Summary: What did Christ mean when he said "blessed are the peacemakers" & "blessed are you when you are persecuted"

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7/13/03 EPIC-Peacemakers & persecuted

Read-Blessed are the Peacemakers-

Ill. Nobel story-The Nobel Peace Prize is the supreme award given to those who have made an exceptional contribution to the betterment of the world. Other Nobel Prizes are given to those who have made outstanding contributions in the arts and sciences. There is a story about the Nobel Prize that is rarely ever told.

Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, made his fortune by inventing powerful explosives and licensing the formula to governments to make weapons. One day Nobel’s brother died, and a newspaper by accident printed an obituary notice for Alfred instead of the deceased brother.

It identified him as the inventor of dynamite who made a fortune by enabling armies to achieve new levels of mass destruction. Nobel had the unique opportunity to read his own obituary in his lifetime and to see how he would be remembered. He was shocked to think that this was what his life would add up to: he would be remembered as a merchant of death and destruction.

He took his fortune and used it to establish the awards for accomplishments contributing to life rather than death. And today, Nobel indeed is remembered for his contribution to peace and human achievement—not explosives.

(from Hot Illustrations published by Youth Specialties)

-called to be peacemakers both in the church & world/community

-true that he later said in Matt. 10:34-36 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!”

Simply saying that the natural result of His coming, of following Him wholly would be conflict, even in your own family, but that if we truly want to follow Him we must love Him most of all and put Him first, above all, everyone.

Listen to the rest of that paragraph-vs. 37-39

“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.”

So when X calls us to be peacemakers, it is not peace at any cost, not a peace where we compromise our values and beliefs to avoid conflict, but rather as Paul says Rom. 12:18 “Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible” or as much as it depends on you.

Don’t seek out conflict or be responsible for it, but when there is conflict, seek reconciliation.

Sometime seeking peace will cause us pain,

Pain of admitting we’re wrong and asking forgiveness,

Pain of confronting someone who has wronged us

Make peace in our own relationships

Also opportunity to be peacemakers even when we are not personally involved in a dispute-help others to make peace w/ each other, people groups, etc.

Help others make peace w/ God-evangelism

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