Christian Universe ™
Blessed Are The Peacemakers
January 23, 2011
Jesus pronounced those blessed who make peace, calling them the children of God. We must be at peace: with God, with ourselves, with our neighbors, and as much as lies within our own power, with our enemies. Chaos, fighting, division, war, contention, strife and the like are not born of God, but of the flesh, the world, and the Devil. Whether among nations, among fellow citizens, or among believing brethren, fighting is the opposite of what God wants. Peace is what God has instructed.
Blessed Are The Peacemakers
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 01-23-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 01-30-2011
Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Who among us wouldn’t want to be called a child of God? Jesus, in this brief statement, gives deep insight into what that entails. It has to do with making peace.
1 Timothy 2:1 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
When I read those words, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life”, it holds great appeal to me. Some people yearn for excitement and danger, but I have always craved peace and quiet.
Mark 9:50 "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another."
Salt can be used to season, as well as to preserve. We have the power to spread peace by making the world a better place for those around us. Not only is our world, whether local or planet-wide, a better place, but our efforts to make life better for others can help preserve our world.
When Jesus was to be born, the father of John the baptizer, Zacharias, had this to say:
Luke 1:76 "And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
John prepared the way for Jesus, and Jesus guided our feet into the way of peace. In fact, when Jesus was born, angels proclaimed peace on earth.
Luke 2:11 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Some have asked me, did not Jesus bring a sword instead of peace? They quote or reference:
Luke 12:51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
Every scripture must be read and studied in its context. If you read this chapter, you will see that Jesus spoke of those unbelieving family members who would turn on the believers in their families. The believers are the peacemakers – it is the unbelievers who wage war on them. If we live in Christ Jesus, we have peace, and we bring peace. Otherwise, we bring a fighting spirit.
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
We see the source of our personal serenity from these words. When we rest in the assurance of our faith in Jesus, and what He has planned for those who follow Him, we find inner peace amidst the turmoil that surrounds us in life. We look to His message while upon the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” As He suffered and died, there was a peace within Him, for He was discharging His father’s will. We can suffer with peace.
Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God"
With such peace in our hearts, we are able to brave the tortures and troubles of the present world, and of our present life, knowing that one day these, too, shall pass and we will enter into our rest.
Hebrews 4:8 "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."
Once we have achieved this internal peace, we are qualified to extend peace to our brethren, and even to our enemies. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How can we be peacemakers if we do not understand peace, and do not have it?
Romans 8:5 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
Peace comes from being spiritually minded.
Romans 14:17 "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."
We not only seek an inward peace for ourselves, but peace with those with whom we have to do. We make a conscious effort to make peace with others. Our goal is to edify, or build up, others. Let’s face it! When those around us are doing well, we tend to do well. If they are at peace, so are we, usually.
As the apostle Paul bade farewell to the Corinthian church, he wrote this:
2 Corinthians 13:11 "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
We must make an effort to live in peace with our brethren. Peace comes as a result of showing love, especially charity, toward others. With charity we understand the importance of forgiveness. With forgiveness comes peace.
Colossians 3:12 "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
I have invoked some of these scriptures repeatedly over the past several years because I feel that if we will learn charity and pursue peace, we will be doing what God wants, and we will see great things happen!