THE BLESSING OF BEING A PEACEMAKER
INTRO: In this world of chaos, peace is one of the greatest words in the world. There is restlessness in the world today, caused by many different problems. Governments are trying to solve problems in the hope they can bring peace to the world. However, their attempts will always fall short because peace among the nations begins with (God’s) peace within the individual. If we want to be peacemakers in this world filled with chaos, we need to understand the basic truths regarding peace.
I. The Peace of God: What It Is & What It Is Not
> What It Is
- Peacemaker means to do or to make, someone who is actively seeking to reconcile people with God and one another.
- It is the absence of conflict.
- It is taking the initiative to resolve issues.
- It is a word of energy; we are to make it happen.
- The Bible does not tell us to run from conflict; we are to go to our brother and resolve issues.
- We can’t please everyone, but we do what we can to make peace.
- It is important.
> Shalom means peace, completeness, soundness, success, health; good things in all ways.
- It doesn’t come from us; it comes from God (1 Chronicles 12:18).
- It comes to everyone who puts their trust in Christ (Isaiah 26:3).
> If we don’t have peace, we have the ability as Believers to make peace.
- As Believers, we have the ministry of reconciliation.
- We are to help people have peace with God.
- We talk to people about how to have peace with God.
> What It Is Not
- It is not keeping silent but holding conflict inside.
- It is not the avoidance of strife.
- Strife will follow us when we try to avoid it instead of resolving it.
- It is not doing whatever it takes to make peace.
- It is not an accommodation, a glossing over of problems.
- Being a peacemaker is not passive.
II. Things That Destroy Peace
> Our mouths – the things we say.
- We say things we don’t mean.
- We say things that we do mean, but the words we choose are hurtful.
- Ephesians 4:29-31: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
> Disobedience – living contrary to God’s commands and His plans for you.
- We can take detours and keep experiencing the same stuff; but God has a better plan for us.
- Sin – in the middle of sin is “I.”
- We are selfish; it’s all about me.
- It is the biggest peace-breaker.
III. How to Make & Maintain Peace
> This is misunderstood.
- Making peace isn’t always “nice.”
- It can be emotionally messy.
- Jesus never said it wouldn’t hurt.
- People will misunderstand, even your own family.
- If possible, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).
> Sometimes peacemaking doesn’t work.
- There are people who don’t want peace.
> We should take the first step; take the initiative.
- We need to pray and make sure our spirit is right with God.
- We need to have the peace of God with us.
- Why should we take the first step? Because Jesus said so!
- Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
- Matthew 18:15: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”
- Take action if there has been a wrong, an offense.
- Attack the problem, not the person.
- Reconciliation is more important than being right.
- It’s not about winning the argument.
- Out of love for God and for people, we choose to make peace.
IV. The Blessing of Being a Peacemaker
> We are called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).
- God comes to bring peace, and then we have peace with others.
- When we are peace, we are healthier.
- God will take care of us.
- When we are at peace with God, we have the hope of spending eternity with God.
CONCLUSION: Peacemakers, out of love for God and people, do everything possible to do good to everyone. The blessing of being a peacemaker is its own reward: “They shall be called sons [children] of God” by God and man. Are you a peacemaker, or a peace-breaker?