Summary: Introduction: Disagreements, feuds, and suspicion seem to be the rule of the day rather than the exception. Even the routine of daily life can lead a person to explode emotionally and spiritually. To those who calm the troubled waters of humankind’s disc
Peacemaking-The Way to Happiness
Text: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matt. 5:9).
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-9
Disagreements, feuds, and suspicion seem to be the rule of the day rather than the exception. Even the routine of daily life can lead a person to explode emotionally and spiritually. To those who calm the troubled waters of humankind’s discord, Jesus promises joy and blessings. In fact, Jesus said that peacemakers would be known as the children of God.
In each of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament the word peace is found. It appears eighty-eight times. The story of the good news of Jesus Christ begins with the words, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). Near the conclusion of our Lord’s ministry his loving benediction is, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). And the apostle Paul introduces each of his epistles with that familiar greeting, "Grace to you and peace." God needs human instruments through whom this peace may be shared. And in this beatitude Christ challenges each of us to become a peacemaker. A person must qualify for the privilege of peacemaking. It is a right reserved only for those who meet three requirements.
I. The privilege of peacemaking.
A. The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with God. This beatitude is constructed on the six preceding beatitudes. We are not privileged to become peacemakers until we admit our spiritual poverty, mourn over sin, practice the self control that results from meekness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, show mercy, and become pure in heart.
The fact that we need to make peace with God does not mean that God is angry with us or that he is standing to one side unwilling to communicate with us. The only cause of alienation between us and God is our sin and disobedience. Henry David Thoreau, although a transcendentalist rather than an evangelical, sought to fellowship with God by Walden Pond. He claimed to maintain an intimate communion with God that was perhaps more intimate than relationships between many believers. As he neared the end of his life, someone asked if he had made his peace with God. Thoreau replied, "We never quarreled." In feeling at peace with God, he was at peace with others and thus a peacemaker with mankind.
B. The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with others.
"If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift" (Matt. 5:23-24 NIV). The ending of hostilities and the refusal to have conflict is not necessarily peace. For instance, two people may stop entering into violent dialogue but retreat into days of stony silence instead. They are not friends; they have simply refused to speak with one another. Two countries may declare a cease fire, but that does not guarantee a lasting peace.