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A ‘Peace’ in the Puzzle

Harmony of the Gospels

Matthew 5:9

 

 

Life is a puzzle.  Where do I fit into God’s plan?  Today took an odd shape…how can this possibly fit?  Why do I have such dark moments?  I can’t picture this turning out beautiful.  Our nation is embarking upon what may be the most puzzling epoch ever entered into by believers in Christ.  But there is a peace available to the children of God.  A peace in the puzzle!

 

A peacemaker eliminates strife.  There is a great need for these today in our nation, but specifically in our homes and in our churches…why?  Because there’s a lot of troublemakers!  And troublemakers are counterbalanced by peacemakers.

 

The 1st 3 Beatitudes dealt w/ how we ENTER the kingdom of God:

v. 3  Humility [poor in spirit]

v. 4  Brokenness [mourn]

v. 5  Meekness [meek]

 

The next 3 dealt w/ how we EXPRESS the kingdom of God:

v. 6  A New attitude upward [hunger and thirst after God]  What’s your fix?

v. 7  A New attitude that is outward [merciful]  Love others more than self.

v. 8  A New attitude that is inward [pure in heart]

 

Today, let’s move on and talk now about how we can ENJOY the kingdom of God!

Yes, we can enjoy the Christian Life!  And the way to do it may surprise you…

 

…it happens when we ELIMINATE STRIFE [9], and ENDURE SPITE! [10]

 

v. 9  A peacemaker tries to eliminate strife.  There’s a lot of troublemakers!  And troublemakers are counterbalanced by peacemakers.

 

Some people have in their nature, wherever they go, to just be disturbers of the peace, the center of the storm, a whirlwind of strife and tension and animosity…but Jesus said not to be a troublemaker…be a peacemaker!

 

The first sin recorded in the Bible separated man from God.

The second sin separated man from man.

But when Jesus came it was as the Prince of Peace, helping make man once again right w/ his God and w/ his fellow man!  But there will be no lasting peace, until the Prince of Peace returns again to set up His earthly kingdom!

 

Now that I’m saved, I’m already a citizen of God’s kingdom, a child of the King, I ought to be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker.

 

But how can I become a peacemaker?

 

1.     I must take a new look at me.  [honestly, soberly, sincerely]

Troublemakers are always exceedingly selfish.  It’s always about ‘how will this affect me / what will happen to me / what’s in it for me / is this fair to me / am I getting my rights and my just due?

 

Ill.—Christ wants us to become like a little child for salvation, and I believe also for sanctification…to grow and learn and stretch ourselves!

 

I must be emancipated from my self!  I cannot bow at the shrine of self any longer. 

 

A peacemaker doesn’t have to let people walk all over him, and cower in a corner, always giving in or backing down.  That would be extreme.

 

A peacemaker doesn’t think little of himself…he doesn’t think of himself at all!  They can be active and take charge, but not for selfish purposes, but only for what is right!

 

Not touchy, not defensive, not sensitive.

 

Jesus said, ‘he that loveth his life shall lose it’.  That’s talking about loving your self and living for self.

 

Ill.—one day Lincoln walked down the road w/ his 2 boys / they were fussing and having a fit / somebody opened their door and said, it sounds like your boys are upset today, what’s the problem? / He said, the same thing that’s wrong w/ the rest of the world…I’ve got 3 walnuts and each boy wants 2!

 

Yes, it’s time we make an emancipation proclamation, and get free from ourselves!

 

2.     I must take a new look at the many.

I have to learn to see others thru Jesus’ eyes, objectively.  Then I’ll find it hard to say, how can they be like that?  Why do they do that?  The peacemaker knows why…it’s because they are human!  And the best of men are still men at best!

 

We have some new believers here, so I want to share something with you, and it can help all of us: 

How can you continue on in your Christian life, and not be blown away by the behavior of others?

 

Know in advance that sometimes even Christians will fail you and do you wrong.  They may lie about you, they may steal from you, or they may let you down.  Don’t be surprised.  Now, don’t go looking for it, but if it happens, you can be understanding if you know this in advance.

 

Maybe they are a victim of ‘self’ or a victim of ‘Satan’…either way, we can view them thru the eyes of Jesus, and be a peacemaker.

 

3.     I must take a new look at the multitudes.

The peacemaker has a Biblical worldview, and only wants God to be glorified, and His gospel to be spread, and always keeps the main thing the main thing, focusing on eternity and not temporary values.

 

Whether I have my rights or not doesn’t matter much in light of eternity.  Whether I have been treated unfairly cannot compare w/ the huge difference between heaven and hell after this life!

 

How can we practically apply these things?

 

  • Learn to control your speaking

Know when to open your mouth and, more importantly, when not to.

James 1:19

    Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

 

“2 ears – 1 mouth – Do the math!”

 

“If your lips you would keep from slips, 5 things observe with care:

To whom you speak.  Of whom you speak. And how and when and where!”

 

To a large degree, the difference between a peacemaker and a troublemaker is whether or not you have learned to control you tongue!

 

  • Learn to control your thinking.

It’s not enough to just keep quiet.  You need to have the mind of Christ. 

Proverbs 23:7

    For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

 

Troublemakers live according to their feelings.  Peacemakers live according to their will.  They realize they have a choice in the matter!

 

The good news is, if I make my will do what is right, then good feelings will follow.  That’s when a believer finds where they fit in!

 

When the Bible says, “Love your enemies” it’s not a suggestion, it’s a command!  It’s true, and I’m living proof, you cannot hold bad feelings toward someone you pray for!  And you won’t pray for someone you are holding onto bad feelings about!

 

The promise:  They will be called the children of God!

 

Children are like their parents.  Maybe you have your father’s eyes, or your mother’s nose.  Well, when you return kindness for anger, or tenderness to someone’s bitterness, you’ll remind people of the God of peace…the Prince of Peace!  They’ll say, wow, she must be God’s child!  She reminds me of Jesus!  The way he just responded is how I imagine Jesus would if He were here.

 

You can do this…at home, at work, at church, out in this community.  Take a new look at the “me,” and get rid of selfishness.

Take a new look at the many, and see them thru God’s eyes.

Take a new look at the multitudes and realize what’s really important.

 

And practically, learn to control your speaking and your thinking, and you will be a peacemaker!

 

Eliminate strife!  Tonite, we’ll look at enduring spite.

 

 

Maybe you cannot enjoy the kingdom of God, because you have not yet entered it…maybe you have no peace at all, and need to meet the Prince of Peace.  Sin separates us from God, but Jesus came to make peace by His cross!  Come and be saved!

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