“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-11 ESV)
Focus of the Month: Jesus Teaches: The Sermon on the Mount/Beatitudes
From the sidelines and up close and personal, I have seen friendships crumble, families separate, marriage lines crossed, and anger that tears relationships apart. In some of these circumstances I have seen/had reconciliation and some I have not. My heart believes God can restore anything. He can make all things new. He is able. So how do I face the very present reality that not all situations have this outcome? I know I must trust in God’s perfect timing and His plan for those He loves. What is my role in this?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
In a world filled with violence, even hate, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers. My mind races with reasons I cannot do this. But there is a difference in “doing” and “being”. Our character takes root in verses 3-6 and in verses 7-10 our character bears fruit. To live true to Him, bearing fruit, we can’t choose the easier path. Jesus asks us to be peacemakers in the wake of fully knowing the time and place of which we live.
To be a peacemaker means to be a person whose character is set on reconciling others to God and to one another. We can’t control the outcome, we can only aspire to live as one who trusts and loves the Word of God
The prophet Isaiah tells us “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When we receive Him as our Savior we become children of God, reconciled to Him. As a child of God, I long for all people to know Him, to receive Him and to live in peace. In Romans 12:18 Paul writes,
“if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
There is no guarantee that all situations will end peacefully, but it does require us, “as it depends on you” to try to bring peace. In a sense we are called to be bridge builders. So what can we do to help bring about peace for others and ourselves?
We can ask God for perspective and wisdom. If God reveals our fault, no matter how small or big, we must confess it to be reconciled to Him. This means surrendering the conflict to God and seeking His will for the situation. We hurt our outcome by talking about the person to others rather than by talking to the person directly. Not all people are capable of living in peace with others. Jesus has asked me to BE a peacemaker. If I am seeking Him, following Him and resting in Him – I can be in peace. If the conflict doesn’t change but I have tried to remain in peace with others, I can still rest knowing that I have done what He has asked me to do.
In closing today I must ask…have you experienced the grace of God? Have you come into a real relationship with Him through His son Jesus Christ? You must have this relationship before you can be a way of peace to others. You must know what peace is for yourself—before you can make peace in your relationships. Beautiful women, we can’t make peace if we don’t have peace; and that peace only comes from Jesus Christ.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Matthew 5:9; Isaiah9:6; Galatians 3:26; Galatians 4:4-7; Romans 12:18; Philippians 1:2