Advent: A Story of Glory and Peace
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).
This very familiar, one-sentence hymn defines our need, and in describing our need, explains the mission of that baby in the manger.
There are two words I want you to meditate on this Christmas: glory and peace.
Imagine what the world would be like if every person existed with the sole intent to glorify God. That’s the way it was meant to be, 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 the Creator.
Ever since, all human beings have lived in the middle of a personal glory war. Whether it’s anger during traffic, a flash of lust, pursuit of material things, or fierce pride, other glories compete in your heart.
This week, could you say that your relationships were free from conflict because the glory of God was the sole intention of your heart? If not, then you and I still need what that baby in the manger came to do.
Imagine again: what would the world be like if every person lived at peace with God?
Peace with God would allow us to have peace within, not because we’re healthy, independent, wise, or know what tomorrow holds, but because our hearts would be at peace knowing that we are guarded by the One who rules it all. When sin shattered that shalom with God, the result was that our hearts would never be able to find permanent peace until heaven.
There’s a heartbreaking moment in the Garden of Eden when God comes down in the cool of the day to commune with Adam and Eve. Instead of running to meet him as friends would, they hide in guilt and shame because their disobedience has shattered a relationship of peace.
When we don’t have peace with our Creator, we don’t find inner peace, and when our souls are conflicted, that turmoil naturally spills into our relationships of every kind.
This week, did you struggle to live at peace with God, yourself, and others? If so, then you and I still need what that baby in the manger came to do.
From day one, this Savior would live perfectly for the glory of the Creator. On the cross, he would face the Father’s rejection and restore peace between God and man.
The angels announce our problem, but more importantly, they promote our salvation: Jesus came to reclaim, rescue, and restore wandering hearts and conflicted relationships.
Paul David Tripp
1. Consider a recent moment when you had the opportunity to choose self-glory or the glory of God. What was fighting in your heart when faced with the choice?
2. Identify an area where, by grace, you have grown to glorify God. How have you matured? What are some of the factors that led to this spiritual maturity? Where do you need more grace for the process?
3. Identify an area where you struggle with self-glory, and you make a consistent string of decisions motivated by selfish desire. What is so enticing about the false promises of what this self-glory will lead to?
4. Where are you struggling to find peace? Are you wrestling with God over his will for your life, facing inner turmoil, or experiencing conflict with others?
5. How can the incarnation of Christ at Christmas provide you peace? Be specific in your application to your situation.