Summary: What it means to be a peacemaker
Sermon on Mount
Blessed are the peacemakers
In the beatitudes, Jesus’ aim was to create a lifestyle in his followers that would make people think about the value of God, or to glorify God. The beatitudes start out showing us our great need for God and then the rest show us what it means to live like Jesus or walk in righteousness. A life of helping others make peace with God and making peace between others is a life that shows the value of God.
There is not a lot of peace around here in the summer months, is there? Have you ever thought, I just need a little peace around my house. I have thought a lot about that in the last couple of months. We have been here almost 7 months, am building a house (thank God Steve Tutt is back)! And we have been in over our heads. I do not know the first thing about building a house. But here I am making blind decisions. Reading out of one hand and working out of the other. Then there is fishing, getting up in the middle of the night to catch the tide just right without a crowd. Well the last month we have been on edge in our house; Karen and I in particular have been maxed out. Both of us have several weekly melt downs, have little patience for the kids, too tired to think, the kids are not getting the attention they should and so they are acting out, Yada, Yada, Yada. On top of that I have a yeast infection, Candida, and am on a special diet that eliminates almost everything from my diet. I basically eat the same thing every day. What can I do to bring peace in my life?
In 1873, Samuel Colt introduced a pistol that was named “The Peacekeeper.” Because of its simple design, and the use of shell cartridges rather than older style loaders, anyone could learn to use this weapon. It was easy to load and the graduated sight made it simple to aim and fire. It was said that God made every man different but Sam Colt made them equal. The concept being that a larger, stronger man could no longer overpower a smaller, weaker man with impunity. What formerly depended on strength now depended on speed and accuracy.
In November of 1982, President Ronald Reagan dubbed the new mobile M-X missile “The Peacekeeper.” This missile, because of mobility and more modern guidance systems, would be a great deterrent to foreign aggression.
If a person is going to set about keeping the peace, it is evident that he or she is going to need weapons. Sometimes the more, the better. History has shown that most peacekeeping efforts have had only mixed results and by and large have failed. In the over 3100 years of recorded world history, the world has only been at peace 8% of the time or a total of 286 years and 8000 treaties have been made and broken.
It appears that “peacekeeping” does not work very well. Not only does “peacekeeping” not offer any solutions to the conflict, quite often the “peacekeeper” themselves get shot.
1. Peacemakers seek to reconcile others to God
The point of Jesus words is that when we become sons of God we have the character of the heavenly father. If we have the characteristic of being a peacemaker then we have the character of the Father and are sons of God; if we don’t have the characteristic of being a peacemaker then we don’t have the character of the Father and we are not sons of God. God is described as God of peace (Rom 16:20; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 13:20). Heaven is a world of peace (Luke 19:38). One of the fruits of the spirit is peace. The history of redemption (God dealing with his people) is a history of God reconciling rebel man to himself and reconciling humanity to itself.
There will always be strife, war, conflict because God does not rule in the hearts of humanity. The first thing that happens after Adam and Eve sin is conflict. No matter how many laws we establish or how many treaties we sign there is and will always be strife and conflict and war. People don’t get along because their hearts are sinful and need to be changed. If there is a mountain stream that is fed by a contaminated spring that has polluted the stream it does not matter how much time and energy and money you put into cleaning up the stream because the source is bad. If you want to clean the stream you go to the source – the spring. The same is true with humanity.
But God is radically committed to reconciling humanity to himself because he is radically committed to what – his glory. God promises to fill the earth with his glory and he does that by turning hard, calloused, hearts that do not value or worship him into hearts that value him more than anything in life, and therefore live lives of worship.