Lesson 61—April 12, 2015
Audio Commentary by Life Focus Teacher Rex McMasters
Scripture: Matthew 5:9
Lesson Goal: To learn and grow in our understanding that God wants us to be peacemakers on life’s journey.
In our last lesson from Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, we looked in detail at His words: “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” John Philips offers us this concerning Jesus’ words:
Jesus was teaching not just purity of life, but purity of heart as well. How rare a flower such purity is! We [true believers] are to be pure within, where all the mainsprings of life are to be found. We are to be able to look out at life with all its corruption and decay, and remain uncontaminated. Making a heart pure calls for a greater miracle than cleansing a leper….Separation in the Bible is not isolation, but insulation. Jesus was in the world but He was not of the world. He was in touch with the need of the world and in touch with the power of Heaven. There was no short circuit of that power because He was insulated in impenetrable holiness. For us, purity of heart is impossible apart from saving, sanctifying grace and the reality of Christ’s indwelling presence in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Today, we turn to verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
Please read Romans 5:1
The Bible teaches us that before we came to Christ, before we accepted Him as our personal Savor, we were at war with God. Before one can be a “peacemaker,” he/she must first be at peace with God. Before we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we were enemies of God. No matter how good we were or how moral our lives, apart from Jesus we were enemies of God.
Please read Romans 5:8-11.
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we received peace with God. No longer were we enemies of God, but now we are made His children. Because now we have peace with God, we can enjoy the peace of God. Please see Philippians 4:7 and Colossians 3:15. And now we see that we (true believers), having received God’s peace, are called upon to share and show forth His peace.
“Blessed,” happiness, joyful contentment found in being a peacemaker.
“Peacemaker,” a maker of peace. The Believer’s Bible Commentary says, “Notice that the Lord is not speaking about people with a peaceful disposition. He is referring to those who actively intervene to make peace. The natural approach is to watch strife from the sidelines. The divine approach is to take positive action toward creating peace” (MacDonald).
Are you a maker of peace? In life situations, do you bring peace or contention? Do you bring peace or tension?
Have you ever noticed how our attitudes, words, and actions are affected by those around us? For example, those who you sit with at a ballgame.
Have you ever noticed how voices get louder and braver when others join in? There cannot be a mob of one. Is our voice the voice that incites or sparks the flame of contention and controversy?
“Peacemakers” are not pacifists. They do not remove themselves from life or live in total isolation. They do not live in seclusion apart from humanity.
Peacemaker—“to bring men together, to make peace between men and God; to solve disputes and erase divisions; to reconcile differences and eliminate strife, to silence tongues and build right relationships”
(Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible). The “peacemaker” seeks to lead others to peace, understanding that true peace comes only through Jesus Christ.
“Peacemaker” is the true believer who strives, at every opportunity, to make peace between others. The peacemaker works to resolve disputes and ease tensions; they seek to promote godly harmony and erase divisions; they desire to see genuine reconciliation and for a spirit of peace to prevail.
A Word of Testimony
Over thirty years ago in Oklahoma, I heard a wise senior statesman pastor, Brother R. C. Miller, offer some great words of wisdom during a deacon ordination. He was speaking to the three men who were being ordained, and it certainly applied to them in their roles as deacons, but I believe his words of wisdom certainly pertain to all believers in our roles as peacemakers. With love and tenderness, Brother Miller stated, “Gentlemen, as deacons, you are to be the spiritual Rolaids® to this congregation. Rolaids are advertised and promoted for use to bring soothing action for stomach ailments. You are to bring a soothing action to this congregation. You are not to promote strife, discord and self, but you are to do the opposite. You are to bring a calm, a soothing relief to the tensions and stresses of this congregation, with a love and peace never creating strife or division.” Brother Miller’s words were burned into my heart that night. Many times during the past years, I have reflected on those words to those deacons: “You are the spiritual Rolaids to this congregation.”
That same wisdom presented to those deacons should apply to all true believers.
How many times has God wanted to use you as a peacemaker, but you added more tension and stress to an already volatile situation?
A few months ago, I returned from making a ministry visit to find an unusual excitement and buzz in the office. There was a sense of urgency to tell me what had happened while I was away. In the mid-afternoon, a young woman and a very angry and troubled young man had come by our office seeking help with lodging and food. The young man’s anger, no doubt caused by life’s hurts and pains (many of his own making), dominated his attitude, voice and actions. His anger quickly put Tina and Judy in a sense of unease. After hearing just a few words of their story, Brother Chad stepped out of his office and joined them in the reception area. As Brother Chad stepped out of his office, God gave him a special touch of wisdom. He simply sat down with this couple and listened to their story. He did not judge or condemn. In fact, he didn’t try to get “preachery” with them at all. He just listened, and then to their surprise, he admitted to them that sometimes life just dumps on us. As this couple (primarily the young man) continued to share, there was a peace that came as a result of Brother Chad’s words. No longer was the office filled with tension, stress and anger. Now the staff’s love and kindness was beginning to sooth what was earlier a very scary and volatile situation. That afternoon, God used Brother Chad as His “peacemaker.” Chad was willing, by God’s Spirit and wisdom, to be the much needed spiritual Rolaid in this young couple’s life. As a result, they saw the love and compassion of God through His servants.
How many times have you returned anger for anger?
Can you remember a time when instead of being the spiritual Rolaid, you became the gasoline that ignited the proverbial fire?
Would you take just a moment and ask God to give you the wisdom and spirit to be a peacemaker?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the sons of God.”
Being a peacemaker does not make one a son of God; this comes only as the result of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But being a peacemaker is to be the natural result (outcome) of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so that others can identify the true peacemakers as His children.
Please ask God to make your spirit sensitive and your heart willing to be a peacemaker.
In my lifetime, I have heard a lot of folks referred to as “hotheads” and “loudmouths,” but very few times have I heard of someone referred to as a “peacemaker.” It takes guts and courage to be a peacemaker. Anybody can be a hothead!
“Happy are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the sons of God.”
Don’t waste an opportunity to be spiritual Rolaid. Be a “peacemaker.”