PeacemakersBro. David Chancellor
11/7/2010 6:00 PM
Genesis 32:9-13, 21-30
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Are you a child of God? We don’t want to just be one; we want to be called one. Are you a peacemaker? We need to make peace. A peacemaker can bring people together. There are many who would divide people up. A talebearer separates friends. A peacemaker uses his influence to bring people together. It isn’t necessarily a job to seek out. Peacemakers usually aren’t well-liked. Work to bring people together. What follows in your wake? Drama and strife don’t work to cause you to be called a child of God. Peace doesn’t cause turbulence. We want our lives to have a positive influence on others.
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Peacemakers need to understand what is causing the war. The problem comes from selfish desires and spirits. Carnal man will destroy and tear down to get what he wants. "And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another; and there was given unto him a great sword." – Revelation 6:4. We don’t want this kind of a condition in us. Wars happen because there is a selfish, fighting spirit inside that is quite destructive. If people would turn to God, he would provide for their need. People have desires burning within and until those desires are addressed, there will be wars and fighting. We don’t want to seek our own way and cause trouble. The root of gossip is desires. It would lift up self to satisfy something within. The only remedy for this is the grace of God within the heart and being committed and submitted to Him. Those desires must be traded for something that is pure and holy.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
He was addressing things that had to do with traditions. It isn’t whether everyone else live sup to my expectations, but whether I am what God wants me to be. If I insist on my way, I’m not walking charitably and it is hard to be a peacemaker. People often get so wrapped up in traditions and forget what really matters. If we focus on serving God, we’ll have his approval and some people will approve and be positively influenced. Work for what makes for peace. Consider others and adjust the way you live. This is necessary to reach out to people who are divided. To live peaceably, we have to adjust when it isn’t a matter of sin. Think about how your activities affect others. We want peace. Sometimes it will put you into a difficult place, because some desire war. We can work for peace. Look for what will cause peace and follow after that. When we seek to follow God that way, it affects every aspect of our lives. Pride makes for contention; humility makes for peace. Follow after peace and what edifies. There is benefit to be had when people come together and work together to solve problems. For unity, we must follow after the things that make for peace.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
We try to plant the fruit of righteousness. Some things help growth and some don’t. "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." You won’t get much fruit of righteousness from that soil. Envy and strife create barriers between people. If we’re where God wants us to be, our situation is good, no matter what it might be. Having envy shows a lack of gratitude for what God has done for us. Envy and strife are a condition of divided humanity and are not a good situation. We should desire lots of wisdom from above that brings these good things to us. "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." To sow the fruits of righteousness, we need peace to sow it in. Seek to sow peace so that people can hear the gospel and be helped by it. Peace won’t happen until people’s hearts are changed. Carry the gospel so that people can find peace. Unrighteous hearts need to be washed and made righteous. Peace comes from righteousness in the heart.
Mark 9:38-42, 49-50
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith shall ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
John was offended because this one was doing miracles without being part of their group. Jesus corrected John. That man couldn’t do miracles without the power of God. "For he that is not against us is on our part." You can’t be sectarian and a peacemaker at the same time. Those who aren’t opposed to the gospel are ones we can reach out to. Those who are opposed to it are people we should pray for. "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." God will bless those who help his people. He sees what people do and he is just. "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea…" This was a rebuke to John. We don’t want to discourage people from serving God. Our goal is to bring people to God and together. If there is anything that is the source of stumbling in you, get rid of it so that you don’t offend and prevent people from finding God. Be a peacemaker.
"For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith shall ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." God intended that the gospel go to everyone. Have an experience that shares the gospel with others. You don’t want to lose the saltness. How do you season unsalty salt? You throw it out. The gospel is for everyone. We need to go at things such to promote the gospel and not to turn people away. It’s hard to promote the gospel when peace isn’t there.
When God has worked in someone’s life, we don’t want to destroy that. Learn to reach out to people. Live out what God gives you. Lift up God before a world that doesn’t know him. Submit your way to God and ask him for what you need.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
"Recompense to no man evil for evil…" If you’re trading evil for evil, you can’t make peace. Peace doesn’t happen that way. You can’t afford to return fire. "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Saints should be at peace. If we’re not, we should be concerned about it. There are conditions in the world where in spite of all you can do, peace won’t happen. God only holds you accountable for your part. Be able to bear with some things and work with some things to arrive at peace.
Leave problems with God to handle. Work to do good. Work to overcome evil with good. Lift up Jesus. Be children of God. Be a peacemaker. For peace to happen, we have to sow the fruits of righteousness. Having a sectarian attitude isn’t good for us. We can be careful, but we don’t want to destroy someone we could have been a blessing to. God’s grace should especially help us to be at peace with God’s people. God would have us to do good to overcome the evil that’s there. We need to live so that people can see the peacemaker / children of God. Lift up Jesus for a lost world.