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Summary: Dealing with Differences (Pt. 2): Becoming Peacemakers

Dealing with Differences (Pt. 2): Becoming Peacemakers

Series: Making Relationships Work: Love, Sex & Marriage

October 8, 2017 – Brad Bailey

Intro

Today…we are continuing our Fall focus on Making Relationships Work: Love, Sex, and Marriage. Last week… began to consider conflict.

In that poetic summary God provides in the beginning of the Scriptures…God includes most of the third chapter to capturing the beginning of conflict. God describes how our human life, once separated from God…we have all been operating with fundamental insecurity… we are hiding in shame and given to blame. Hiding and hurling as some state it. And that nature is still at work.

Last week…we began looking at how gives us perspective in dealing with conflict… dealing with our differences.

There is a hard but healthy truth about life:

You can’t have meaningful connection without potential conflict. [1]

As C.S. Lewis wrote [2],

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

If you choose to love…you choose to care… and when our hearts care…there is always going to be hurt… sometimes mild disappointments…sometimes deep…and walls will rise. And so it is into this reality that Jesus…the lover of souls… taught us,

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” - Matthew 5:9

Jesus spoke these words into a culture that saw peace as weak…just as we do today. These words speak of the power of heaven… the source of all power that can simply bring force and control… but knows that there is another force which is greater…that which can bring peace. [3]

And we can note some quick truths about the calling to be peacemakers.

The Calling to Be Peacemakers

1. Peace is not that which flows from weakness…but strength.

When we feel attacked… the idea of making peace can seem weak… dangerous. But Jesus…was quite serious… and knew exactly what was involved.

When the Roman local governor Pilate said to Jesus that he had the power to free him…Jesus made it clear that no one had power over God…and that in fact he had the real power which was to give his life. [3b]

2. Peace is not that which is passive…but active.

Jesus does not say…blessed are the peacekeepers… but rather peacemakers.

Myth about peace. We think that peace is simply the absence of conflict. We use the term….“Keep the peace.” Assumes we have it and just need to not mess with it.

But God sees conflict running through us…and knows that peace must be pursued.

Jesus knows there is conflict between people.

In the same way we speak of waging war… we must learn to wage peace.

Peacemaker is a commitment to do more than avoid conflict. It’s a calling to bring healing to hurts…and to be perceptive to what a situation needs to bring peace to it. Peacemaking is hard. It’s not passive. We hear this in reference to what we must do to make peace. [4]

Romans 14:19 (NIV)

“…make every effort to do what leads to peace …”

3. Peace is not this which is just for certain types to pursue…but is for everyone.

He tells us that it is those who seek peace who God can call His children…who God sees as reflecting His image in the world. That is a serious statement to take in.

As Christ followers we are to be instruments of peace. Just as Christ was a peacemaker, so we are to be peacemakers. If one person in a relationship will bring reconciliation… peace is likely to occur.

4. Peace is not that which avoids others …but which takes others seriously.

Jesus teaching is very pointed…people matter to God… as we read in…

Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Jesus knows the Father’s heart. He knows that we can’t try to honor God is we don’t care about his children…those who bear His very image.

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