Christmas: Peace with Each Other
By Rick Warren
— December 24, 2011
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 KJV)
Once you make peace with God and have the peace of God in your heart, you’re able to make peace with other people.
God says, “I want you to be a peacemaker. I want you to be a reconciler.” The Bible calls this “the ministry of reconciliation.”
As I’ve traveled from country to country over the past few years, I’ve seen a common problem: conflict. It exists between husbands and wives, generations, ethnic groups, religious groups, language groups, and nations. The greatest need in our world is reconciliation. Remember “peace on earth, good will toward men”?
God says, “Once I have shown you grace, I want you to show it to other people. Show them the grace I have shown you. Be a peacemaker.”
Jesus said it like this. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”(Matthew 5:9 KJV).If you really know Christ, the Prince of Peace, you will be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker — at work, at home, or at school. You will build people up, not tear them down. You will compliment more than you criticize. You will love people the way Jesus loves people.
Christmas is the perfect time to show grace to other people, because we’re reminded of the grace God has shown us — that he gives us what we need, not what we deserve. So let me ask you a very frank question. In the spirit of Christmas — “peace on earth, good will toward men” — with whom do you need to restore a broken relationship this Christmas?
You say, “I can’t do it.” When families get together at Christmas, a lot of times it brings back a lot of bad memories and past hurts and things you just haven’t let go of. You say, “I can’t let go of it. They hurt me too badly. I can’t forgive them.”
You’re right. That’s why you need Jesus! You don’t have it in you to let it all go. That’s why you’re still holding onto it. You need to be filled with the love of Christ and the peace of Christ. Until that happens, you’re not going to have the ability to let it go.
What is God telling you to let go of today? Ask him to help you do it.
Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2011 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.