Peace on Earth

Re-Gifting Peace This Christmas


By Pastor Rex Hamilton I have a friend who lives in Orlando, FL and works as the head football coach for a large high school. His name is Andre and for several years, he and I played the re-gifting game. You see, he had received a rather cheesy ceramic angel statue as a gift and decided it would be funny to give it to me knowing I didn’t want the statue either.

f5fa6c4a296b618147316f58a28f0a73Once when our family visited them on a vacation, I packed the statue in my luggage and secretly found an inconspicuous spot in their house to place it. It was weeks before he noticed it and promptly mailed it back to me!

When it comes to the greatest gift humanity has ever received in the birth of Jesus the Messiah, we find that along with his birth came the promise of peace on earth. By giving us His son, he gives us the chance to receive his peace. Shalom. Wholeness of life. Yes, in all the chaos and brokenness of this world, despite our own struggles and pain, we can know real peace.

But God doesn’t give peace separate from Himself, so we have to be willing to receive peace through Him. This means surrender and a willingness to have new life in Him...

This gift of received peace has immense value. Eternal value! It’s far from some unwanted present a friend gives us and we immediately seek a way to get rid of it. No, this gift of peace should be re-gifted to others because of its value and meaning to us. God’s peace isn’t meant to be hoarded, but rather, shared with those around us who desperately need to experience the comfort of God’s wholeness.

This Christmas, lets seek ways to re-gift the peace in God we’ve so freely been given! Who knows the eternal impact it may make...


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Big Faith In A Behind the Scenes God


shutterstock_74565970-1000x641I, like many of you, love a great action movie full of stunts and special effects. Every once in a while a great film comes around and will buy it on DVD so I can watch it long after it’s left the theaters. Most of today’s movies come with special features on the DVD like “deleted scenes” or a “behind the scenes look” at how the special effects were done. I never watch those features. Why? Because it erases all of my awe and wonder of simply enjoying the movie. I don’t need to know how the stunts were done. Rather, I just need to believe that somehow, someway they made something impossible look real and then I get the benefit of engaging in the story of the film.

Thousands of years ago, the prophet Isaiah foretold of a day in which God would give Israel a Messiah. A king of all kings who would deliver them from oppression and free them once and for all. 700 long years would pass before Isaiah’s prophecy would come true in the birth of Jesus.

700 years of waiting and hoping while God worked behind the scenes.

What was God doing all this time? Who knows. Why did it take so long? Your guess is as good as mine.

Scripture is full of stories where people waited on God. Waiting seems to be inseparable from our faith. We pray and seek God for answers and then almost always, we wait. Sometimes we wait a very long time and yet God comes through. Why? Because it’s His nature to be faithful. Leaving us stranded with unanswered prayers or empty hope is NEVER a part of God’s plans!

When we’re in that place of waiting on God, the point isn’t to try and figure Him out when He seems silent or becoming anxious over wondering if He’s doing anything at all. The point is to live in His peace, while knowing that the waiting is for our benefit.

After all, God said through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Are you frustrated with God today? Wondering if he’s listening to your prayers? Are you finding yourself living in more anxiety than peace?

Try this little practice: find a time and place of solitude this week and begin to recall (even if it means going back to your childhood) when God answered your prayers. Often, when we remember His faithfulness in our past, we can be at peace in our today while we wait and He works behind the scenes for our good.

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

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