17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Can you imagine a world where everything is good? Where shalom is the norm? Where every person, every endeavor, every thought is good? This was the world God created. This was a place of peace, of flourishing, for all people and all things, to the glory of God and the good of others.
It didn’t take long for peace to move to hostility. It didn’t take long for mutual benefit to move to selfish ambition. Today, we live in a world where peace is often times hard to come by. But a world of hostility, hatred and selfish ambition is not the life God intends for us. God desires a kingdom of peace, of righteousness, of joy for all in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). God has created us to live in peace and to reflect the God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33) that we serve with our lives.
When we live in peace, God is glorified because He is the God of peace. We reflect Him through peace, but we also receive lives of good, of flourishing. This is why peace matters!
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” For His glory and our good!
Families With Young Children
Read Psalm 46:10. KIDS, God knew we could not have perfect peace without Him. He desires for us to know the kind of peace that can only come from Him. He desires us to have that peace because He loves us. When we know Jesus, our hope in God is real and we can trust Him at all times. It is a gift to have peace in our hearts.
How would you describe peace? Why does God want us to have peace in our lives? Why does God want us to live at peace with others? How can you show peace at home, at school, on the playground, during games or while playing with friends?
Read Luke 2:1-5. KIDS, Have you ever taken a long trip? How did you travel – by car, train, bus, or plane? How would you feel if you had to ride a donkey for that long journey? Well, that is exactly how Mary and Joseph had to travel in the days leading up to the birth of baby Jesus. Where did Mary and Joseph go? (Bethlehem)
As you pray, thank God for bringing Mary and Joseph safely to Bethlehem and thank Him for all the times He has taken you and your family safely from one place to another. Thank Him for His gift of peace, thank Him for wanting us to have peace, thank Him for giving you a peaceful day and ask Him to give you peace as you sleep. Ask Him to continue showing you how to be peaceful with others.