Today's Word of Encouragement
Monday, June 1, 2020
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).
As I reviewed the news this morning, my spirit grieved over the chaos and conflict that continues to kill us like cancer. I thought back over my life and recounted how few days there have been when peace was enjoyed in the human experience. We are a race of creatures that just can’t get along with each other - wrangling over the health crisis, racial conflict, political wars, brutality and violence in homes and on the streets. I’m beginning to believe we are seeing the complete demise of the dream that was once America.
Simply put, people are in conflict with each other because people are in conflict with themselves, and people are in conflict with themselves because people are in conflict with God. St. Augustine once said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
In the Sermon on the Mount we traced the four steps that lead to salvation: recognizing one’s spiritual depravity (v.3), godly sorrow over sin (v.4), humbling one’s self before God (v.5), and embracing the righteousness of Christ (v.6). As a result of salvation, the Christian lives a life of mercy (v.7), holiness (v.8), and peace (v.9). But the truth cannot be overlooked that before peace can become a reality among people (v. 9), there must be peace with God (v. 6). Peace with God can only be realized through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
Jesus calls His disciples to be ‘peace makers’- not just people who are peace possessors or peaceable people, but people who work to prevent contention, strife, and war, who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, to prevent conflicts and hostilities in families and neighborhoods. He calls us to be peace makers because He has given us the secret of peace - peace itself. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27). Peace is the product of His indwelling Holy Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). When we live the Christ life, we live in His peace. When we share Him with others, we share His peace because He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
What is the reward? They shall be called the sons of God. Those who reflect the image of God, who live in the Spirit of God, radiate His peace, for He is the author of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). Those who live to promote peace are like Jesus Christ, and are worthy to be called His children.
“Father, it seems an overwhelming, if not impossible task to effect peace in our world, in our time. But what is impossible with man is possible with You. In my little corner of the world, may I strive to live in peace with You, with myself, and with others. May I allow Your peace to flood my life, and overflow to others. Amen”