Only Jesus Remains– 48.Christmas Peace

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

How flippantly in this season, peace on earth and goodwill toward all people is declared as if war, contention and division will cease. But this is not what was implied. Though it is to be longed for and sought, such peace will not be fully achieved this side of eternity. The peace Jesus brought is different than you may think you want. There are various aspects to this.

 Jesus was born to connect all people. To invite all who choose Him to be part of His kingdom. This was and is an important aspect of the peace Jesus brought. In this way, God-peace is also has practical out-workings. It is a peace which works for the justice and care one, which means sometimes firmness of word and action are required. This is when the current environment may not be peace-filled. Thus, we are peace-seekers, peace-pushers and even peacemakers. But not settling for fake peace on the surface but working relentlessly unto fairness and justice for all. We stand up for this peace. As God leads. Loving one another as He has loved and loves each one of us. He alone knows what each one needs for such a time as this. This is tangible, active, other-love like Jesus did.

God-peace also is heart-peace. In the midst. This inner peace has its singular source in God and comes interiorly, spiritually and profoundly in a manner which expands in you from the inside out and exceeds all full human comprehension. This peace is His promise to us while we journey home.

Becoming aware of this peace He is constantly offering and coming to rest in it can result from the awareness and acceptance of how things really are, which comes from comprehending at increasing levels the nature of God and the reality in which you find yourself for now. What He is working to do and where this is leading. No longer being surprised by the hard aspects of life and the battles here, so that Holy Spirit’s gift of peace fills you to an overflowing which is not of this world.  And then this heart-peace rooted in you are rooted in Him flows through you like a river for God-encounter for yet more people.

As Christmas is celebrated you remember and give thanks for the hope which became fact. Jesus came and fulfilled every biblical promise from God. This remains beyond complete understanding. Yet, each moment He is helping and leading you toward your forever home. In the dailiness. Through it. He is for you and longs to use you for the other. The one next to you. The day will come when you arrive. When your tomorrows are no longer here but there. This will be place of permanent and full peace between all peoples under the banner of Jesus in His eternal kingdom beyond the reach of even death. This is the promised to-come peace which is an outcome of Christmas. The promised future peace is the blessed hope upon which we lean and rely. The reason for our rejoicing.

There will always be war and disputes, difficulties and suffering this side of heaven. Jesus was clear about this. He was also clear that He longs to bring His aspects of His peace, justice, mercy and comfort through your now.The heart-peace from Jesus which resides in you along the way comes through knowledge of God’s greater goals, trusting in these and embracing unsurprised, the difficulties along the way.

Thus, the peace of Christmas is not some artificial peace that is pretended or that you carefully slap onto the surface with human best efforts. Christmas peace is placed in your heart through increased understanding of Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. There it expands and becomes the firm foundation. You trust in His essence, His presence and promised actions which span from here through beyond.  Unfathomable, yet palpable. Invisible, yet omnipresent. Unseen, yet almighty. Unmovable and overall. Working through all things, all things, all things because of His indescribably infinite unconditional love. Manifesting in mercy, spilling out from under His heavenly throne as that river of life into which to dip your feet and take a drink.  It is this River which He then causes to flow through you to reach the ones He loves (who are all). This love manifesting through His character and promises is like a Rock to which you are attached. This Rock does not shift or disintegrate under your feet. This Rock which is the certainty of who Christ was and what God promises helps you get through all things, submitted (and even rejoicing) to become willing instruments of His peace as Spirit leads now.

Lord God, Your peace is there always available like a river flowing into which I can dip myself in order to be refreshed and from which I can drink. In this river of Your love is where my thirst to understand is repeatedly quenched at increased levels. You are drawing us home. You have provided the Way with Holy Spirit leading us now.  Your rest available at every stage of the journey. Your work of current and to-come love emanating through all things. All things. Now. Forever. Your cross. My cross. The crosses others bear. We are all in this together. You longing to work Your love through us in Your comfort and care! And Your peace there and available at all times. It exceeds my meek, small human comprehension. It invites me to rest in You in the midst. And Your river keeps flowing. Your love comes down. Your love never stops. Your promised hope for the world. Thank You for Your way, which is rest, peace and my spiritual feast.

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

1 I have told you all these things, so that you should not be offended (taken unawares and falter, or be caused to stumble and fall away). [I told you to keep you from being scandalized and repelled.]

3I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

John 16:1, 33

Listen to:

Because You Were Born – So You Sent Your Son album

Speak to Us – Restore album

SONG Recommended: –BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN So You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS PEACE PODCAST

If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

for mini-devotions subscribe or connect on Facebook at Spiritual Armor and Ammo

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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