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To begin 2020 we are starting off on Sundays with “The Way to Happiness”. 

Everyone wants to be happy, and the New Testament is the greatest authority on happiness.

Jesus gives is the key that will unlock the door to happiness.

This key is found in the eight Beatitudes.

We have already covered,

Humility, The Way to Happiness.

Sorrow, The Way to Happiness.

Meekness, The Way to Happiness.

Hunger and Thirst, The Way to Happiness.

Mercy, The Way to Happiness.

Purity, The Way to Happiness.

Today is part 7 Peacemaking, The Way to Happiness.

Text

Matthew 5:9 (ESV)

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 5:1-9

Prayer

Father, in a world filled with corruption and violence, help us be instruments of peace.

Let us face each new day by meeting its choices with gratitude, its difficulties with fortitude, and its conflicts with courage.

Accept all we have today as an expression of our devotion to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

In the name of Christ, Your Son we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

Disagreements, feuds, and suspicion seem to be the rule today rather than the exception.

Even the routine of daily life can lead a person to explode emotionally and spiritually.

To those who calm the troubled waters of humankind’s discord, Jesus promises to lay blessings.

In fact, Jesus said that peacemakers would be known as the children of God.

In each of the twenty seven books of the New Testament, the word peace is found.

It appears eighty eight times.

The story of the good news of Jesus begins with the words, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:14 (NKJV)

Near the conclusion of our Lord’s ministry, His loving benediction is, 

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.

John 14:27 (ESV)

And the apostle Paul introduced each of his epistles with that familiar greeting, “Grace to you and peace.”

God needs human instruments through who this peace may be shared.

And in this beatitude, Christ challenges each of us to become a peacemaker.

A person must qualify for the privilege of peacemaking.

It is a right reserved for those who meet three requirements.

  1. The privilege of peacemaking.
  1. The privilege of peace making is the privilege of those who are at peace with God.

This beatitude is constructed on the six preceding beatitudes.

We are not privileged to become peace makers until we admit our spiritual poverty, mourn over sin, practise the self control that results from meekness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, show mercy, and become pure in heart.

The fact that we need to make peace with God does not mean that God is angry with us or that He is standing to one side unwilling to communicate with us.

The only cause of alienation between us and God is our sin and disobedience.

B. The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with others.

Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV) says,

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 

24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

The ending of hostilities and the refusal to have conflict is not necessarily peace.

For example two people might stop arguing with each other but retreat for days of silence not speaking to each other instead.

Two countries may declare a cease fire, but that doesn’t guarantee lasting peace.

Peace is a positive attribute.

It is actually a matter of the right kind of relationships.

Constant goodwill results when individuals are at peace with one another.

To be at peace with others, we must not insist that they meet us halfway.

Peace makers reach out, take the initiative.

Their concern is not who is to blame but how reconciliation and peace can be attained.

Peace makers are not fault finders, they are healers.

C. The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with themselves.

Those who try to calm the troubled waters of others oceans without first smoothing the ripples in their own pond find that their efforts are in vain.

People who are always at war with fellow workers, family, and friends are at war with themselves.

We may speak a word that unintentionally causes friends to hurt within, or we may share a story that, whether true or false, injures another.

When this becomes a pattern in our lives, it is obvious to everyone around us that we are not at peace with ourselves.

Peace makers begin with themselves.

2. The purpose of peacemaking.

Peace making is not peace at any price.

It is not appeasement or cowardice.

Some individuals pride themselves in never becoming involved in a feud, when the truths they lack courage to stand up for what is right.

If decency and justice are to be defended, they let others do the work.

Those who live by this cowardly code of conduct are really enemies of peace.

The apostle Paul saw reconciliation as the purpose of the ministry of both Christ and Christians.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19  (ESV)

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 

19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[a] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

  1. The purpose of peacemaking is to bring reconciliation between us and God.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV)

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God

Jesus reminds us that peace between God and humankind is not peace at any price.

God is not an appeaser.

He does not compromise.

He offers peace on the terms of absolute surrender. Luke 13:3 (ESV) says

3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

B. The purpose of peacemaking is to bring reconciliation between us and others.

Perhaps the most well known prayer offered by Francis of Assisi begins with the words, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace” He then went on to pray. “where there is hate, may I bring love. Where there is offence, may I bring pardon.”

This is the ultimate purpose of peacemakers.

3. The promise of peacemaking.

Matthew 5:9 (ESV)

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

  1. The promise of peacemaking is made for those who work for peace.

Jesus said in the beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers”

This kind of peace of which He was speaking doesn’t just happen.

A nation may drift into war, but if peace is to be maintained, it is the result of a deliberate effort.

Peacemakers do more than just dream of peace, they roll up their sleeves, get involved in the difficulties of life, and make peace happen.

There are many things we cannot do.

We may not be able to amount a great fortune, or write musical masterpieces, or paint beautiful paintings.

But we can all be peacemakers.

Each of us can overcome evil with good.

B. The promise of peacemaking is the promise of happiness.

Jesus promised, “Blessed (happy) are the peacemakers.

Happiness is the inevitable result of knowing that you have had an important part in salvaging good from an otherwise hopeless situation.

All of us can think of people who have interceded on our behalf as peacemakers.

We will always be indebted to them for saving us from disaster.

The promise of happiness is fulfilled both in the lives of the peacemakers and  in the lives of those where peace was made.

The promise of peacemaking is the promise of being known as “the children of God”

This is a unique beatitude, for not one of the other beatitudes has an ending like this one.

The old statement, “like father, like son,” is true in this case.

Likely the reason Jesus said peacemakers would be called children of God is because as they make peace they resemble their heavenly Father.

What better compliment could be paid to anyone? 

Conclusion.

Peacemaking is the way to happiness.

The privilege is yours only when you are at peace with God, with others, and with yourself.

The promise of happiness and the promise of being known as God’s children. 

Matthew 5:9 (ESV)

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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