Sermon On The Mount Devotional Blog 10

Sermon On The Mount Devotional

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Read Matthew 5:1-12 (focusing on vs. 9) (ESV)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

During the Cold War between the United States, her allies, and the Soviet Union, an arms race existed where each side sought to outdo the other in spending on military arms and the ability to project strength. The United States built up her army, navy and air force, creating massive platforms of power such as super aircraft carriers, capable of sending the might of the American military anywhere in the world. Both sides multiplied their nuclear arsenals as well. Toward the end of the Cold War in the late ‘80s, the United States had over 30,000 warheads and the Soviet Union had right at approximately 40,000. Each could obliterate the other hundreds of times over, bringing destruction to the entire planet.

One such nuclear weapon was ironically called the Peacemaker. The Peacemaker, also known as the M-X missile, was a land-based intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching anywhere within mother Russia, reigning down fiery destruction over thousands of miles. “Peace through strength” became a slogan of the United States President during this time.

In our Beatitude here, Christ would have actually said the opposite, “Peace through weakness”. Christ created peace between us and the Father, through the weakness of the Cross. Christ reconciled us to a Holy God by His willingness to be beaten and rejected, being perceived by the world as weak. Might the Lord be calling you today to move toward someone, seeking peace, requiring a humble weakness on your part? A willingness to overlook an offense or to forgive a slight?

Christ is the ultimate peacemaker. What are some of our greatest problems in life? Unemployment? Family breakdown? Financial collapse? Global warming? Global cooling? Over-population? Violence? Bad-breath, cold-sores, or dandruff? We could make a long list of problems, and these lists would be wildly divergent depending upon the persons asked or even the time of day. If this question were asked to 100 average people, I would imagine that no one would put down as their number-one problem, “Being at odds with a Holy God”. Who would even think to put that on his list, much less writing it in the top slot? But the Bible teaches that that is indeed our number one problem. Because of sin, we are at odds with the Creator of the universe. We have a problem with Him, an infinite and eternal problem. We have acted upon our sin nature, confirming that we are God-haters, living in open rebellion against Him. Man is due the just penalty for his sins which is eternal death, living apart from God, in hellish torment. But the good news of the Bible is that God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to bring reconciliation between us. We were two parties at odds. We had no peace. But Jesus brings peace between us and God, satisfying His righteous demands on our lives by His life, death, and resurrection. We, through Christ, have peace now with God. Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker!

Since we have experienced living without peace, living at odds with God, we can understand how devastating it is to live day by day under such a weight. We are called to seek out peace with those around us. First and foremost, we are called to bring this same bad news/good news to a world that is at odds with God. We are called to be peacemakers by sharing the Gospel, which is a message of peace, with anyone and everyone. Secondly, we are to seek peace with those around us. In his book, A Small Book About a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace, Ed Welch writes a chapter entitled, “Ten Ways to Bless an Enemy listed below. While this book is primarily about overcoming our own issues with anger, this section is really about gaining peace with those around you. He says, “Since we rarely have true enemies who are committed to curse us, think about those you temporarily put in the enemy camp. Some have inconvenienced you. Some have wronged you. The ultimate goal is to bless.” By blessing people, even those who have hurt us, we are seeking peace. Here are ten ways to seek peace:

  1. Judge yourself first. Confess any selfish desires that might cloud your vision.
  2. Don’t retaliate.
  3. As you examine yourself, if there is a way that you have wronged the person, ask for forgiveness.
  4. Ask the person what you have done wrong that has provoked them, if you do not know.
  5. Use gentle words.
  6. As one who has received mercy, we are then to extend that to others.
  7. Ask someone who is close to you to pray for you as you seek peace with this other person and ask for ways you might bless them.
  8. Realize, “Enemies (or those who have hurt us) have also been wounded. Are you aware of any hardships in the other person’s life? If you are familiar with these hardships, let your compassion be aroused and express your sorrow to him or her.” (Welch pg. 128).
  9. Seek to overlook the offense if it is possible.
  10. If your attempts to make peace fail, continue to pray. Ask for continued grace to love and forgive. Peacemaking flows from who we are in Christ and what He has done for us. He labored so that we might have peace and that we might extend peace to others.

Remember that we do not gain our salvation by showing peace. We have salvation because Christ made peace between us and God. Then this verse says, “they (peacemakers) shall be called sons of God,”. This is a result of peace having been created between us and a Holy God by His Son Jesus Christ. We show peace to others and are peacemakers because we are sons of God through Christ. Sons and daughters of God, go and be peacemakers, in the power of Christ.

So, What Now?

Is there someone whom you would consider an enemy, even temporarily? Someone who has hurt you? Perhaps they have been hurt or wounded too. A friend of mine once said, “Hurting people hurt people.” How can you extend grace and peace to someone who is hurting, though they have hurt you, so that they might know Christ better by your example? Seek to put these ten principles into practice with someone who has hurt you.