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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 9 of 40: The Peacemakers

Matthew 5: 9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

We all love peace.  Most people can remember a time when they felt a deep and abiding peace.  We often look back on those times fondly and we look forward to feeling that way again.  But the blessing in this passage is not on the peace lovers it is on the peace makers.

All followers of Christ are meant to be peacemakers.  In John 1:12 we read "To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God."  And in Galatians 3:26 we read, "For in Christ we are all children of God through faith."  If we are children of God, then we are also peacemakers.

So, what does it mean to be a peacemaker?

People can make peace in their own hearts and souls.  They can resolve their inner conflicts between good and evil and this will give them peace. Through the forgiveness of God, they come to terms with their pasts.

People can also make peace with other people by living in right relationships with them.  Anyone who unites people and causes good relationships to exist is doing the work of God.

In discovering and revealing God's truth, peacemakers are led by the Holy Spirit instead of  their worldly desires, motivations or prejudices. In Romans 8:14, Paul writes, "For all who are led by the Spirit are children of God."

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Die when I may, I would like it to be said of me that I always pulled up a weed and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow."

The children of God, led by the Spirit, plant flowers of peace where the weeds of strife and dissension once grew.  They build bridges where people are divided.  Where there is hate, they offer love and prayer.  Where there are calls for retribution, they offer mercy.  Where there is a longing for revenge, they offer forgiveness.  Where there is persecution, they offer an outstretched hand.

Tomorrow we study the persecuted.

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