July 30: HANDOUT Beatitude #7 Matthew 5:9 “Peacemakers”
Matt. 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God”
First half of word “Peace” means much the same as the Hebrew word Shalom giving the idea of wholeness or overall well-being. When a Jew said shalom, he was wishing another more than the absence of trouble, but all that made for a complete, whole life. The word “Makers” demands that we understand that the person is not passive, but a producer of peace.
The word Peacemaker, describes one who actively pursues peace in its fullness. He pursues more than the absence of conflict; he pursues wholeness, completeness and well-being.
A Peacemaker’s Honest. If there is a problem he doesn’t whitewash the problem, he admits it.
Ezekiel 13:10-12 “Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”
The peacemaker is painfully honest about the true status of peace in the world, the society in which he exists and in his own personal relationships. The peacemaker does not pretend that things are as they are not. He refuses to say, Peace, Peace when there is no Peace! He admits the “cracks”!
To putty over the cracks does not work. Acting as if everything is OK when it is not is not the solution. To heal a wound requires that we deal with it …not ignore it!
The World is Dying in Sin…We Dare Not Ignore It! People are Hurting…We Dare Not Ignore it… Peacemakers are willing to take the Risk of being misunderstood or rebuked.
A Peacemaker is willing to take Risk which leads us to a Paradox: “The Peacemaker is a Fighter!”
Scripture commands the aggressive pursuit of peace: Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Keep the unity from being disturbed).
Romans 12:18-21 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”.
Being a fighter for peace does not give us a “license to kill”. We are not 007. The peacemakers character must be permeated with the “shalom” of God.
James 3:17,18.“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”.
Christ was/is the Perfect Peacemaker: Col 1:19, 20 “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Christ saw the gravity of our situation and refused to sweep it under the rug. Only a drastic solution would suffice, and so He made peace, through His blood.
Phil 2:3-8 Christ is the true example of a Peacemaker. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
For us to become a Peacemaker requires a radical change! First it requires that we have peace within ourselves. Peace is Not the Absence of Problems…Rather it is the presence of Jesus Christ!
- To allow His Character to become ours, requires a total dependence on God the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit helps us understand Gods Word and His desire in our lives. That spiritual enlightenment allows us to be changed and to become more like Christ.
The Benefit of a Peacemaker: “For they alone shall be called sons of God.”
- Sons of God refers to Character (The character of Christ)
- Like God we cannot be the instigators of trouble. We should not find joy in someone else’s scandal or trouble. We are not to be faultfinding or omni-critical.
POINT: A Peace Maker Makes Trouble to Make Peace!
Here’s the Bottom Line for a Peacemaker:
A Peacemaker Stands in the Gap between God and People! He actively pursues God’s True peace in its fullness.
A Peacemaker pursues more than the absence of conflict; he pursues wholeness, completeness and well-being.
A Peacemaker understands that the only True Peace comes from a relationship with Christ and that God’s Word is the Only True Solution to every issue on Earth!
The peacemaker is not an appeaser. He does not want “peace at any price” Which is So Popular today! Appeasement does not make for peace…it just puts off the conflict!
Peacemakers are willing to put themselves in the middle of conflict and point others toward important, unchanging truths for life and relationships.
A peacemaker is willing to commit his or her life to advance the Kingdom of God. They are willing to serve others, to put concern for others ahead of themselves.
POINT: A Peace Maker Makes Trouble to Make Peace!
Remember…Jesus never told us to love a cause or to love a religion. He told us to love God and love people, which is LifePoints Mantra…May we be the peacemakers this world so desperately needs.