Every day for the past week I have focused on one of the Beatitudes for my Daily Bible Journal. Each verse is so packed with rich doctrine and profound truth that I can barely scratch the surface during my devotional time with the Lord!
So far I have considered what it means to be poor in spirit, to mourn, to be meek, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to be merciful towards others and to be pure in heart with the amazing blessing of seeing God!
As I look back on all the implications of these glorious Beatitudes, not only do these truths shine a glaring light on the vast differences between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world, but they shatter the “illusion” of kingdom life so often displayed in Christians and in a broader sense, the Church.
Today, I am considering what it means to be a peacemaker and to be called sons of God.
The lack of peace is everywhere. It surrounds us. Countries wage war to take land from on another. Terrorists use fear and violence to force their radical views on others. Children display aggression and dominance over one another at school. Homes are battlegrounds of dysfunction with innocent children as casualties. Friends disagree and stop being friends. Churches split and congregations divide.
It’s human nature to fight. But where are the peacemakers?
In order to be peacemaker, you have to first have peace, right? One of the reasons there is so much conflict in our world, in our homes and in our churches is because there is so much conflict in each of us. Internal battles wage war in our minds making it impossible to be a maker of peace because we don’t have peace.
The shortage of peacemakers is devastating and the results are catastrophic.
Peter Atkin, Pastor of Living Hope Christian Church, often says, “One of the greatest freedoms God gives us is to not need people or circumstances to be a certain way in order to be at peace.”
So how do you get peace if you don’t have it? Since it’s not something you can buy, something you do or something you can achieve, how does one get it?
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” When we have the peace of God, it “surpasses all understanding” and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
One of the ways the peace of God guards our hearts and minds is by guarding against those thoughts and attitudes that will take away our peace.
Jesus said something that may very well be the most memorized verse in all of Scripture (even by people who have never read the Bible or have any interest in God). It’s known as the Golden Rule and many try to live by it.
Jesus said, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). A lot of people paraphrase it “Do to others as you want them to do to you” or something close to that. But they get the idea and for many, it’s a good way to live.
My question is, if the Golden Rule is known around the world and many try to live by it, why is there still so little peace?
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
You can’t have peace without “The Peace Maker.”
Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”
Without the blood of Christ, without his death on a cross, “the dividing wall of hostility” will not be broken down and you will continue to be far off, outside of Christ and without peace.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
He also said in John 14:27, “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.”
While Jesus doesn’t tell us in this Beatitude how to be called sons of God (or children of God), He does say the sons of God will be peacemakers. But what does it mean to be called sons of God?
John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Galatians 3:26 says, “in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
Romans 8:14 says, “for all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
Friend, do you have peace with God? Does He consider you His child? Or are you doing the best you can, maybe even trying to live by the Golden Rule or doing your best to be a peacemaker in your own strength? It’s clear that to be a peacemaker, you have to have peace. And the only way to have real peace is through faith in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Oh Father, our world is destroying itself just as you said it would. But in this downward spiral, you are at work in your children as peacemakers, as light and as your ambassadors bringing the Good News of salvation to those who are perishing. I pray for those who do not have peace with you and would cry out to you for mercy. Help those of us who are yours to be peacemakers and to bring grace and love in the midst of every conflict we face. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thank you for reading my Daily Bible Journal!
Reading, reflecting and writing from the Bible has so radically impacted my life in Christ, it’s as if I’ve been on auto-pilot when reading the Bible in the past. There’s something about “sitting with the text” and through prayerful reflection, sharing what comes to mind. Because I’m posting online for others to read, I consider my words carefully and try to be clear and accurate.
This daily process enhances my understanding of God’s Word and embeds it into my conscience. It literally gets “hidden in my heart!”
I hope this encourages others to be in God’s Word every day.
For God’s Glory,