PATH OF PEACE
God has put us on a path of peace in trusting what Jesus has already done. It’s our choice to choose His path. The prince of your peace is not the prince of your preference. Peace is a Person – The Lord Jesus. Only Jesus can satisfy our soul.
With God your not on a path to peace but on a path of peace. You have peace now, no matter what you’re going through. The stress you’re going through is self imposed. God is saying I will give you peace, I will give you assurance, I will give you confidence, I will give you hope, and knowledge that everything’s going to be alright. Have I ever failed you? Have I ever let you down? Have I ever failed to come to your rescue? Have I ever failed to bless and deliver and set you free? Have I ever ever ever failed you? Then you have peace now you don’t have to expect it sometime in the future. The prince of your peace is not the prince of your preference. The one thing that’s keeping you from having peace is your preference. And your preference is your expectation. You may say, “I won’t have peace until my expectations are met”.
I trust that all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and all the joy and blessedness that a grateful heart brings. Family and friends, faith and hope, and good times around the table and the TV, make for a delightful time of love and goodwill.
And now we enter into another season of holiday, the Christmas season; but instead of peace and joy, we embark upon the most stressful time of the year. This year I believe we’ll start the Christmas Series in the Book of Luke in the home of humble people who have experienced the most unusual activity of God’s dealings with Israel in 400 years.
There are two major songs in the first chapter of Luke. The first is Mary’s, Magnificat, and it is a reference to Hannah’s song in 1 Sam. 2:1-10. The second major song of Luke One is called the Benedictus, and it is sung by Zecharias. The Benedictus has two main parts: 1) Praise to God for Messianic deliverance verses 68-75; 2) A celebration of the significant role John the Baptist will have in this work of deliverance.
Verse 67 Zechariah the Priest now becomes a Prophet. Just as the Holy Spirit had filled Elizabeth in v.41, He now fills the new father, Zechariah. His discipline of muteness did not mean the end of his spiritual ministry. So it is today, God’s discipline in our lives does not mean the end, but we go on in Christian service.
Verse 68 The first words out of a freshly filled with the Spirit Zechariah is PRAISE! Praise is the English word translated from the word eulogetos. Megalynei in verse 46. It literally means enlarge. “Tell out the greatness of the LORD. Two verbs are at the heart of this verse: “has come”, and “has redeemed”. The word episkeptomai (visited) means “to show concern”. Sadly, Israel did not recognize the day of her “visitation”.
The second word “redeemed” comes from two Greek words: epoiesen lytrosin(accomplished redemption). It is a theme that runs all through the Old Testament, the covenant idea that God will rescue from enemies and captivity.
Verse 69-70 “Horn” (v69) The is a common metaphor for great power.The great horned animals of the Near East are the kind of strength Zechariah had in mind. This verse is an allusion to Psalm 132, a psalm about fulfilling the Davidic Covenant. Here God will make a horn to grow for David. Later in Luke’s gospel, the term will assume great importance in relation to the resurrection.
Verses 71-73 “Salvation” links the verses to verse 70 to imply that Jesus will be a “Horn of Salvation”. Saved from our enemies. The three steps of God’s salvation then, is deliverance, mercy, and to remember His Abrahaic, and Davidic covenant.
Verses 74-75 The fulfillment of God’s promises does not mean passivity for Israel, but opportunity for service without fear, and “in holiness and righteousness.”
Verses 76-77 The second part of Zechariah’s song begins with a direct word to his newborn son, John. Because of the greatness of God’s purpose, the prophet speaks of the greatness of the One Who John represents, “The Most High”, “The Lord” The description of John in v. 76, when compared to Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1, 4:5 clearly links him with Elijah. John would go on to preach a message of repentance and forgiveness of sins.
Verse 78-79 “Rising Sun” has a dynamic quality that fits will with the words of the song, “come” and “visit”.
In this verse there is also a quotation from Isaiah 60:1-3
1. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
The hope of his rising in our hearts carries forth the imagery of life giving light, and offers hope and peace to those who are in darkness, or outside the remnant of God faithful people.
God’s promise of peace in the redemptive provision is of extreme importance. That heavenly host of angelic beings that appeared with the Christmas Angel sang “Glory to God in The Highest’, and Peace On Earth, and Good will to men. ”
13. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Stress comes from one of four things. Place, Person, Problem, or Provision. Where you determine to be the source of your stress will be the area in which you seek your peace.
Is. 6 calls Jesus the Prince of Peace. not the prince of my preferences, but the Prince of my area of stress. In other words the problem is not the problem. The enemy of your peace is not the area of your stress. The enemy of your peace is your concept and your expectations of perfection.
Our Prince of Peace did not come dressed like a conqueror; He did not come like a victor, but he came not to the court of kings, but to a stable as a defenseless baby. He is our peace, but He did not come in perfection. He did not come in a way to meet the expectations of the High Priest, or the King, or the Sanhedrin Court. He was God’s answer to their deliverance, but He was not what they expected. Hell bring you peace, but its probably not going to look like you pictured it. His peace may not live up to your expectations. To experience peace you must surrender your expectations.
For a long time, I thought people had to act a certain way for me to have peace. But I have learned to have peace, when people are acting like a devil. You can grow into a place in God where you can experience peace in the midst of turmoil.
I don ‘t want a peace that can be taken away by someone or something. I want an unshakable peace that withstands the onslaught of the enemy. I want a peace that doesn’t depend upon getting a promotion at work, or a raise in pay, or an apology of someone who has mistreated me.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO EXPECT PEACE WHEN YOUR EXPECTATION IS PERFECTION. Your path to peace is to trust what Jesus has already done, and give your feet a command to get going! Its time to change seasons.
The path Zecharia spoke of was not the Path to peace, but the path of peace. The Path of difficulty is also the path of peace. My peace is as consistent as the Lord’s ability to save. Its not a “when I get through this season”, its not a when I get the divorce finalized, its not when I get through Christmas, no when I get this loan paid off, not when my kids get older, not when
That same thing that stole your peace last year will be standing there ready to steal your peace again in 2020. I cannot project my peace. Its not a one day, Sunday morning peace, its not a one night at the movies, when I get married kind of peace.
Every move I make He’s with me, every path I take he’s with me. Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and the peace of God shall rule, and the peace of God that passeth all understanding shall establish me, settle me, and make me complete.
It not a path to peace, Its a path of peace.
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our Life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.