Summary: Blessed are the Peace Makers.
INTRODUCTION: Today’s study looks at what the Bible says about conflict and in particular, peacemaking. For a topical outline of the material covered, research Peacemakers ministry either through LifeWay or the Peacemakers’ website.
A. In a fallen world conflict is inevitable (personal level). Until Jesus returns there will be wars and rumors of wars (broader). We need to take a biblical approach
The beatitudes tell us: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God”
B. Today’s lesson is built around three possible courses of action when conflict arises:
TRANSITION: This morning we visit Matt 5:9 as we embrace “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.”
Stand as we read 5:1-11 of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.
TEXTUAL IDEA: God is pleased with His people who work at peace.
TRANSITION: Everyone loves peace, it allows them to do whatever they want without hindrance. But we aren’t called to love peace. We are called to love each other. Peace doesn’t come easy, but the results are worth working hard to attain.
SERMON IDEA: Three common approaches to conflict. Two of these approaches often result in Satan establishing strongholds in our lives.
DIVISION 1: God blesses us when we face our relational problems.
Explain: We must resist the temptation to Escape, Evade, Ignore or Avoiding conflict.
Trying to escape conflict is never successful and does not result in bringing people together. If you want God’s blessing you must learn to be a peace maker.
A. Situation causing stress is already dividing and separating people. That is the work of Satan, not God. Satan sees an opening, an opportunity.
B. People experiencing strained relationships avoid each other. Satan gains a foothold
C. People often see or hear what they want … denial is easier - you have fallen for a diversionary attack - Satan begins to bring more forces to the battle
D. There is no joy in spending so much time escaping the enemy’s attacks. When we attempt to escape and evade back to friendly territory we are completely isolated, anxious and absolutely combat ineffective.
Argue from Scripture: Eli avoided facing his family’s problems too long. 1 Samuel 2 Relays the story of Eli and his evil sons.
A. V.12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt, they did not know the Lord
B. V. 17 the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the sacrifice (on their account)
C. Eli ignored their sins until it was too late. By the time he finally speaks to them about their behavior they are grown, and committing adultery with the women who assembleD at the door of the tabernacle.
D. The result of Eli avoiding conflict with his sons? 3:1 …the word of the Lord was rare in those days, there was no widespread revelation”. That is not God’s plan for us. God intends for us to work our way through conflicts to peaceful solutions. You can count on the Lord’s help in the process of working toward peace. He came that there might be peace between men. He came that there might be peace between man and God. And do not mistake peace loving for peace making. There will be strife amongst us. Do not love peace so much that you avoid addressing issues that have divided us. Through time and trials we gain great trust.