lot of places we have to remove the word “Christmas” and insert “holidays.” Hey, if this is the only persecution the church receives, it is pretty mild compared to what believers are enduring around the world, just for professing faith in Jesus Christ.

Today I want to remind you of an over-used story in the Bible (although never to my knowledge is it in the context of Christmas). It is used often in the context of choices, women’s roles, discipleship, service, or the need to spend more time with Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).

38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

This was a family whom Jesus loved very much. It was sort of like family coming home for the holidays. The first thing I notice is that Martha spent so much time serving Jesus that she had no time to enjoy his company. As a pastor, I fear this happening in my life and must constantly be on my guard against it. After all, Jesus called his disciples to first BE WITH him (Mark 3:14) before he sent them out to serve him.

Frustration apparently arose over Mary not doing her part to help out. Everything had to be perfect for the guest who were coming over. That which started out as gladness and celebration ended up in resentment and envy.

Christmas is a special time when we want everything to be perfect… the right thoughtful gift that expresses our feelings for someone; the party plans require cleaning, and shopping, and invitations, and cooking, and decorations, and all of this leads to exhaustion. If it is not perfect, then we are just a failure. How many times have you been so spent physically and emotionally that you are unable to enjoy the Christmas season?

We must keep the baby in the manger as our primary focus during Christmas, because we can be all about being so busy during Christmas that we forget what the nativity is all about. If the Messiah is being diminished, we are replacing him with a monster!

Even if what you are doing is for the glory of God, God will not ask you to do something that will hinder your relationship with him! Spend time with him rather than just serve him. Sometimes we actively serve him and at other times we quietly sit at his feet.

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Here is a Christmas Quiz

We’ve all seen and heard the Christmas story so many times that we know exactly what God’s Word says about it, right? Or do we sometimes let tradition overtake the truth? (Also check out Christmas Mythbusters).

Dates and Mates

  1. For the journey to Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph,
    1. Walked
    2. Joseph walked; Mary rode a donkey
    3. Rode a bus
    4. Who knows?
  2. When Mary became pregnant, Mary and Joseph were,
    1. Married
    2. Just friends
    3. Engaged
    4. None of the above
  3. When Mary became pregnant,
    1. Joseph married her
    2. Joseph wanted to dissolve their relationship
    3. Mary left Nazareth for a while
    4. An angel told them to go to Bethlehem
    5. Both 2 and 3
    6. Both 2 and 4
  4. Christmas has always been observed,
    1. On December 25
    2. On January 6
    3. At Grandma’s house
    4. None of the above

Kings and Wings

  1. Who directed Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?
    1. Herod
    2. An angel
    3. Caesar
    4. The IRS
  2. Just what is a “heavenly host?”
    1. An angelic choir
    2. The welcoming angel in heaven
    3. An army of angels
    4. None of the above
  3. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?
    1. A multitude
    2. Two – Gabriel and Michael
    3. One
    4. Who knows?
  4. What song did the angels sing?
    1. “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
    2. “Joy to the World”
    3. “Glory to God in the Highest”
    4. None of the above

Barns and Yarns

  1. The baby Jesus was born in a,
    1. Cave
    2. Manger
    3. Hurry
    4. Barn
    5. Who knows?
  2. What animals were present at Jesus’ birth?
    1. Cows, sheep and camels
    2. Cows, sheep and donkeys
    3. Lions and tigers and bears
    4. None of the above
  3. What is a manger anyway?
    1. A barn
    2. A place for hay
    3. A feeding trough
    4. A Greek term for the church nursery
  4. When did baby Jesus cry?
    1. When He opened the wise men’s gifts
    2. Whenever babies usually cried
    3. When the cattle started lowing
    4. “No crying He makes”

Signs and Lines

  1. Joseph’s family was from,
    1. Jerusalem
    2. Nazareth
    3. Bethlehem
    4. None of the above
  2. Who saw the star over Bethlehem?
    1. Mary and Joseph
    2. Shepherds
    3. The three kings
    4. Both 2 and 3
    5. None of the above
  3. What sign were the shepherds to look for?
    1. A star over the stable
    2. A barn outlined with Christmas lights
    3. A baby in a manger
    4. Both 1 and 3
    5. None of the above
  4. What did the innkeeper say to Mary and Joseph?
    1. “I have a stable out back.”
    2. “Come back after the holidays.”
    3. “There’s no room in the inn.”
    4. Both 1 and 3
    5. None of the above

Wise Guys and Testing Lies

  1. How many wise men came to see Jesus? _______ (Write in correct number)
  2. What in the world are Magi?
    1. Eastern kings
    2. Magicians
    3. Astrologers
    4. Wise enough to follow the star
    5. None of the above
  3. When the wise men brought their gifts to Jesus, they found Him in,
    1. A manger
    2. A house
    3. Vacation Bible School
    4. None of the above
  4. In what books of the Bible will you find these fascinating facts?
    1. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    2. Matthew and Luke
    3. Mark and Matthew
    4. Matthew, Mark and Luke


Dates and Mates
1-1. The Bible gives no record of their means of travel.
2-3. Matthew 1:18
3-5. Matthew 1:19; Luke 1:39, 56
4-4. December 25 was selected late in the 4th century as the day to celebrate Christ’s birth

Kings and Wings
1-3. Luke 2:1
2-3. An army of angels
3-3. Luke 2:10 (“the angel said to them”)
4-4. Luke 2:13 (They didn’t sing; they “said.” OK, if you picked 3,  you get one point).

Barns and Yarns
1-5. Luke 2:7 (We aren’t told where Jesus was born, only that after His birth He was laid in a manger).
2-4. The Bible doesn’t say anything about animals being present.
3-3. A feeding trough
4-2. He was fully human as well as fully God.

Signs and Lines
1-3. Luke 2:4
2-5. None of the above (Three kings are not mentioned in the Bible. Only in songs).
3-3. Luke 2:12
4-5. An innkeeper is never mentioned in the Scriptures.

Wise Guys and Testing Lies
1. The Bible doesn’t say how many – only that Magi came bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh (see Matthew 2:12).
2-3. Astrologers who dabble in the natural sciences.
3-2. Matthew 2:11
4-2. Check it out!

19-20 correct: Congratulations! You can separate fact from fiction.
18-16 correct: Not Bad! Truth wins over tradition.
15 – 11 correct: Uh oh! You’ve been to too many Christmas plays.
10 or below correct: Ouch!

A Former Muslim’s Story

This is the season of Immanuel, God coming into the world to dwell with us, the incarnation. It is more than myth or legend, this God-Man Jesus changes lives, and people do not recant in the face of hostility and death. Take a look at this Voice of the Martyrs video at one family in Iran.

Matthew 5:10-12, Mark 10:29-31, Luke 21:12, John 15:20, Acts 7:51-53, 1 Corinthians 4:11-13, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 4:12

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