Peace

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Bless this home. And it’s just a three week series that we’re talking about together, and we’re going through the Beatitudes of Christ. It’s found in Matthew chapter five. So if you brought up Bible this morning, I encourage you to go ahead and turn there. The Beatitudes is is the beginning. In Matthew chapter five of a sermon Jesus delivers over over. Three chapters contain the book of Matthew. Some call it the greatest sermon ever shared, but it begins in Matthew chapter five and ends in chapter seven. And the first thing that Jesus begins to mention as he shares this message with his people, is what we refer to as the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes take place as the first eight directions that Jesus gives within the sermon. And the word beatitude means blessed or to be happy. And jokingly I said last week that no one laughed at my joke. But the only attitude you want is a beatitude, right? So if your kids. There we go. Thank you so much. You guys pick up from week to week. It’s great. So when your kids at home things are getting tense, you can just look at each other and say, the only attitude we want is a beatitude and that means to be blessed or to be happy. And Jesus shares this message about his kingdom. Jesus is a king. The Bible tells us the first time he came, he came as a servant offering us his kingdom.

The next time he returns, he’ll come upon a horse, literally with a tattoo on his thigh, his robe dripping in blood to assume his position as leader. Jesus is a king representing his kingdom, and the question that we would ask is if someone comes in this world proclaiming to be a king, offering his kingdom, what we would want to understand and know about that particular king is what exactly is your kingdom like? And Jesus begins to share with the Jewish nation what his kingdom is about. That sermon where he first introduces himself to the nation of Israel, proclaiming all about his kingdom is contained in Matthew chapter five. We’re taking this approach to his kingdom. If it works for God’s kingdom, it should also work for our family. It should work within our homes. It should work within our lives. As Jesus says, it is a blessing to his kingdom. It should be a blessing within our own personal walks with him as well. And if we can begin to live this, this kingdom identity in Christ within our own families, then we should find our homes blessed. And as Jesus introduces this, these beatitudes to us, all we’re going to take from these beatitudes are just three of them, of the eight in which he shares. And the one we’re going to talk about this morning comes in Matthew chapter five and verse nine.

He says this, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. We’ll share a little bit about what it means to be a child of God here and towards the end of this message. But in the beginning, what I want to share with us is when Jesus references blessed are the peacemakers, what is it that Jesus entails and the idea of being a peacemaker for us? And how can being a peacemaker become a blessing for us in our families? When I was going through college, getting a degree in philosophy. What is that? Is it my mic? Okay. When I was going through college in a, uh, getting a degree in philosophy and theology, one of the blessings that I had was I got an opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to sit under the great religious leaders in our nation’s capital and had the privilege of being able to ask them questions about their faith and and what it meant. And one of the things that I got to do was had the opportunity to spend some time in, in one of the largest Jewish synagogues in our country. And, and when I would gather with those people during their worship services, and I had the opportunity just to talk to all of the members within the this Jewish synagogue, they would gather on Friday night. And the common slogan that they would say to everyone the opportunity that each person had as they walk into that building, as they would greet one another, each person would go to every member of that congregation that gathered within the synagogue, and they would all say the same thing Shabbat shalom, Shabbat shalom.

Which means peaceful Sabbath. Peaceful Sabbath. The idea within the Jewish nation and the Jewish identity was was that of peace. They sought peace within their lives. In Psalm 122 and verse six, it says this of King David pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The Jewish nation and their identity as a people group. What they sought was a messiah who would come and bring peace to the people, peace to their nation, and peace to the world. When God selected Moses and he appointed Aaron as a high priest. God comes before Moses, and he shares with Moses this prayer that Aaron is to pray for the nation of Israel. It’s the high priestly blessing of the Old Testament. You know, God tends to put things in your life at the right time. This week my my grandmother is going to come out. So the first time she’s ever flown, my grandfather passed away this past winter and she’s going to come out and visit. She’s going to be here on Wednesday, and she’s going to come to worship with us on Sunday. And I’m excited about it. But Saints, now we’re going through photo albums of my grandfather and grandmother.

We wanted to put pictures of them up in our house to let her know how much we appreciate them in our lives. And, um, I flipped over. We’re flipping through all these pictures and and as I was flipping over to the the back of one of these pictures, I saw that my grandfather on on our wedding day, he got one of our photos, and he wrote on the back of one of our, uh, marriage pictures that included both my grandmother and my grandfather, and he wrote this Old Testament priestly blessing. But this is what it says. The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons, this is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them, the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace. God’s desire for our hearts is that it be ruled and reigned through him with peace. In the Isaiah chapter nine and verse six, giving a prophetic statement about the coming Messiah for the nation of Israel. It says, the government shall be upon his shoulders, meaning he. He will be a ruler, and he will be referred to as Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of. Peace. When Jesus shows up on the scene and he begins to proclaim about his kingdom.

The thing that he begins in his remarks is that of an attitude that carries peace. You want to know what my kingdom is about? My kingdom is about peace. And he says, blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God. When we talk about the blessing within our own lives. Within our own homes. The idea of peace. We say to ourselves, sweet, I want that, or I need that. We we need peace within our homes. And I got to say this morning, we know that we all need peace within our homes, every one of us. If we were to gather each other and go to one another’s family reunions, you would say, watch out for them. They’re crazy, right? All families need peace to a certain degree. We all have weaknesses. You think about your spouse knows you better than anyone, and they know just the right button to push to get you to start that twitch. That’s just they know where your weaknesses are and in that we need peace. Every time. As a parent, when you’re looking at your kid and you’re counting, I’m going to count to ten, okay? And I’m counting to 20 or 30. You better do it. Where is the piece? And some of us. Haven’t had peace for years. We’re still mad at some individual who’s wronged us. Still carry ill will to our own parents for things that have happened.

But peace is a wonderful thing. A home is enjoyed when it’s filled with peace. A heart is enjoyed when it’s filled with peace. When Jesus says the word peace here, the word that he’s referring to is shalom. We have the blessing. Even as a church family, we have our own shalom. Running the soundbooth this morning. Pieces around us, right? But peace isn’t just the absence of evil. It isn’t just the absence of bad. Peace is the presence of good. The legalistic mind will look at at peace as the bad has stopped, but the God focused mind will look at the goodness and presence of the Lord, forgetting all about the bad, because God is good. Peace isn’t just the absence of bad. It’s the presence of good. Notice what Jesus says in the sentence. He doesn’t say, blessed are the peacekeepers. He said, blessed are the peace. What? Makers. There’s a big difference in being a peacekeeper and a peacemaker. So some of us in our lives, we desire just to simply be peace keepers. What we become are people who tend to avoid conflict, just to keep peace. We tend to be people that skirt around difficult issues just to keep peace. Meaning we know there’s trouble in an area of our lives and we know that it needs address. But rather than bring it up, we’d rather keep peace. And so we just grin and bear it and just hold it on the inside.

And the result of that. Peacekeepers tend to be the type of people that blow up or get pushed over. Eventually, the amount of peace that you’re trying to keep in your life, you just can’t handle it anymore. And all the issues come to a head at once and you just explode on everyone. But Jesus doesn’t say, blessed are the peacekeepers. He says, blessed are the peacemakers. Peacemakers of the people who tend to embrace conflict to make peace. They don’t intentionally pursue conflict, but when it arises, they address it. Peacekeepers don’t work around the issue. They work through the issue because they understand the issue isn’t about being right or wrong. The issue isn’t about you lose and I win. The issue isn’t about I’m going to punish you for what you deserve. The issue is about godly, healthy, growing relationships. When God created us as human beings, he created us with a spirit breathing into us that we could connect with him. Then he created the female, that we could experience a relationship together to become one flesh. When Jesus in Matthew 12 shows up on the scene and asks the question, what is the greatest commandment? He says in verse 29 to 31, love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love others. The primary goal that God has created us for in this world is relationship with him and relationship with one another.

And the first institution that God designed is that within the home. And so when Jesus talks about being a peacemaker. It’s not about winning. It’s not about proving who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about the relationships. It’s about caring enough about the relationship that rather than avoiding the conflict, you walk with one another through it that you may enjoy your relationship together forever. Blessed are the peacemakers. Romans chapter 12 says this do not repay anyone evil for evil, but be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. God’s desires for you to be simply more than just a peace keeper or a peace seeker. But you understand the importance of your responsibility in this world is to be a peace maker. God’s goal for your family. God’s goal for his kingdom is about healthy relationships and healthy relationships we talked about last week isn’t just about behavior modification, isn’t about manipulating your spouse or your children to get whatever it is that you want from them. Healthy relationships are about heart transformation. It’s not about making you feel bad. It’s about driving towards the root cause of of the individual in their lives and seeking that oneness together. As the Bible says in Genesis three, the two shall become one flesh. And so the question I asked this morning is, how can we be good at making peace? If God’s goal is about relationships, and the way to experience the joy of those relationships is by inviting peace into the home, how can I be good at being a peacemaker in my own family? I’m going to give you just four principles real quick this morning, because I know it’s getting hot, but let me just look at four important scriptures related to this.

It says this in Ephesians 415. Speak the truth in love. Meaning when we speak the truth and love because we love an individual, we confront the issue, not the person. One of the great ways to bring peace into relationship rather than avoiding the conflict. But walking through it with someone is to not attack the individual, but attack the issue. One of the great ways to do that is to avoid the word you. You did this. Do you know what happened? You make me feel this way. Or you you you simply attacking the person rather than just talk about the issue. Reality is that when your spouse married you, if you’re a married couple this morning, that when they married you, they loved you and they were thinking about your best interests. They care about you. And so if they really know the way that they’re behaving may be affecting their heart. If you were just honest with the way that it’s making your heart feel.

They’re going to care about that. Because they care about you. And rather than coming to them to attack them about the issue, talking to them about the problem that’s causing strain in your relationship is important. Speak the truth and love. And it’s not about a love. For when we talk about love. Biblical love isn’t about self. Love is about giving itself away. Love is selfless. And so when you speak the truth, you speak the truth, not thinking about yourself. You’re thinking about the strain within your relationship. You say honey or child or whatever, wherever that strain is. Listen, I understand what God’s goal is in our lives, and that’s to be one. That’s to enjoy one another. God created us that we may experience peace, that we could walk hand in hand. But this is happening and it’s making me feel this distance, and I don’t want to feel that way towards you. Speak the truth and love. Confront the issue and not the person. And I love the way that it says in this passage of Scripture, there’s actually a promise at the end of this verse that says, we will grow to become in every respect, the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ. And it’s saying, when your goal becomes selfless in love and it becomes about truth and you’re doing that for the sake of peace, what’s happening is God is building a oneness in that relationship, and you’re growing together and together.

You’re maturing into what God desires within your lives by making peace the priority. Bible also says this. Point number two. Matthew chapter six and verse 34 therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Well, Jesus is simply saying to this if if you’ve been a peace seeker in your life or, or you’ve been a peace keeper in your life, but not really a peace maker. Meaning if you’ve skirted around issues or you avoid conflict rather than addressing it, when you realize in your in your life, man, this is causing tension and this has been causing problems because I haven’t haven’t focused on this. When you go to address issues in your life, the tendency is because you haven’t been good at addressing them at all. You’re going to try to address them all at once. And what Jesus is saying in Matthew chapter six and verse 34. Listen, we’re good at handling one problem at a time, not all of them at once. And so when you go to make peace within your relationships, don’t compound. When your spouse comes to you, when your children come to you and they they talk about a conflict, don’t then bring up your other conflict that you want to address as well. Just listen to the conflict.

Because what it’s about is peace. Our hearts are designed to only handle the the problem of the moment, the the stress of the day, the not worrying about tomorrow, the not worrying about the past. Just living in that moment, addressing that problem and moving on together in peace. The third is this. In James 516 therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Listen, if you want peace in your relationships. It’s also important that you be a person that’s willing to confess your own wrongs. There’s a difference in the identity of of the word remorse and the word repentance. The word remorse simply means this, that you’re just sorry for your mistakes. The word repentance more means that you’re you’re grieved over your sin. I mean, you can look at your spouse and say, you know, I’m kind of sorry I have this remorse that I did, that I’m sorry that I got caught. I’m sorry that that happened. I feel bad about it. But repentance talks about the attitude of a change. Listen, this was wrong. This was a sin. This is what I did. And so my desire is to turn from that. I am repenting of this not because of feeling bad for myself, but because of what it’s doing for us in our relationship.

It’s healthy within a family. It’s healthy within any relationship that when you’ve wronged someone, that they can recognize the attitude of your own heart in that situation by saying, listen, honey, I know that I’ve done this and I know that I’ve wronged and it’s working on my heart in these moments because what we’re after is heart transformation. Not behavior modification. And so we talk about being a peacemaker. It’s not just about approaching someone else in truth and love. But it’s also about confronting your own problems and your own sin. Helping your family recognize that you see a weakness in yourself. Helping your relationships recognize that you see a weakness in yourself. Last is this Colossians 313. Bear with each other and forgive one another. If any of you has a grievance against someone, forgive as the Lord forgave you. And the idea is this. Where there is no forgiveness. There is no peace. Colossians three recognizes for us. I believe that forgiveness isn’t always easy. When some of us in our lives have had people that we have trusted who have wronged us. We’ve had people within our lives that were intended to protect us, that have taken advantage of us. And the idea of this verse is this forgiveness isn’t easy. But it’s doable. Colossians three tells us that the idea of forgiveness happens for us this way, that we think about the forgiveness that Christ has had to give us.

What kind of sin have you done before, Almighty God? And yet God has forgiven you. If we were to ask Jesus, Jesus, was it difficult to forgive? I think his answer would be yes. Look at the cross. The cross is the most despicable, horrific, worst way that a human being could die. It was difficult, but Jesus, was it worth it? Yes. Because God’s created us for relationships. And the idea of lack of forgiveness within our lives carries the thought of bitterness that roots up within our hearts. People without peace or people who can’t forgive people without peace don’t look at peace as something they make. With lack of forgiveness. The questions we ask ourselves. It’s what good is holding on to it. Ever done for you? What kind of person is that bitterness making you? And what is it that you’re going to do by holding on to that resentment that God can’t already do himself? He’s far better at taking care of it than you are. But the thought of forgiveness allows us as people to take hold of the responsibility of resentment and injustice that we want to bring against someone else. And we just say, you know what, Lord? You take control. Forgiveness becomes a way of freeing for us that peace may rule within our hearts. I know this was quick this morning, but let me just wrap it up this way for us.

Can I tell you as families that what God desires for us in knowing that. Our relationships are important, that God has called us to love him and to love others. That his desires that we become peacemakers. To make peace a priority within our homes. To seek to not just to just live in it or or to to keep it, but to make it, to pursue it. One of the closest times that you will ever have in your family is when you’re vulnerable with each other, when you’re confessing your wrongs to one another and your weaknesses identifying to each other the way that your relationship can become more whole and more loving to each other and truth. It means that we forgive. And this is why. Family’s worth it. When Jesus created the family, when God designed us. In Genesis chapter three, he said to be fruitful and multiply. God’s mission to affect this world in a positive way was seen through the family. And if peace can’t rule in the family, it can’t rule anywhere. It begins in the home. Four ways for peace for us as people. That we walk towards peace by speaking the truth and love. What you say to someone in truth. What you say is as important as the way that you say it, speaking the truth and love. Second is handling one problem at a time. Third is learning to ask for forgiveness.

And fourth, is this letting go? Letting go. And Jesus concludes his message. Blessed are the peacemakers. For they will be called the Children of God. What does it mean in this passage of Scripture when Jesus says that it’s peacemakers who are called the children of God? If you’re a theologian of the Bible, if you’ve read the Bible, you’ve understood what the Scripture says. You know that the Bible says that not everyone is a child of God. It says in John chapter one and verse 12, for as many as received him, to them became the children of God. And this passage of Scripture is saying, the peacemakers are called the children of God. So which is it? Is it to those who received him, or is it to those who live in peace? Which one are the children of God? And I would submit to you. This is what Jesus is saying to us, that those who are desiring peace within their lives, those who are peacemakers, recognize that the most important relationship through which they need peace is with their maker. And the ones who pursue peace with their maker become children of God. And the story of the Bible goes this way for us. God created us for relationship. We’ve alienated ourselves from him through sin. Because God is holy, God is perfect. God is just. There is no peace for us in our relationship with God. Because when we come before Almighty and holy God, we carry sin with us.

But God, desiring to have that relationship with you, God desiring to love you. God comes to this world. God dies on a cross and God offers his peace to you. He paid a debt he didn’t have to pay. That you may experience peace with him. And so in John chapter one and verse 12, it says, as many as received him to them became the children of God. Jesus. Is the example of peace. The beautiful thing about Christ. Is that not only does he tell us where we’re wrong, and not only does he identify for us where we sinned. But he comes and makes peace with us. And then he walks in our sin. Through it and out of it. Jesus and his love for you extends his hand in the darkest of places we set. That we may experience the joy of that relationship with him. And so what Jesus is saying to us in this passage of Scripture. Blessed are the peacemakers is because Jesus is carrying the understanding that when we become peacemakers, we meet with our maker for peace. And the idea is for this. God recognizes within the nation of Israel and within our own hearts, we need peace. We need peace in our homes. We need peace within our hearts. We need peace with our maker. So that we may be called the children of God.

Joy

Persecution