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December 18

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. — Romans 5:1-5

Perfect Gifts

by Kari Moore
Brentwood Campus

This is a season when everyone is talking about “peace”—and yet Christmas is one of the most chaotic times of the year. Peace on earth? How about some peace at home, in my relationships, or with my finances? After that, I can focus on peace for the entire world!

However, peace is not as elusive as it might seem. In Romans 5:1 it says we have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This peace is beyond emotions and beyond circumstances. Peace reigns in believers’ hearts because we are reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Don’t let this become a trite truth! Take a moment to marvel: the God of the universe sacrificed His Son so His relationship with humanity could be restored. Our acceptance of the gift of salvation and our true comprehension of its impact on our lives is enough to give us peace in even the most difficult circumstances.

But peace isn’t the only gift God has given His children. God has also given us hope! We “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Remember that hope, the hope of our salvation, is our helmet. Hope is what protects our minds from the attacks of the enemy. We must never forget that this earth is a battlefield and Satan is out to destroy our peace and our hope. But yet again, God uses what Satan has planned for evil for our good! God uses the attacks of Satan and the difficulties we face in this life to produce perseverance, character and hope. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts as we face adversity, we begin to display more attributes of Christ. Our growing faith opens our eyes, and we begin to comprehend the magnitude of what God has done for us.

After the gifts of peace and hope, God gives His children yet another gift: love. In Romans 5:5 it says, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” We are the recipients of God’s perfect love! His love completely fills us and changes how we look at everything. Chaos, adversity, sadness and joy are different when we view them through the lens of perfect love. It is a love that cannot be contained. God’s love should spill out onto everyone around us. It is a love that should change how we view the people in our lives as well as our circumstances.

This Christmas season, remember that the gift of the Savior is more important than anything the world attempts to give you. Christ’s gift gives us peace, hope and love, more than enough to make your days merry and bright!

Praxis

  1. Are you at peace with God?
  2. How do you typically handle suffering? Do you immediately turn to God, or do you turn worldly solutions?
  3. Have you witnessed God’s love spilling out of you in ways that have surprised you?
December
18