Transformed – teen devotion – December 31, 2023

One truth shared: God has opened our eyes to see the true peace he brings at Christmas.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Luke 2:25-32

There Is Peace on Earth

The title of this devotion may be deceiving. If you pay attention to the news or follow any newsfeed on the internet, what you hear about is anything but peace. Nations are fighting against other nations. People are being arrested for violent crimes. Families are being torn apart for any number of reasons. There seems to be everything but peace in our world. Many hope the Christmas season might bring a change to all of this. They hope for the miracle of Christmas to bring an earthly peace to this world.

The problem is that they miss completely what peace God brings to them through Christmas. God made two promises to Simeon. One is the promise he made to all of Israel: he would send a Messiah to rescue them from their sin. The second promise was specific to Simeon: He would not die until he had seen the Messiah with his own eyes. What a promise from God that he granted to Simeon at Jesus’ circumcision! He saw with his own eyes the Savior whom God had promised would come to rescue him from his sin! With a trusting heart, Simeon saw not just a baby but the one who would bring the salvation that God promised to his people. Simeon could now live the rest of his life in peace because he had seen the one who had come to conquer death and open heaven to him and all believers. He could live in the peace of knowing God kept his promise—his sins would be forgiven, and he would live with God for the rest of eternity.

What a joy to know that we too see what Simeon saw! Through the eyes of faith, the Holy Spirit allows us to see in Jesus our Savior. At our baptism, God opened our eyes of faith to see the salvation Jesus brings to us. There at the water of baptism, God washed our sins away because of Jesus and promised that we are his children who will live with him forever. Through that wonderful promise, God gives to us the same peace as Simeon. This is not an earthly peace like so many in our world hope for. It is a spiritual peace. It is the peace of sins forgiven and the peace of being right before Almighty God. Through faith, God gives us the peace that while we might face troubles and difficulties here, we can live in peace because we know the heaven that is to come.

As we wait to see heaven with our own eyes, we wait patiently with hope in the peace only God can bring. We, too, one day will see the salvation of God! What a day that will be!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, through the troubles and difficulties of the world, remind us that with us always is the peace that you alone give: the peace of sins forgiven. Calm our troubled hearts as we face the trials of this world with the confidence of a peaceful life with you that awaits in heaven. Help us to persevere as we keep our eyes focused on the eternal that will come in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Teen Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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