Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 6, 2014

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the sons of God" Matthew 5:9

Peace is one of the things worth fighting for!

More wars have been fought to secure peace than just about any other cause. Unfortunately over recent world history there has been more war than there has been peace.

Peace must be pretty important!

God places His blessed of approval on those who promote peace and He calls them His sons!

Peace is so highly valued by God because God highly values people and He values relationships and peace is the product of healthy relationships. Peace is worth fighting for because relationships are worth fighting for.

Peace is essential because of its intricate connection with justice, righteousness and freedom. Peace is the by-product of a culture where justice, righteousness and freedom are honored and enjoyed. People living in such a culture would be truly blessed. That should be status quo for every family and every church, but unfortunately it rarely is.

Naturally, peace is disturbed whenever justice, righteousness and freedom are threatened. As much as we value peace, we will risk peace in an attempt to restore justice, righteousness and freedom.

That is what the cross of Christ was all about. Jesus died to restore justice, righteousness and freedom so His people could live in peace.

Having established its value brings us back to the question, "What is peace, by God's definition?"

Peace from God's perspective begins with being in right relationship with Him in obedience to His will. And since our sinful nature resists submission and obedience to God, therein is the individual struggle we must fight.

"Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses." I Timothy 6:12

Peace from God's point of view also requires relationships between God's people to be transacted in justice, in righteousness and in freedom. 

No wonder those who dwell in the peace of God as considered blessed!

No wonder those who live in peace and who promote peace are considered sons of God!

Will you live in peace today?

August 5, 2014

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God" Matthew 5:9

The seventh of eight Beatitudes deals with the highly valued commodity of peace. Like other coveted commodities, it is valuable because it is rare.

We have been learning that the first four Beatitudes teach what you can do to get right with God and the second four detail the spiritual evidence of a heart made right.

A righteous heart displays mercy, helping those who seek to hurt him.

A righteous heart is pure, motivated by the love of God in thoughts and deeds.

And, a righteous heart produces a peacemaker.

You may not know precisely what Jesus meant when He referred to peacemakers in this verse, but you can recognize a peacemaker when one walks into the room. Peacemakers have a way of bringing peace with them wherever they go.

In contrast, there are those who when they walk into a room bring tension that is palpable.

Are you a peacemaker or a troublemaker?

We will answer that conclusively over the next few posts, but first, let’s dispel some misconceptions of peace. Peace is not:

Absence of conflict. 

Peace in the Bible is never to be confused with silence induced by pacifism or intimidation.

Ignoring a point conflict or remaining silence in the face of obvious wrong is not what Jesus meant by peace.

Avoidance of strife. 

Never are we instructed to run from conflict. Putting our head in the sand, hoping that the conflict will end, only delays the inevitable. Cowardly avoidance of a necessary confrontation is not the peace Jesus was referencing.

Appeasement of parties. 

The “peace at any price” mentality is far from biblical command. I have discovered that you can never make everyone happy all the time, but I am called to make God happy all the time by doing right.

Accommodation of issues.

The person who glosses over the problems, acting as if everything is alright when it is not is not a peacemaker.

Biblical peace is closely linked with justice and righteousness. Therefore, ignoring injustice or compromising righteousness to avoid confrontation is not the peace that pleases Jesus.

You cannot be a peacemaker until you make peace with God through Christ. When you are at peace with God you will convey His peace wherever you go. You will also have the wisdom to know when to disturb the peace and the courage to confront injustice.

Will you be a peacemaker today?