Summary: The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to be Like Jesus #7
Does any one remember Larry, Curly and Mo, perhaps better known as “The Three Stooges?” These three pioneers of TV comedy would make many folks laugh at their crazy antics and mischievous tricks. Bonking heads together, fingers poked in the eyes, pliers twisting the nose, or a slap to the face are just a hand full of the zany things these stooges would do to each other. Who can forget the “weebebebebe,” “knuckle-head,” or “oh wise guy?”
Despite the conflict generated in each episode to get a laugh, you still had the feeling Larry, Curly, and Mo were still all friends. Even through all the turmoil these three were at peace with each other.
Are you surprised by the thought of Larry Curly and Mo sharing a peaceful relationship? Why else would these friends stay together? I know “The Three Stooges” are just TV make believe, but what if you treated two of your friends like these comedians treated each other. Would your relationships continue or end in a ball of fire? Is peace a characteristic of your relationships?
This morning we will look at the seventh beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Over the last several weeks we have looked at “The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to be like Jesus.” Before we go any further let me ask you a question. ARE YOU MORE LIKE JESUS TODAY THAN YOU WERE A MONTH AGO? How have your attitudes and actions changed? For the better or for the worse? Either you are growing and pressing on to be like Christ, or you are stagnate and lifeless like the Dead Sea.
• The Dead Sea has water full of life flow into it every day, but once the water flows in it has nowhere to go and becomes stagnate. The water has no outlet; therefore the water in the Dead Sea is dead.
Likewise you can come to church regularly, hear the Word of God preached, sit in Bible studies, you can even read the Bible and pray on your own, but if the reality of Christ is never applied to your life, then you are just soaking more and more in without any outlet or expression of your faith in Christ. Do you hear what I’m saying? It is not good enough to just hear the Word of God; YOU MUST LIVE IT TOO!
The Bible says, “Those who hear [God’s Word] and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like” (James 1:23-24 MsgB).
As we look at the beatitudes let’s not just hear what is said; let’s live them. The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to be like Jesus.
• Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (NIV)
You have heard it said EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD FIGHT. Unfortunately everyone doesn’t; God does not love to see a fight. In fact the opposite is true: God hates fights.
• Proverbs 6:16, 19 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 19. . . a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (NIV)
The man who stirs up trouble, starts a fight, tears down unity, or destroys peace is the man whom God hates. Don’t look for God to bless your life if you are not at peace with your fellow man; God will always be against the man or woman who can’t get along with others.
However, God will bless the peacemaker. The peacemaker is God’s child!
Undoubtedly most of you would say you want to be a child of God. Many of you will point to a time in your life when you said a prayer asking God to forgive your sin. You know you are not forgiven by anything you have done, but are saved only through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. This may surprise you, but just because you said a prayer one day does not mean you are still God’s child today.
• John 1:12-13 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave THE RIGHT TO BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (NIV)
The prayer you said once upon a time is only the beginning! It is not enough for you to simply “accept Jesus as your savior.” Acceptance is too passive; it’s simply an intellectual agreement or acknowledgement. Move beyond acceptance and embrace Christ as your savior!
CHRIST’S PASSION IS YOU! Jesus’ death on the cross is the story of God’s great love for you and me, a love that took the initiative to act on our behalf.
Don’t simply accept Jesus’ love for you; EMBRACE HIS LOVE! Make Jesus your passion, your single desire. Embracing Christ is to pursue Him, to actively respond to His love. As you and I embrace Christ, God does His work within us to make us like Jesus. We are born of God to live our lives as Jesus lived.