The blog is two days late this week because Esther and I have been traveling back home from Singapore. Last weekend in Church of our Saviour we experienced remarkable meetings when the presence of God was very tangible. Such was the worship and working of God that the word was quite short but powerfully appropriate based on the beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers. The notes are below but you can also catch the service on the podcast at www.coos.org.sg
This Sunday is mothering sunday, and Esther and I are returning to minister at the place where we served several years ago, in Westminster, at the Emmanuel Evangelical Church.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall
be called the sons of God” [Matthew 5:9]
In James 3 verse 18 we read this lovely verse: “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”
The dictionary defines a Peacemaker as a person who brings about peace. Literally, a person who brings calm and quiet; re-establishes friendly relationships between people; brings reconciliation [The Oxford Dictionary]
In the Biblical sense peace is not just the negative absence of conflict, but the positive “shalom” – of well-being & wholeness! ‘Shalom’ means completeness, wholeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity prosperity, fullness, perfectness, rest, and harmony: the absence of agitation and discord. This adds a whole new emphasis to being a peacemaker – one who brings wholeness and well being as well as reconciliation between conflicting parties. This is not just a personality type but is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life!
Not all children of God are known as peacemakers, but the reward of being a peacemaker is to be known as a child of God.
Is there any more wonderful name to have than being someone who brings peace? “You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in” [Isaiah 58:12]
“The peace-makers are not necessarily the people who are talking about peace all the time. Peace-makers are those who are doing something, creating something, building something – bridges mostly” [Robert Schuller]
TO MAKE PEACE A PERSON MUST BE AT PEACE
Christ is our peace – Ephesians 2:14-18. When Jesus rules in our hearts and lives the result is peace! God’s Kingdom is a kingdom of peace [Romans 14:17]. We need to be at peace with God, with ourselves, and with others. How can we possibly be a peacemaker if we ourselves are not at peace?
“The peace of God which passes all understanding shall rule your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:7] is a wonderful promise. This peace is supernatural!
We are commanded to “Maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” [Ephesians 4:3]
We should pursue peace. Paul says, “Therefore, let us pursue the things that make for peace, and the things by which we may edify one another.” [Romans 14:19]
Paul speaks about peace and unity in his closing words to the Corinthians, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace” [2 Corinthians 13:11].
It is impossible for a person to bring peace when there is a war going on in their heart and soul.
“Of all the people who can bring peace, Christians should be the most able. They don’t need to carry around a bundle of emotional garbage that shows itself in the form of anxiety, fear, tension, or insecurity. They should not be angry people who feel they are the victims of life’s injustices.”
THE POWER TO BRING PEACE COMES FROM THE PRINCE OF PEACE
Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” [see Isaiah 9:6]
Every Christian is called to be a peacemaker
God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…He has committed to us the word of reconciliation…we are ambassadors for Christ.” [2 Corinthians 5:18-20]. We are called to be reconcilers and peacemakers. We are ambassadors of the Prince of Peace
Peace making is God’s work – God is the author of peace, and of reconciliation. “Through Christ God was pleased ‘to reconcile to Himself all things…making peace by the blood of His cross.” [Colossians 1:20]. Christ’s purpose was to create in Himself one new man in place of the two [Jew & Gentile], so making peace’ [Ephesians 2:15].
When we seek to bring peace wherever we go, we are simply doing what the Father does – it is not surprising then that peacemakers are called sons of God!
The key is that “God was in Christ, reconciling….” And “Christ lives in me” – the need is simply to let Him, who is the Prince of Peace, do His work through us!
PEACE ONLY WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH TRUTH AND LOVE
Peace is not the same as appeasement – it is not peace at any price - it cost the life-blood of God’s only Son!
To proclaim ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace is the work of a false prophet, not of Christian witness [Jeremiah 6:14 & 8:11]. There can be no real peace unless there is also truth and love!
Sometimes making peace is painful – When we are ourselves involved in a quarrel, there will be either the pain of apologizing to the person we have injured or the pain of rebuking the person who has injured us – pretending something has not happened or not dealing with the issue properly, and in a Biblical manner, is not peace making!
Being a peace-maker is risky - “We may not be personally involved in a dispute, but may find ourselves struggling to reconcile to each other two people or groups who are estranged and at variance with each other. In this case there will be the pain of listening, of ridding ourselves of prejudice, of striving sympathetically to understand both the opposing points of view, and of risking misunderstanding, ingratitude or failure.”