Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bible Study: Christmas “The Prophecy of the Messiah” Week # 7

Prayer:

Lord God, our Prince of peace, please Lead us into the valley of your protection.  May we feel safe and secure sheltered there. Lead us to drink from streams of life. May we find hope and healing in the waters.  Lead us to fields of green meadows. May we rest in quiet places on the softness of your grass.  Lead us into the light of your eternal truth. May we bathe in the promise of heaven. Lord God, our Heavenly Father, bless our family May we be a beautiful garden for you. Help us to live in harmony, to provide support to each other when needed and at other times space for each of us to grow. Help us to take the time to receive the warmth of your grace in our lives and to drink from the water of life daily. Guide us as we live our lives to have the right balance of work, rest and play. May we be healthy, contented and giving in all that we do. Create in us an oasis of love and hope that others can rest within and enjoy. Help us not to be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,  help us to make our requests be made known to Father, so that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our thoughts in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:6-7).  Surely You took up our pain and bore our suffering,  yet we considered You to be punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. We thank You for being pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by Your wounds we are healed, (Isaiah 53:4-5). Thank You, Lord.  Now may the God of hope fill all of us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope, and in the power of His Holy Spirit. We give You all the glory, honor, and praises, AMEN.
God is with us:            Immanuel:      Matthew 1:23

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

 Printed Text:   (Isaiah 9:6) "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

 Subject:           The Prince of Peace: 

                       

"What does it mean that Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)?"
In Isaiah's prophecy about the coming Messiah, he says: Let's read it again in another version……….
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

In a world filled with war and violence, it's difficult to see how Jesus could be the all-powerful God who acts in human history and be the embodiment of peace. But physical safety and political harmony don't necessarily reflect the kind of peace He's talking about (John 14:27).

The Hebrew word for "peace," shalom, is often used in reference to an appearance of calm and tranquility of individuals, groups, and nations. The Greek word eirene means "unity and accord"; Paul uses eirene to describe the objective of the New Testament church. But the deeper, more foundational meaning of peace is "the spiritual harmony brought about by an individual's restoration with God."

In our sinful state, we are enemies with God (Romans 5:10). "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Because of Christ's sacrifice, we are restored to a relationship of peace with God (Romans 5:1). This is the deep, abiding peace between our hearts and our Creator that cannot be taken away (John 10:27–28) and the ultimate fulfillment of Christ's work as "Prince of Peace."

But Christ's sacrifice provides more for us than eternal peace; it also allows us to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, the Helper who promises to guide us (John 16:7, 13). Further, the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself in us by having us live in ways we couldn't possibly live on our own, including filling our lives with love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22–23). This love, joy, and peace are all results of the Holy Spirit working in the life of a believer. They are reflections of His presence in us. And, although their deepest, most vital result is to have us live in love, joy, and peace with God, they can't help but to spill over into our relationships with people.

And we desperately need it—especially since God calls us to live with singleness of purpose with other believers, with humility, gentleness, and patience, "being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1–3). This unity in purpose and gentleness would be impossible without the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the peace we have with God thanks to the sacrifice of His Son.

Ironically, the lightest definition of peace, that of the appearance of tranquility in a person, can be the most difficult to grasp and maintain. We do nothing to acquire or maintain our spiritual peace with God (Ephesians 2:8–9). And, while living in unity with other believers can be extremely difficult, living in peace in our own lives can very often feel impossible.

Note that peaceful doesn't mean "easy." Jesus never promised easy; He only promised help. In fact, He told us to expect tribulation (John 16:33) and trials (James 1:2). But He also said that, if we called on Him, He would give us the "peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension" (Philippians 4:6–7). No matter what hardships we are faced with, we can ask for a peace that comes from the powerful love of God that is not dependent on our own strength or the situation around us.

A prince would have been understood by Isaiah's readers as a leader among a group of people. Jesus certainly fits this role as leader of all the people of the world. But what does it mean to be the Prince of Peace? The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, was often used in the Old Testament to refer to a time of rest between groups or nations. Likewise, the Greek equivalent in the New Testament, eirene, was used regarding one of the goals of believers. For example, the Beatitudes include the teaching, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).

In contrast, the Pharisees misidentified Jesus, calling Him the prince of demons: "by the prince of demons he casts out the demons" (Mark 3:22; also Matthew 9:34; 12:24; Luke 11:15). Instead, the New Testament writers referred to Jesus as the "Lord of lords" and "King of kings," titles similar to that of a prince: "he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (1Timothy 6:15; also Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

Before the death of Jesus, He told His followers, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27). Following His resurrection, we read, "On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you'" (John 20:19).

The apostle Paul would develop the theme of peace at length in Romans. Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." In Galatians 5:22, peace is noted as part of the fruit of the Spirit. In Ephesians 2:14, Paul identifies Jesus Himself as our peace. How did Jesus provide this peace? Colossians 1:20 shares that it was by "making peace by the blood of his cross."

Alongside other powerful names such as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Eternal Father, the Messiah Jesus is given the title Prince of Peace, indicating one of His many roles—the One who is the leader of peace and offers it to others.

 

It is wonderful to know that we don't have to be perfect before God. But Christmas brings with it hectic schedules, tired loved ones, crowded malls, harried shoppers, and seasonal tasks that have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus' birth. A million details, people, events, and even crises pull us in as many different directions.

 

In all the hustle and bustle, where do you find silence and stillness? Where is your place of rest and tranquility in the midst of all the commotion?

Thankfully, the promise of a much-needed blessing appears throughout the Christmas story. Used more than four hundred times in Scripture, it is a word woven throughout the prophecies of Jesus' coming as a special gift to us from God. That wonderful word is peace.

 

In speaking about the Savior, the prophet Isaiah reported,

 A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called…Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Likewise, we read that, on the night Jesus was born, there appeared… a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased'.  Luke 2:13–14

 

Surely this promise of peace is a welcome one — especially at Christmas when there is so much that can steal our inner tranquility. As soon as we are able to settle down, get some rest, and quiet our spirit, it seems as if some other request, demand, burden, or emergency rushes in. As quick as lightning, we lose the calm we worked so hard to find.

 

His name will be called Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

 If you find Christmas a time of agitation and anxiety, you are certainly not alone. We tend to think that if we had enough money or the right connections, the holidays — all of life, in fact — would be much easier. Especially during the Christmas season, though, many look to wealth, and possessions as the pathway to inner peace. They think that if they could just have that latest gadget, they would be happy. If they could only buy their loved ones those special gifts, they could maintain harmony in their household. Sadly, plans like these never work. Worldly goods can never fill our emptiness, give us worth, or restore broken relationships.

This is the inherent problem with the world's definition of peace: it is based on our limited human resources and therefore offers only temporary results. A momentary solution cannot reach down to the root of the issues causing our stress and anxiety, much less provide lasting relief. As Christmas approaches, what can you do to maintain genuine tranquility despite the season's activities and pressures? What can you do to preserve harmony within yourself, with others, and, most importantly, with your heavenly Father?

Jesus shows us the way. He taught that we could have His profound inner peace in even the most chaotic situations. He told the disciples, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.  John 14:27 Christ's tranquility is not based on circumstances; rather, it is a supernatural gift that we are blessed with when we walk with Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

The Good News is that Christ has made this kind of profound, abiding tranquility available to all of us who believe in Him. So how can you take hold of all He offers? How can you receive the "peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension" (Philippians 4:7)?

First, understand that the peace of God originates in our reconciliation with Him. Our entering into a relationship with Him marks the beginning of our ability to experience His true, heart-changing, supernatural tranquility. The Greek word for peace is eirene, and it means "to bind together." When you trust Jesus as your Savior, He binds you to Himself for all eternity. You never need to worry about losing your salvation because Jesus made you right with the Father through His death on the cross — and no one can ever take that away from you. No matter what occurs here on earth, you can be absolutely confident of your right relationship with God and assured that you have a home in heaven.

But, second, we must also realize that harmony with the Father leads to the calmness of soul that can only come from Him. In other words, our choice to obey God enables us to experience the supernatural peace that He gives. Of course, you may be wondering why you must submit to the Lord's plans in order to experience tranquility. You may feel you know what is best for your own life, so why listen to Him? Remember, God understands you better than you comprehend yourself. He sees your potential and all that is possible through you. So when you head in a direction that is contrary to what you were created for or that could conceivably hurt you, His Holy Spirit will always prod you to return to His path because He only wants the very best for you.

But when you obediently walk in God's will, His wisdom, power, and love protect you and preserve your peace. What happens to you is like what happens during a raging ocean storm. The driving winds and rain may stir up tumultuous waves that no ship could survive. But if you descend beneath the surface several hundred feet, you find that the water is quiet, still, and calm. You wouldn't even know a tempest was thundering on the surface.

When people learn to walk in a strong relationship with Jesus, the storms that assail their lives don't upset the calm assurance within them. Deep within, they remain at peace, dwelling in the Almighty's holy presence, grateful for His protection, and trusting in His plan. Knowing that God is sovereign, they are at peace because they understand that nothing touches their lives outside of His authority, wisdom, and love.

Third, we must also embrace the fact that Christ takes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him. Earthly peace is often based on worldly resources that can — and ultimately will — fail. So when we face situations beyond our abilities, talents, skills, and wealth, no wonder we feel overwhelmed, anxious, and discouraged.

God understands you better than you comprehend yourself. But Jesus is called the Prince of Peace for an important reason. The Hebrew word for prince is sar, which means "commander, ruler, leader, or captain" — the one who overcomes all obstacles in order to accomplish his purpose. In other words, whatever your circumstances may be, God is always completely able and willing to help you. As a believer, you can calmly and joyfully trust Him, because you know that the One who is best able to give you victory in every situation will never leave you or forsake you.

Finally, understand that you will experience the Father's peace when you make your relationship with Him your top priority and nurture it every day. Only the Lord is able to calm your worries and drive out your fears. So whenever concerns creep up, consider it Jesus' call to spend time with Him.

Why? Because when you spend time with the Lord, you realize that He's got everything under control and that He will work everything out for your good. And when you walk in the center of His will and learn to see your circumstances from His perspective, you can enjoy that deep, wonderful, supernatural tranquility.

In addition to experiencing the peace that comes only through the Father, you'll also be a calming presence to those around you. You'll be able to handle the conflicts that arise with greater grace, wisdom, and composure.

Always remember, instead of fretting about Christmas presents you must purchase, people you must please, and parties you must plan, think of the One you need most: focus on the Prince of Peace through-out the year.

In faith, surrender yourself to His loving care. Rest in His ability to help you. Let the peace of the Lord Jesus give you unshakable calm through all seasons, and you will experience the rest, gladness, and hope He created you to enjoy.

Promises of God's Peace

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace. —Psalm 29:11

 Background Scripture:          John 14:27    

 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

 Scriptures References: Psalm 103:19; 119:165, Isaiah 57:20-21; 59:8, John 14:1, 6, 18; 25-27; 15:1-4; 16:33, Romans 5:1; 8:28; Ephesians 2:15; 3:16, Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Hebrews 13:5

 

Questions:

1).        What do peace means in Hebrew language?

2).        We are restored to a relationship of peace with God  through who?

3).        Explain the Holy Spirit's work in us.

4).        This love, joy, and peace are result of who?

5).        What is the definition of peace?

6).        When we call on God what do He do?

7).        In the midst of this peace what are we to expect?

8).        What do Matthew 5:9 call peacemakers?

9).        In John 20:19 what did Jesus give to the disciples?

10).      What do peace means in Greek language?

11).      In all the hustle and bustle, where do you find silence and stillness?

12).      Where is your place of rest and tranquility in the midst of all the commotion?

13).      How can we lose our peace?

14).      What kind of peace can transcend the chaos and difficulties of life?

15).      Read Matthew 6:25, 32, now explain it.

 

Application Question:  What do you do when everything is going wrong?

 

Who Prophesied This? Week # 7                  

 "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." (Deuteronomy 18:18)

 

Please share a short Review:


Reading Assignment:             Week # 7         Isaiah 50-58    Monday through Sunday


Sharing:          Christmas Songs        Week # 7         Silent Night

Silent night, Holy night All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin, mother and child Holy infant, tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.3

Silent night, Holy night Son of God, love's pure light Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord at thy birth Jesus, Lord at thy birth.2

Silent night, Holy night Shepherds quake, at the sight Glories stream from heaven above
Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah. Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.1

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace