Blessed are the peacemakers
Being blessed means you will be a peacemaker. Find out how and why in the Sermon from March 15th 2020
Good morning everyone, were continuing our Sermon Series today on the Beatitudes. Today,were looking at the 7th Beatitude. Blessed are the Peacemakers.
Jesus has been laying down all these truth statements, each one building on the one previous, about what a person’s heart is like, once they come to believe in Him, and then this 7th Beatitude gives them a direction to point their heart in.
He’s saying “Now that my Holy Spirit lives within you, you will be changed, made new. Your thinking will be different, your feelings will be different, your wants and needs will be different, your life now has a new direction----”
And our verse this morning is going to tell us what direction we as Christian’s should head in.
Can be found in Matthew 5:9, which says:
Matthew 5:9 - “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
( → → open in prayer ← ← )
So, like I said, Jesus has been explaining and building up the image of what God’s people look like.
Poor in Spirit
Hungry for righteousness and
All of which, are the adjectives used to describe someone who is “pure in heart”
When the Holy Spirit lives within your heart, these first 6 Beatitudes can describe you, and then the 7th one, directs you.
With our verse this morning, Jesus is telling us “how to live our life”
He is telling us that the overarching theme of our life, must be that of being a peacemaker.
If we are children of God, then we are peacemakers.
This isn’t a nice little hint that Jesus is giving.
It isn’t a recommendation of a character trait that Jesus thinks would be beneficial in the life of His followers
This is a command from God, letting us know, that if we consider ourselves to be His children, then the evidence of it, will be the peace that we make peace in and through our life.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
But what does that mean?
How can we “make peace” ?
How is “being a peacemaker” a direction that our life can go in?
And why are we considered children of God, if we are peacemakers?
There is a common phrase that people have used as an insult, and as a compliment.
It goes something like this:
Like father, like son
Like mother, like daughter
You are just like your father, or
You are just like your mother
Again, people use these as insults and compliments, but the truth behind how they are used, remains constant regardless.
When someone uses these phrases, they are basically saying that we are like ------- or that we represent our parent.
We have the same mannerisms
The same attitude
A similar mentality
A similar outlook on life
Those of you who are parents can attest to this too.
We see things in our children that remind us of ourselves, for good or for bad.
If it’s just a statement that gives a clue to a deeper type of thinking that hasn’t really flourished yet
Or if its the way they cause problems and talk back
When someone says that they can tell you are the child of someone, its because you remind them of your parent.
So when we read that us being peacemakers means that we will be called children of God, we can know that it’s because God is a peacemaker.
When Jesus said:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
He’s letting us know that when we are peacemakers, people will call us God’s children, because He is a God of peace.
1st Cor 14:33 - “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace”
This means that He doesn’t just do things.
He doesn't just throw a bunch of ingredients together and waits to see what happens.
He doesn't roll a pair of dice and wonder what the outcome will be
He plans, He plots, He is orderly
He is a God of peace
He is a God who made the universe peaceful, who breaks nations who are unpeaceful, who made plans to bring people into peace with Himself, and who has ordered all of creation to end in a final state of eternal peace.
He is a God of peace
So when we act as “peace-makers”---------when we are intentionally active in making peace, we are called His children
But what does being the kind of peacemaker who makes people think about God----------- look like?
Does it mean that every police officer and every soldier is called a child of God?
Or if a person breaks up a fight or stops a robbery, does that then mean they are called a child of God? Just because they made peace?
We are blessed when the peace that we are making is reflective of the character and nature of the God of peace.
To help us understand this, were going to look at THREE aspects of how God made peace, and let them define how we are to be the kind of peacemakers that can be called children of God
The first way God made peace, was that He was patient
He took His time.
He didnt rush into things
He acted intentionally
He moved deliberately
He could have made the entire universe with the snap of His fingers, but instead He chose to take His time, and spent 7 long days doing so.
God takes His time in making peace
When Jesus set about the mission of saving humanity, He was patient.
John 7:30 - “At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come”
When Jesus made peace, He did it patiently. He wasnt rushed into making decisions, He took His time, He prayed, He spent quiet time alone with God, and then when the time came for peace to be made, He acted.
You see, the peace that comes from God to His children, is one that transcends our day to day life-----at stretches into eternity.
Yes it can bring us peace “in the moment”, yes the peace of God can move through our day to day life, and effect changes in our life. But thats not all it is.
Philippians 4:7 says “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The peace that God brings us, once we have repented of our sins, is an eternal peace.
It stretches beyond the limits of this world, and it stretches beyond the limits of our minds.
It brings us peace when we don’t understand why we are at peace
When your world is unraveling around you-----
When fear and uncertainty are at your door-----
If you have repented of your sins and believed in Jesus Christ to save you------then the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will never let you go.
It is an inexhaustible peace, it will never run out.
It is a heavenly peace, it does not weaken.
When the storms of this life crash upon the shores of our hearts------
When the waves rise above the horizon and we can no longer see the sun----
When the dark clouds of a thousand wandering tomorrows threaten to keep us lost forever…….
Our God gets up, rebukes the wind, speaks to the waves, and says “Peace! Be still”
The peace that God made, is an eternal peace, and thusly it is patient.
When the world around us pushes instant gratification, instant happiness, and instant results-------we have to understand that true peace-----takes time.
We have to understand that whatever trial we are in the midst of, no matter how long it has been a part of our life--------is nothing compared to eternity.
So if we are to be the kind of peacemakers that reflect Him and causes others to call us His children-----we too must be patient.
Slow down // Take your time
Be level headed
Dont rush to conclusion
Dont rush into a certain line of thinking
Remind yourself of Who is in charge of every molecule in the universe
Bring the cares of this world that threaten your peace, and lay them at the throne of patience and peace
When things arent going our way-----take a breath, say a prayer, open your Bible and spend time reading the words written there, and understand that God has an eternal peace set aside for those who have repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God
The second way God made peace, was that He: Didn’t needlessly “stir up trouble”
#1 - He was patient
#2 - He didn’t needlessly stir up trouble - He didnt create panic
Yes some of His action and some of His words got people on edge
------but that is only because He was breaking apart lies, revealing the truth, and thusly bringing peace.
John 1:5 - “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Some versions say the “the darkness cannot understand it”
You see, the times when people were upset and heated at Jesus, its because their own darkness was being revealed.
The darkness in their hearts was having a light shine upon it, and it hurt
This is something that we need to remember, if we ever want to be considered the kind of peacemakers that can be called children of God.
I know its something that I myself have to deal with,
I dont know if you guys are able to tell this about me, but the temptation to---------push people’s buttons, or to stir the pot, is a hard one for me to avoid.
I know that there are other people that like to cause conflict, who like to stir up trouble, and the excuses they use, sound something like this:
Im just standin on the truth, theyre the ones with the issues!
Its not my fault, im just saying what everyone is thinking!
If they were such a sinner, then I wouldnt have to be so harsh with them!
Id like to say something this morning, and that is, that if were more concerned with “saying like it is” than we are about the eternal fate of someone’s soul, then we are in the wrong.
If were going to make the excuses that were just “preaching truth” with no concern or care for how its received or if its even understood beyond our cold and heartless delivery-----then we are in the wrong.
Proverbs 6:19 gives us a list of things the Lord hates, and it says ‘19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community”
“A person who stirs up conflict in the Community” is listed as one of the things that the Lord hates.
When we engage in conversation with non-beleivers or doubters, or anyone else who makes claims that are contrary to what Scripture teaches ------- if we don’t have the single purpose of trying to show them how to escape hell, then we are “stirring up conflict in the community”.
Does that mean then, that we are to remain quiet?
If preaching what the Bible teaches, creates conflict----- should we stop?
If saying “Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven” ------- breaks up the peace that people have built for themselves------does that mean we shouldnt declare it?
If we are to be peacemakers------but the Bible instructs us to tell people to repent and believe------and that causes conflict-----what are we supposed to do?
Like I said earlier------- if we dont have the single desire to save people from hellfire, as the reason we declare what Scripture says----then we are in the wrong.
We dont preach to hold people down
We dont preach to “put that sinner in their place”
We dont preach to prove ourselves right or to prove other people wrong
When we know that someone is struggling with a specific sin----we dont highlight and attack it----
We shine light into the darkness, and the darkness reels in pain. The darkness lashes out. The peace that the darkness provides to those who hide their sin within its shade, is shattered and destroyed when we as the Children of God, lovingly, humbly, and patiently follow the words of ------------
James 3:17 - “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
We never sacrifice the purity of what The Bible teaches to make peace. Ever. Ever. Will it cause division? Yes. Will it break peace? Yes. But the division it causes is not caused by us, it is caused by them and their sin against God.
We are to be first of all pure, and then peace loving.
----stand firm in what the truth says; and the divide that becomes apparent between people and their God, will be their own responsibility.
That is why Romans 12:18 says- “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone
“As far as it depends on you” -------- make peace
Dont sacrifice purity---
Dont heartlessly vomit out Bible verses----
Live at peace with everyone
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
The third way God made peace, was that He:
------laid down His rights.
#1 He was patient //#2 He didn’t needlessly stir up trouble//#3 He laid down His rights
You see, when God sent Jesus here to make peace between Himself and humanity, it wasnt something that He HAD to do.
He could have remained in heaven, for all eternity, and been completely at peace, happy, content and justified, forever, within the trinity.
It wouldnt have been mean of Him to not save us----
It wouldnt have been unfair of Him----
There was no moral obligation for Him to save us------
But He did anyways
Philippians 2:6-7 - “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
God made peace with humanity, by lowering Himself, by laying down His right, by not standing on His own position or His own authority, but by laying all of that down, to the point of death.
You see---------If we are so quick to stand on our rights, and declare:
I am in the right
I did nothing wrong
I dont have to give up my thoughts, my feelings,
I have the right to be angry!
Dont you know what they did!!! What they did to me! What they did to someone I love!! Cant you see that I am in the right and I have a right to be angry!!
If we cant ever set aside the rights that we feel we have----then how can we consider ourselves to be the children of a God who did that very same thing?
Jesus Christ came to earth and died for people who dont deserve it-----
He had the right to live----but He died for those who hated him
He had the right to remain in Heaven ----- but He became a human
He lived a sinless perfect life, so that evil humans would have the opportunity to know His father.
Jesus Christ made peace by laying down His rights for the benefit of the undeserving.
This is why
Mattew 5:44-45 says: “4 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
Children of God love their enemies, to make peace
Children of God pray for their persecutors, to make peace
Children of God lay down their rights, to make peace
We arent called to be a doormat or to allow ourselves to be used and abused, but if we stand upon our rights------- when setting them aside will make peace, then how can we claim that we are children of the God who did the same thing we refuse to do?
We are called to love others, before they love us ------ just like Jesus did
We are called to forgive, even if the other person isnt sorry -------- just like Jesus did
We are called to make the first move, even if we think we are in the right----
To be patient
To not stir up conflict
To lovingly, humbly, and calmly lay down our rights, and when we do, we will be the kind of peacemakers that are called Children of God
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God
These are the three of the ways in which we can act, that will represent the God of peace.
We are patient
We dont stir up conflict
We lay down our rights
When we create peace, we are called Children of God because of the overall peace that Jesus Christ brought to humanity.
We were sinners, deserving of hell, but Jesus came and died the death that we deserve, and made peace between us and God.
He was patient
He didnt stir up conflict
He layed down His rights,
-----All so that there could be peace between us and God.
Because that is the ultimate goal of being a peacemaker.
Not making peace between one another-------though that is good and noble
Not making peace between nations-------though that is good and noble
Not making peace between friends and enemies------
But making peace between man and God.
Colossians 1:19-20 - “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”
Jesus Christ made peace between humanity, and God------so that must be our goal if we are to be considered peacemakers.
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When we set our heart on the single goal of proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ, and the freedom and peace that can be found nowhere outside of Him, then we are the kind of peacemakers that can be called the children of God.
When we tell people that their sins don't have to be counted towards them----
When we warn them of the hellfire that awaits them------
When we tell people that they dont have to pay the price their sins have earned--
When we tell people that a relationship with Jesus Christ can give their life everlasting meaning, beyond the confines of whatever has happened in their life-
When we tell people that the enemies plans for their life are nothing compared to the freedom and peace that comes from Christ-----
When we tell people that they arent the sum total of their mistakes-----
When we tell people to repent of their sins and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ----- then God will look upon us and call us His children.
----Let everything in your life, point people to Jesus
When we mourn He will comfort us
When we are merciful He will show us mercy
When we hunger for righteousness he will fill us
He will bring to you a peace that surpasses understanding
When you repent of your sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the world itself could burn down around you, and the only thing that will be on your mind, is that there are some who don't believe.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
( → → Closing prayer ← ← )