8 November 1999

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." In His seventh Beatitude, Jesus approaches a level of Christian maturity that not every disciple will achieve. Here we are called upon to place the cause of Christ first in our lives. "What I want" and "How I feel" must be replaced by "What is best for the cause." Here we become willing to die to self for the cause of Christ and the prosperity of His kingdom. Such is the attitude of this Beatitude. This is the first Beatitude that calls for an active, prayerful participation on our part as we endeavor to become "peacemakers". THE BLESSING There is a great blessing to be received when we become "peacemakers". Why else would Jesus encourage us to become so? When we become "peacemakers" we are sending forth blessings that will return to our own bosom. Since we reap what we sow, why not reap the bountiful harvest of peace? As Solomon said, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." And what shall we find "after many days" if we sow discord? This maxim is profitable for every facet of life. It is profitable, first of all, in God's house and among His people. It is profitable in our homes, among husbands, wives and children. And it is profitable in our workplace. This peace making should extend beyond the bounds of Zion. God ordained the home as a place for mothers and fathers to dwell together peacefully with their children. And the Christian is to have an impact upon the lives of those without. Being a peacemaker does not mean peace at any price. It does not mean that God's people should agree with the world to get along with the world. It does not mean that we should compromise our principles and doctrines to gain the favor of the world. This would be the other extreme. But it does mean that we should, to the best of our ability, get along with others, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men"-Rom 12:18. How much more so with other Christians? It is certain that we should not make a fuss concerning nonessentials. God's word does not mandate the color of bricks or carpet at the meeting house or the school mascot. There are some things that really do not matter. Why not rather spend all of that energy making peace? After all, it is much more important. Since God is concerned about our peace He tells us how to become "peacemakers". The word is peace-MAKER. This means that peace is not a gratis. It must be diligently sought after and MADE. We become "peacemakers" by: (1) Praying for it. Have you noticed that almost every New Testament epistle has a short prayer requesting peace within the first few verses? For instance, in Romans 1:7, Paul prays for peace, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." This prayer is commonly referred to as the "Apostolic Benediction". The Apostles well knew the importance of peace. They prayed for it and encouraged the Christians to pray for it. (2) James tells us to sow peace, "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." This is the only atmosphere that the harvest of righteous labors may be enjoyed. Though all other things may be done accurately, without peace labors will be in vain. As a matter of fact, the word peace means "prosperity". Not worldly prosperity, but something much better: Prosperity of the soul. Sow peaceā€¦reap prosperity! (3) David tell us to "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it"-Psalm 34:14. David had seen strife in the city. Though he sought peace he had witnessed the effects of a city without it. It was Christ's cross that brought peace between God and fallen man. In making peace, ours could be no more difficult. THE PARADOX Once again, this is a paradox to the world. How can these passive, peaceful people be happy? Won't they be the ones that people take advantage of? To the world, having one's way all the time brings happiness. Not only will it not bring happiness, it will not bring peace. THE PARADOX EXPLAINED The "peacemakers" are the truly happy ones because they are called "the children of God". They are looked upon as such because they reflect the attributes of their Father: the "God of peace" and the "Prince of peace". What better title could be enjoyed in this life than to be called God's child. This title outstrips king, president, powerful, rich and famous. Christ never intended for his kingdom to be propagated by the sword or a penal code. Some of the worst monsters in history were those who used government and state to enforce their religious creeds. Though their kingdoms have fallen, Christ's kingdom has endured for 2000 years. It is upheld by the power of His Word and the meek and quiet witness of those that we may call "peacemakers". Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning.