Lessons from Matthew 5: Peacemakers
Thus far in our study of Matthew chapter 5 we have studied five of the eight christian character traits set forth in the sermon on the mount. Next, Jesus taught us about peacemakers in chapter 5 verse 8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
This makes me think of Stephen when he was stoned to death. He was martyred for his faith, stoned because the religious leaders did not like the fact that he had pointed out their sin. In Acts 7:59-60, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And after he said this he closed his eyes here on earth but he opened them in heaven.
Stephen saw God.
Those who believe in Jesus are given a new life and are changed or transformed from the inside out. This causes them to not only will but to also act with a pure heart and pure motives, not expecting anything in return.
Those who are pure in heart pursue God and His love for them at all costs.
They pursue God even at great cost to themselves, and they never regret their choice, or grumble, or complain. They joyfully love God and pursue His righteousness and they reveal Christ to others.
With whom could you share this same love of God this week?
Jesus continued on and said in verse 9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Peacemakers are those people who always have hope. They have hope in the unseen things of this world, hope in Jesus Christ and all He has to offer. This is hope that is not limited by worldly views but hope that goes beyond the situation or circumstances and trusts God for His provision.
Being a peacemaker involves taking a risk. It means laying yourself out there. The world says stay out of it, don’t get involved, let them solve their own problems. Or they spend time gossiping and spreading rumors, doing more damage than good.
But God encourages us through His word to not only be reconciled to Him and receive peace but also that we, as His people, are to pursue peace (Ephesians 4:3). We are also to make an all-out effort to bring peace and unity to others (2 Cor. 5:19-20).
This is not easy. It is more often than not like getting into the ditch and getting dirty while helping others dig their way out.
But we do so with the help and hope we have in Christ Jesus who is the great Peacemaker.
Ephesians 2:15-17 teaches us that peace with God brings peace between man and man, or woman and woman. Christians should never, ever be the source of strife, gossip, or hurtful behavior or words. We should always strive to bring peace, unity, and harmony!
That is what being a peacemaker in God’s eyes is all about!
How will you allow God to use you to be His instrument of peace in someone’s life?