A Congregation of Conservative Evangelical Christians

“Our Daily Bread” Devotion, January 1, 2021

January 1 | Bible in a Year: Malachi 1-4; Revelation 22

Fireworks of Life
He himself is our peace.
Ephesians 2:14

On New Year’s Eve, when high-powered fireworks detonate across cities and towns worldwide, the noise is loud on purpose. By their nature, say manufacturers, flashy fireworks are meant to split the atmosphere, literally. “Repeater” blasts can sound the loudest, especially when exploded near the ground.
Troubles, too, can boom through our hearts, minds, and homes. The “fireworks” of life—family struggles, relationship problems, work challenges, financial strain, even church division—can feel like explosions, rattling our emotional atmosphere.
Yet we know the One who lifts us over this uproar. Christ Himself “is our peace,” Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:14. When we abide in His presence, His peace is greater than any disruption, quieting the noise of any worry, hurt, or disunity.
This would have been powerful assurance to Jews and gentiles alike. They’d once lived “without hope and without God in the world” (v. 12). Now they faced threats of persecution and internal threats of division. But in Christ, they’d been brought near to Him, and consequently to each other, by His blood. “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (v. 14).
As we start a new year, with threats of unrest and division ever rumbling on the horizon, let’s turn from life’s noisy trials to seek our ever-present Peace. He quiets the booms, healing us.
By Patricia Raybon
Comforting God, when life’s fireworks shock and unsettle me, draw me to Your peace.
What “fireworks” are shattering the calm in your life? When you give them to God in prayer, what peace do you feel?

The process of bringing people into the family of God is the work of all three persons of the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The book of Ephesians begins with high praises to God, “who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (1:3) and has sealed believers in Jesus with the Holy Spirit (vv. 13-14). The work of Jesus is featured in chapter 2. Ironically, His violent death on the cross is the means through which Jews and gentiles are reconciled and all of sinful humanity can be at peace with God: “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (v. 13). Note also that the mission of the Son includes bringing us to the Father through the work of the Holy Spirit: “For through him we . . . have access to the Father by one Spirit” (v. 18). Arthur Jackson