“Peace be with you” – JesusREADJohn 20:19-29REFLECTWe hear a lot about peace during the Christmas season. This is for good reason. At Jesus’ birth the heavenly host of angels said, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” We all hope for peace on earth, and we certainly crave for a sense of peace in our own lives. We crave peace, so we can relax and simply be ourselves. But why do we feel an absence of peace? Why is it so illusive? Is there any hope for peace?Like anything else in life we have two options to find peace: it is either earned or given. Our world promises we can earn peace through perfection and comfort. We are promised the perfect job, perfect body, or perfect relationship will earn us peace. Comfort is another way we are promised peace. Comfortable lives, comfortable relationships, and even comfortable clothing offer to earn us peace. Jesus offers something entirely different. Instead of earning peace through attempts at perfection or avenues of comfort, Jesus gives peace. His way is not only better, it’s the only true way to real peace.After He rose from the dead He presented Himself alive to His disciples, but one of them was absent that day. When the absent Thomas heard of the occasion, he said, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.” Thomas was seeking peace through seeing. We will never see enough evidence in our lives to proclaim peace. Attempting to find peace by seeing is attempting to earn peace. When Jesus entered the room He said, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:24-26). He was not asking His disciples to earn peace. He was giving peace.This is what the angels were celebrating when Jesus was born into the world. Real peace was actually available! The Savior earned it for us through living the perfect life we cannot, dying the death we deserve, and then displaying His permanent victory by raising from the dead.Look at Jesus as He stands facing you with nail marks in His hands and saying, “Peace be with you.” Accept His offer. There’s nothing else like it!RESPOND1- Where have you noticed a lack of peace in your life?2- How have you attempted to use training, exercise, or athletics to earn peace?3- What are other ways you have attempted to earn peace?4- Ask God to grant you peace through the gift of Jesus.
5- Look up Romans 15:13 & memorize it.