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God’s Way of Making Peace

January 3, 2020

Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

When you make peace, you reflect the likeness of God. People see a reflection of His glory. Think about how God makes peace, and what it’s going to take for you to do this hard work.

God’s Way of Making Peace

1. Don’t stand on your rights

Christ was in the form of God. But He did not grasp what was His by right.

He left heaven. He stepped down. He came into the world for us. Why? To make peace. You will not make peace by standing on your rights.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “If God stood upon his rights and dignity, upon his person, every one of us… would be consigned to hell and absolute perdition.” [1]

We live in a world of rights, where people often say, “It’s my right.” It may be your right, and there may be times when it is appropriate to insist on your rights, but what is the best way to make peace?

Every time you think about your rights, remind yourself, “If God stood on His rights, I would be in hell forever and so would everyone else.” You don’t make peace by standing on your rights.

2. Move toward the trouble.

But don’t move toward all trouble. Some people are drawn to trouble. They look for fights because they want to get involved. People like that are obviously not Christians.

Our calling is to act as peacemakers, and where you can be a peacemaker, you will move toward the trouble. That is what God did in the incarnation.

A wise person once gave me good counsel on dealing with situations of conflict: “Always move towards the barking dog.” That’s never my inclination. If a dog is barking, that’s the last thing I want to do. My instinct is to back off.

When the world was barking at God, He did not back off. He moved towards us. He came to us, and what did that lead to?  The shedding of His blood on the cross.

Making peace does not mean avoiding conflict

Peacemakers often cause trouble in pursuing peace. I believe that is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “I have not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:24). When the peacemaker came there was an outpouring of violence against Him. People took sides over Him.

Christ came to make peace between men and God. He moved towards the trouble, but when He came the trouble flared. That will often be the experience of a peacemaker. Peacemaking is not for the faint-hearted—it takes immense courage. It’s the most dangerous job in the world! For Jesus it meant laying down His life.

3. Love before you are loved in return.

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Amazing! Could you do that? Could you love and keep loving where love is not returned? Of course not… unless the Spirit of Jesus were to actually live in you.

Here’s a prayer that you could make your own:

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there’s doubt true faith in you.

O master grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul
Make me a channel of your peace. [2]

This is an excerpt from Pastor Colin’s sermon, “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” from his series Momentum, Volume 2.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

____________________

[1] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,” p. 108, Eerdmans, 1984

[2] This prayer is attributed to St. Francis of Asissi, 1181-1226


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



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