Journal Entry by Bec Tobar

S – John 14:27(TPT)
Jesus said, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!

O – Observation
A person’s parting words or gifts are treasured. They are remembered and valued by the people that loved them. 
On my staircase this Christmas hangs a beautiful double bow that my friend Naomi made several years ago when she visited HopePoint. 
I remember the night she made it. We had been decorating the church for Christmas, and she was determined to make sure the bow was perfect. 
That bow didn’t match any other decoration I had in my house this year, and it probably isn’t even my personal style, but it is more meaningful to me that I can articulate. Every time I climb the stairs, I look at that bow and remember our friendship. But more than that, I remember her words of encouragement to me. They continue to be a gift to my heart.

When Jesus addressed his disciples, he said he was giving them a gift. His gift wasn’t ornamental or temporary or even seasonal.
His gift was everlasting, life-transforming and life-giving.
Unwrap his gift this Christmas, the gift of peace.
Not just any kind of peace, His very own peace. 
A peace that brings wholeness, harmony and a flourishing to our lives.

One thing that has echoed so loudly in my mind this Christmas is that the Peace Jesus wore in His life on earth, He left as a legacy for his people.
He wore that peace as he was growing up. He wore it when he was; misunderstood, on trial, tempted, helping people, betrayed and even on the cross.
It wasn’t a fragile peace.
It weathered the toughest of times and the most complex of situations.

A – Application
His peace is my inheritance as a follower of Jesus,
Let’s pause. 
Remind ourselves again, that He offers us his peace afresh today.
Unwrap this gift and follow his instructions, “don’t give in to fear, but be courageous”.

P – Prayer
Father, thank you that you sent Jesus. That His life gave us the gift of peace with you and the ability to walk in peace throughout our lives. Not an ordinary kind of peace, but a peace that goes beyond our understanding or comprehension. May we be a group of people that are marked with your peace and joy this Christmas, and always.