Summary: Peacemakers are blessed because they accurately reflect the Father’s heart. Making peace with God, with others, and for others.
Living in the Father’s Favor
Peacemaking: The Sign of Divine Parentage
Intro: The 1st 3 Beatitudes dealt w/ how we ENTER the kingdom of God:
v. 3 Humbleness [poor in spirit]; v. 4 Brokenness [mourn]; v. 5 Meekness [meek]
-The next 3 dealt w/ how we EXPRESS the kingdom of God:
v. 6 A New attitude upward [hunger and thirst after God]; v. 7 A New attitude that is outward [merciful]; v. 8 A New attitude that is inward [pure in heart]
-Let’s move on and talk now about how we can ENJOY the kingdom of God! Most people enjoy peace. Some pray for it; some wish for it; some fight for it.
-In 1873, Samuel Colt introduced a pistol that was named “The Peacekeeper.” Because of its simple design, and the use of shell cartridges, anyone could learn to use this weapon. It was easy to load and the graduated sight made it simple to aim and fire. Someone said, “God made every man different but Sam Colt made them equal.” The idea was that a larger, stronger man could no longer overpower a smaller, weaker man. Brute strength was equalized by 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 wants to keep the peace, it looks like weapons will be needed. However, it appears that “peacekeeping” is at best, a dangerous undertaking and is only temporary.
-One source claimed that in over 3000 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 lasting solutions to the conflict, the peacekeepers themselves often get shot.
-What most people do not seem to understand is that peace is not something that can be imposed from the outside. You cannot “keep” a peace that isn’t there.
-John MacArthur says, “A truce just says you don’t shoot for awhile. Peace comes when the truth is known, the issue is settled, and the parties embrace each other.”
This is the reason that Jesus, in this verse, did not use the word, “peacekeeper,” he used the word, “peacemaker.” There is a world of difference.
-A peacekeeper is a person who enforces, by whatever means, by force of personality or by superior weapons, a truce. A peacemaker is one who actually discovers the origin of the conflict, and finds a way to resolve it, and helps the parties to restore a proper, loving relationship. This applies to individuals or nations. A peacemaker actually “makes” peace that did not exist previously.
-True peace begins on the inside, not on the outside. Sometimes we want surface peace more than we want true inner peace. But we are not called to be peace police. We may have to do that sometimes just to keep people from hurting one another, but the peacemakers that Jesus said were blessed are those who bring peace to people whose lives are in turmoil. Peacemakers are not part of the problem; they are part of the solution.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN (Robert Fulghum)
• Share everything.
• Play fair.
• Don’t hit people.
• Put things back where you found them.
• Clean up your own mess.
• Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
• Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
• Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
• Take a nap every afternoon.
• When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
-Unfortunately, most of us don’t remember these lessons after we leave kindergarten. Well, here is the main thought I’d like to cover today:
Prop: Peacemakers are blessed because they accurately reflect the Father’s heart.
Interrogative: Let’s look at what peace is all about and how it can affect our relationships with God and others.
I. Making Peace between Ourselves and God
-Jesus said that a “peacemaker” will “be called the sons of God.” He was the ultimate peacemaker. He was the Son of God. He was able to create peace in our hearts by removing the cause of conflict from our souls. The cause of that conflict is sin.
-“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Being justified through faith means that you have believed the good news about Jesus- that His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead was enough to pay for our sins. To be justified is to be declared “not guilty” by God Himself. That clears the way for us to be at peace with God, rather than at odds with Him. It is the beginning of a relationship of love and trust, rather than distance and opposition.