“Pilgrim Reflections”

December 20, 2023

By Tom Smith

“The Prince of Peace”

That’s one of the names He’d be called:

Along with “Immanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God and the everlasting Father” (Isaiah 7:14b; 9:6).

Yes, those were the names revealed to Isaiah as he prophesied of the “Coming, Anointed-and-Appointed, Promised Deliverer sent from God”—otherwise known as the Messiah or Christ.

And, some 700 years later those prophesies came true in One Who’d also be called Jesus, which means “The Lord is Salvation.”

His Birth in a crudely made, wooden, feeding trough for cattle (manger) was/is both miraculous and mysterious: for none of us can understand a virgin birth or how “the Word could be made flesh and dwell among us” (Is. 7:14a; Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-7; John 1:14).

Likewise, our human minds cannot grasp all that happened from “the Cradle to the Cross”. . .the Resurrection. . .or how Jesus’ Life can change lives today some 2,000 years later.

But, thankfully, He still does. Hallelujah!!

Yes, when one comes to God in childlike Faith and invites Jesus to live within his/her heart, life is never the same again. Why is that?

Because, He is the “Prince of Peace” and brings His incomparable, indescribable Peace with Him when He takes us residence in one’s heart (John 14:1, 27; Philippians 4:7).

Does that mean we’ll no long have any problems or battle doubts, discouragement, depression or despair? No, they’ll still be there (Romans 7:7-24; II Corinthians 1:8); but, by

Faith, we’ll know we’re not alone in them: and His Presence and Promises will fill us with His Peace.

Nowadays an increasing number of U.S. adults (seven in 10) describe themselves as “spiritual” in some way; yet, statistics show that unhappiness and fear are at an all-time high. In fact, the suicide rate in America this year is the highest ever recorded—up over 50% over the last two decades.

So, what’s the problem? If 70% of folks say “I’m spiritual, just not religious,” why is America not increasingly a peaceful place to live?

It’s because it’s a world of make-believe, materialism, hedonism, humanism, etc., filled with non-Biblical world views. That’s why 71% of folks believe part of nature (like mountains, rivers, trees, etc.) have spiritual energies—and nearly half say the same thing about certain objects like crystals, stones, jewels, etc.

All of this stems from satan’s original lie in the Garden of Eden when he said “Eat of this forbidden fruit and you’ll be like god, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

But, such didn’t happen when Adam and Eve ate; instead, they were immediately filled with guilt, shame, fear, separation from God and each other, etc. (vv.6-13): all because of sin.

Thankfully, the Message of Christmas says Jesus purposely chose to become one of us. . . and be “tempted/tried in every way we are (yet without sin)”. . .so He could come to our aid and give us Hope and His Peace in our troubled world (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:9-11, 14-18; 4:15).

The question is, “Are you experiencing His Peace within—or are you filled with ‘doom, despair and agony on me,’ along with fear of both the ‘known’ and the unknown??”

God created us for Himself so He could fellowship with us. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee, O God.” Someone else said “There’s a God-shaped hole in our hearts that no one or nothing can fill but Him.”

And, thankfully, the Good News message of Christmas is that Jesus came all the way from Heaven looking for you. He’s “well-acquainted with your sorrows” and the One Who can “cleanse your conscience from its guilt” (Isaiah 53:3-4; Heb. 9:14).

Yes, He is that “Prince of Peace” Isaiah prophesied about—and the saying is true, “Know Christ, know Peace; no Christ, no Peace.”

Here’s hoping you have His Peace “that passes all understanding;” if not, there’s no better time than right now to invite Jesus into your heart as Savior and Lord. That way this will be the best Christmas you’ve ever experienced: because His indwelling Presence will be your Peace. Amen and amen. Thank You, Jesus.

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 614, Mulberry, AR 72947 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com).

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