Amidst the hurry of the holidays our family took time to watch as Ann Voskamp lit the Peace candle from her farm in Canada. We read the devotional thought from Ann’s book, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, and with joy hung the eighth Jesse Tree ornament on our tree. Peace often alludes us during this season, but this week we slow to contemplate the perfect peace that God provides.
Day 8: We have peace because we don’t work for our salvation; it is a gift. God doesn’t ask us to climb a ladder to Him; He came down to get us. God said to Jacob,
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15 (ESV)
Day 9: P-E-A-C-E amid the trials and difficulties of life, P-E-A-C-E when we’re assaulted by those who mean harm, and P-E-A-C-E because our God is always present and transforms the ugly-difficult for our good.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
Day 10: We have peace because God clearly communicates from a heart of love how to have an intimate and meaningful relationship with Him.
Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! Deuteronomy 5:29 (NIV)
Day 11: A scarlet thread, bright as blood, is woven through the text of the Bible– sacrifice pays the price for sin. Sacrifice makes peace between holy God and sinful man. Perfect peace comes through Christ who paid the price once for all.
Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. Joshua 2:18 (ESV)
Day 12: Peace can come in the form of almost unnoticeable daily details, that when we look back on them we see the hand of God.
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 (NIV)
Day 13: Save the struggle for the world, we can have peace because God is not concerned with our performance– our hearts are all that matter to Him.
“…For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
Day 14: We have peace because we see and know the Light in the darkness.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)
The “unwrapping” of week three has already begun and the excitement is building. Jesus is our peace!