THE PEACEMAKERS |
They are Sons of God
[John 14:27] – “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The key to being a peacemaker is to first have peace ourselves. There are a few things I think about when I think about being filled with Jesus’ peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says this:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
This passage already answers some questions about the peace of God
- The peace of God is given as we come to Him with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving.
- Ie. In everything and all things, we speak with Him. We build a relationship of trust with God.
- [2 Thessalonians 3:16] – “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
- Why? Because the peace of God surpasses all understanding.
- [Isaiah 55:9] – “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
- [1 Corinthians 2:16] – “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
- This peace, from God, will then guide our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ, and this is also through the Holy Spirit in us.
- In the context of Paul speaking about not stumbling one another in following Christ – [Romans 14:17-19] – “…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
- [Isaiah 26:3] – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
- [Psalm 119:165] – “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.”
- [Romans 5:1-2] – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
The peace of God in us restores us to peace (relationship) with Him. It also guards our hearts and minds in Christ because it reveals to us the peace of Christ – ie. His ways and His desires on earth, His “kingdom of peace”. The peace of God comes from God and from His understanding, not ours. Our “peace” may not be God’s “peace” – God’s peace is found uniquely in Him alone and in His way, not just in harmony and the absence of struggle. In fact, even in times of battling and struggling, we can emanate the peace of God. God’s peace comes from knowing who He is, knowing who we are in Him, knowing He is good, and fully trusting Him in every aspect of life.
When we “make peace”, we encourage understanding and dwelling of God’s peace in the lives of others. One example given in Romans 14:17-19 (as above) is that of encouraging one another where we are in our walk with God. Verse 19, again, says, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” If someone considers a food unclean, while another considers it keen – be careful of eating that food before the other person lest it stumble him. There are small things over which people may fight and dispute, but greater things which draw the church together in unity – the love of God, faith in Christ Jesus, the supremacy of God’s Word – the foundation of Christ alone on which the Church is built. While testing the spirits, and keeping watch against false prophets, we should also remember love and peacemaking. Peacemaking is not just a ministry to unbelievers, but it is an important ministry within the church. Here is a reminder from Ephesians 4:13, 15-16, in the context of the diversity of spiritual gifts distributed in the church:
“…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…(v.15-16) but, speaking the truth in love, [we] may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Finally, peacemakers are sons of God because they (1) exhibit the character of their Father, and (2) share in the inheritance of His kingdom of peace.
[Isaiah 9:7] –
“Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order and establish it with judgement and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
[Matthew 19:29] – “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”
This is Jesus’ conclusion to His opening statement of “…it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven…” The rich do not receive the kingdom of heaven, but it is given to those who are poor in spirit, those who are like children (Matthew 18:3) and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Luke 6:24 explains how the rich have already received their consolation compared to those described in verse 35, who receive a heavenly reward – “But love your enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High…”
Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake forsake the reward of a comfortable life, instead taking up the cross and following Christ. Yet, in enduring and persevering through hardship, for the sake of righteousness, and for the kingdom of God, they receive the kingdom of heaven – the fullness of all things in Christ.
[Matthew 6:33] – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
THOSE WHO ARE REVILED, PERSECUTED AND FALSELY ACCUSED FOR CHRIST’S SAKE | Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is their reward in heaven
Furthermore, those who endure through the injustice of the world in order to stand for Christ will be filled with joy because of their reward in heaven – their intimacy and oneness with Christ.
[Matthew 24:9-14] – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Their joy in found in the perfecting of their faith (yet another reward) as they persevere through trials and tribulation.
[James 1:2-4] – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Finally, we CAN persevere for Christ’s sake because He made the way for us. Let us set our eyes on Him who is the author and perfector of our faith, and run with endurance and joy, in step with His Spirit.
[Hebrews 12:1-2] – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him ensured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”