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Summary: THIS IS THE LAST MESSAGE OF A SERIES ON THE BEATITUDES. HOW DO WE RESLOVE THE CONFLICTS IN OUR LIVES? WOULD JESUS BE PLEASED?

PEACEMAKER OR PEACETAKER

MATTHEW 5:9

TODAY I WANT TO FINISH THIS SERIES ON THE BEATITUDES BY LOOKING AT VERSE 9. I THINK EVERYONE WOULD WANT TO CLAIM TO BE A PEACEMAKER, BUT IF WE WERE TO DO A HARD SELF EVALUATION CAN WE SAY THAT IN REALITY?

ALL ORGANIZATIONS BE THEY CHRISTIAN OR NON-CHRISTIAN ARE MADE UP OF THREE DIFFERENT GROUPS OF PEOPLE. THEY ARE PEACE-MAKERS, PEACE-KEEPERS, AND PEACE-TAKERS. IT’S FAIRLY EASY TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST TWO AND THE LAST ONE, BUT MUCH HARDER TO SEE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE FIRST TWO. THE FACT REMAINS THAT EVERYONE WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE TODAY, MYSELF INCLUDED, WILL BELONG TO ONE OF THESE THREE GROUPS.

PEACE IS NOT A NATURAL RESULT IN THE WORLD. ALL OF THE 3100 YEARS OF RECORDED HISTORY, SHOWS ONLY ABOUT 286 YEARS OF PEACE, OR SHALL WE SAY AN ABSENCE OF CONFLICT WHICH IS WHAT PEOPLE CALL PEACE. OVER 8,000 TREATIES HAVE BEEN MADE AND BROKEN.

HADEN ROBINSON SAYS:

“NO PEACE WILL EXIST BETWEEN NATIONS UNTIL PEACE REIGNS IN EACH COUNTRY. AND NO COUNTRY WILL HAVE PEACE UNTIL PEACE DWELLS WITH THE PEOPLE. AND NO PEOPLE WILL HAVE PEACE UNTIL THEY SURRENDER TO THE PRINCE OF PEACE.”

UNTIL WE ARE WILLING TO SURRENDER TO THE KING, WE WILL ALWAYS BE WANTING WHAT WE THINK ARE THE BEST SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS. UNFORTUNATELY THIS HAS LED TO CHURCH MEETINGS WHERE POLICE HAVE HAD TO BE CALLED TO RESTORE ORDER, AND THE FINAL SOLUTION TO SUCH SERIOUS MATTERS AS THE COLOR OF HYMNBOOKS AND CARPETS WERE SETTLED BY GETTING SHAINSAWS AND SAWING THE CHURCH BUILDING IN HALF.

THE SAD STATE OF SOME CHURCHES WAS EXPRESSED BY A FATHER WHO WHILE READING IN HIS STUDY HEARD HIS DAUGHTER AND HER FRIEND PLAYING OUTSIDE. WHAT SEEMED TO BE HARMLESS PLAY BEGAN TO SOUND LIKE AN ARGUMENT. THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE TWO GIRLS BECAME MORE HEATED AND ARGUMENTATIVE. THE FATHER FINALLY FELT IT WAS TIME TO STEP IN SO HE OPENED THE WINDOW AND SAID, “STOP IT HONEY, WHAT’S WRONG?” HIS DAUGHTER QUICKLY RESPONDED, “NOTHING, DADDY, WE WERE JUST PLAYING CHURCH.”

I AM SO GLAD AND BLESSED TO HAVE PASTORED CHURCHES WHERE THIS TYPE OF THING HAS NOT OCCURED. IF WE MAINTAIN A PROPER SPIRITUAL FOCUS IT NEED NOT OCCUR.

TODAY I WANT TO OFFER WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS CONCERNING PEACE. I WILL SHOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A PEACEKEEPER, A PEACEMAKER, AND A PEACETAKER. WE WILL CONCLUDE BY LOOKING AT THE RESULTS OF PEACE-MAKING.

POINT ONE: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PEACE?

THERE ARE TWO PRIMARY WORDS USED IN THE BIBLE THAT SPEAK OF PEACE:

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT THE WORD IS, SHALOM WHICH MEANS A GOD GIVEN PEACE

ISAIAH 54:10: THOUGH THE MOUNTAINS BE SHAKEN AND THE HILLS BE REMOVED, YET MY UNFAILING LOVE FOR YOU WILL NOT BE SHAKEN NOR MY COVENANT OF PEACE BE REMOVED,” SAYS THE LORD, WHO HAS COMPASSION ON YOU

SHALOM IS USED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OVER 180 TIMES. WHEN USED AS A GREETING THE PERSON IS ASKING DO YOU HAVE THE PEACE OF GOD TODAY? IT CARRIES WITH IT A FEELING OF WHOLENESS AND COMPLETENESS. IT CARRIES THE IDEA OF SEEKING THE OTHER PERSON’S BEST WELFARE AND THE PROMISE OF COMING TO THEIR AID WHEN NEEDED.

JOHOVAH-SHALOM, THE GOD OF PEACE SHOWS THAT GOD WILL COME INTO A COVENANT OF PEACE WITH HIS PEOPLE. IT’S A WONDERFUL PLEDGE TO CARE FOR THEM, TO BLESS THEM AND PROTECT THEM. WE HAVE HIS PROMISE:

ISAIAH 26:3: YOU WILL KEEP IN PERFECT PEACE THOSE WHOSE MINDS ARE STEADFAST, BECAUSE THEY TRUST IN YOU.

IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE GREEK WORD IS, EIRENE. IT CAN MEAN AN ABSENCE OF WAR, BUT IT CAN ALSO MEAN AN ABSENCE OF HATE, ANGER, RAGE, ENVY, AND THE REASONS WE WAGE WAR. THE WORD CARRIES WITH IT THE IDEA OF UNITY AND ONENESS. THERE IS ONLY UNITY AND HARMONY.

JOHN 14:27: PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU. I DO NOT GIVE TO YOU AS THE WORLD GIVES. DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED AND DO NOT BE AFRAID.

THE IMPORTANT THING TO REALIZE ABOUT THIS VERSE IS THAT JESUS IS NOT JUST REFERRING TO PEACE DURING THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, BUT PEACE AS THEY CONTINUE THEIR CHRISTIAN LIVES.

EIRENE CAN BRING A CALMNESS IN THE MOST TRYING OF SITUATIONS. IT IS FOUND IN THE FACT THAT BECAUSE WE HAVE SURRENDERED TO THE KING, WE DEPEND ON THE KING TO GET US THROUGH OUR DIFFICULT TIMES. THIS IS THE REASON THAT PAUL WAS SO FORCEFUL IN HIS TEACHING TO THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH:

PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7:

REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS. I WILL SAY IT AGAIN: REJOICE! 5 LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL. THE LORD IS NEAR. 6 DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERY SITUATION, BY PRAYER AND PETITION, WITH THANKSGIVING, PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD. 7 AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS.

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