It was the most important event ever, accompanied by the most important song ever, containing the most important announcement ever. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)
Glory and Peace are the two principal words of this hymn, and that's what we're going to focus on in this devotional.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in yourself, but you’re glory focused. Everything you do is done in pursuit of some kind of glory. You were created to live with the glory of God in view all the time, but in a sad moment of disobedience and rebellion, Adam and Eve chose to live for the glory of the creation rather than the glory of God.
If you reflect on your week, you probably wouldn’t be able to say, “In every way possible, I lived with the glory of God in view.” There were times when other shadow glories became more precious to you. We all have moments of glory confusion. We are still in the midst of a glory war.
The second word is peace. You and I were created for peace with God. We were created so that the most important thing in our lives would be peaceful relationship with God. We were created to have the high honor of being the worshipful, obedient friends of God. It would be the most meaningful reality of our lives.
That peace with God would allow us to have peace within. Not peace because we’re strong or wise or know what’s happening next, but peace because we have a relationship with the One who rules it all. But when that peace with God is shattered, the result is that our hearts are not at rest.
We were also created for peace with others. You see, when I don’t have peace with God, I don’t have peace inside of myself, so it makes it very hard for me to live at peace with others. As a result, our lives are marked by conflict. I don’t think anyone reading this has lived a conflict free 2012. In fact, I would be so bold as to assume that many of you experienced some conflict yesterday, and even as early as this morning.
The only hope of restoring glory and peace is by grace, and the vehicle of grace was the Cross. Christ was born, and from day one, all of His thoughts and actions were perfectly lived to the glory of God. He suffered the ultimate rejection of the Father so that we could know His acceptance and live at peace with Him.
The announcement in Luke 2:14 foreshadows the Cross. On the Cross, Jesus created upward peace with the Father that leads to inward peace and gives us the ability to have outward peace with others. And on the Cross, Christ gave us life - not just eternally, but right here, right now - so that we can be increasingly captivated by the glory of God.
- What shadow glories were more precious to you this week than the glory of God?
- Why have some of your relationships been marked by conflict?
- How can you be increasingly captivated by the glory of God?
- How can you increasingly pursue outward peace with others?
Paul David Tripp