Wednesday, December 24, 2008
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It was World War I, and it was Christmas Eve. The German and British soldiers were dug in just hundreds of yards apart. But it turned out to be much more than just another tense and violent night on the battlefield. It began when one German soldier began singing "Silent Night" from his trench. Pretty soon he was joined in German by many more of his fellow soldiers. Amazingly, the voices of hundreds of British soldiers began to join in the carol from their trenches. Now that has to have been a moment those soldiers never forgot - opposing armies singing "Sleep in heavenly peace" in the middle of a battlefield.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and on this day before Christmas, I want to have A Word With You about "Battlefield Peace."
It's good to remember this season that we celebrate Jesus' birth. No one has the power to bring peace in the midst of a battle like Jesus does. And that hope seems more important than ever in our world right now; a world that is feeling more and more like a battlefield.
Not to mention the unsettling battles in our own lives, battles which sometimes are actually amplified by the joy of the Christmas season, that strained relationship, the broken relationship, the loneliness, the uncertainties about the future, or just the emptiness on the inside that makes us feel like an attractively wrapped present with not much inside. For some of us, not even Christmas can tame the battlefield in our own heart.
Of course, peace is part of the promise of Christmas. The angels who announced Jesus' birth said He would make possible "peace on earth to men on whom His favor rests" (Luke 2:14). It wasn't so much political peace they were talking about, it was personal peace, inner peace - the kind that has eluded some of us for a long time. It's a peace that you may be ready for. And wouldn't it be incredible if you could finally begin to experience that peace here on the eve of Christmas!
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:13-14, our word for today from the Word of God, that peace is actually a Person. God says we were "without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ, for He himself is our peace."
That peace is actually the bringing together of you and me with the God we are away from. All of our running of our own life, all the wrong things we've done have left us far from the God whose love we were made for. So there's never really any inner peace until we let Jesus bring us home to Him. It took Jesus dying on the cross to pay for all of your sin, but because He did, He made it possible for your war with God to end; for you to finally experience that awesome feeling of knowing that you are at peace with your God.
If you've never actually placed your life in the hands of Jesus, here on the eve of Christmas would be a wonderful time to open the door of your heart to Him. Tell Him right now, "I want to belong to you, Jesus. I resign running my own life. I turn from the wrong, and sinful, and self-centered choices I've been making. I believe you died for those sins. I believe you walked of your grave under your own power and that you're alive today so you can save me today. Now as we celebrate your coming to this world, I celebrate your coming into my life this very day.
We would love to help you be sure you have begun your relationship with Him - to understand it more; to know how to do it. Our website is for that. I hope you'll come and visit us today. If you'll spend just a very short time there, I think you'll be encouraged on your walk into the arms of Jesus Christ. It's YoursForLife.net. Or call us toll free if you want to, to get the booklet Yours For Life. It's 877-741-1200.
From this day on, you can have that "heavenly peace" on that battlefield in your heart. Have a very special Christmas.