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Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. - Luke 2:14

 

This time of the year is synonymous with gifts, tinsel, and lights, but there is another, more important aspect of this holiday that is unfortunately left out- PEACE. Peace is more than the good feeling you get from giving a few dollars to the Salvation Army Santa, or the joy that you get from watching your kids open the gifts you got them for Christmas. Most people understand peace to be a temporary reprieve from the difficulties they face on a regular basis, but God didn’t intend for you to experience peace every once in a while, he wants you to live in Peace. Isaiah 26:3 says, You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” God wants you to live in atmosphere of peace in your home, your work, and in your church. Peace can be a reality for you today, but you must understand why you don’t have peace in the first place.

 

The reality is that a lack of peace comes from a lack of faith. When we refuse to trust God with our lives we allow the enemy space to work. We forfeit our peace by giving in to the fear that enemy presents us with because we aren’t able to recognize the ability of God in us to overcome the circumstance. Fear is the antithesis of faith and you can’t live with fear and expect to have peace.

 

My prayer for you this holiday season is that you recognize the areas of your life that you’ve given the enemy space to bring fear, and then realize the power of the Holy Spirit that resides within you to overcome those things. Also, that you intentionally keep your mind on the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you with faith and victory. When you sit down at the dinner table this holiday season remember that it was the miraculous birth of Jesus that ushered peace on earth.  

 

 

This past Sunday we talked about overcoming opposition. When the children of Israel came back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the walls around Jerusalem, they were immediately confronted with opposition which was nothing new to the Israelites. They had faced this many times over, but their response  in Ezra and Nehemiah was particularly important. When they were allowed to come back and rebuild they didn’t begin with the walls around Jerusalem or even the basic structure of the temple, they began with the most important thing- The ALTAR. The altar was not merely a symbol of God’s plan, it was the very place that they would offer unto God the sacrifices that would allow them to be near Him. There is a spiritual significance for the church today in offering the sacrifices of praise unto God on a daily basis in order to draw near unto Him. It’s time to repair the altar in your home.

 

The altar in your home is a place that your spouse, children, grandchildren, etc… get a glimpse of you presenting your offerings unto God. As they see you worship in your home, they don’t have to worry about what you’re doing when you’re not in your home. The key to building healthy relationships with your family is not found in how many hours you go to family counseling but how much time you spend at an altar together.

My kids recently asked me what kind of gifts I remembered receiving as a child, and I couldn’t think of anything specific. However, I do remember the time we spent as a family together as my dad would pray over us. I’d like to challenge you to invite your family to an altar this holiday season, and as a family offer worship unto God. The expensive toys will never materialize into love, but teaching your family how to worship will yield eternal results.

 

Bible Reading Plan

Today's Scripture: Hebrews 7-9

Verse of the Day

The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

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