This week, Michael writes: Each of the eight Beatitudes builds on the preceding Godly attitude. The next to last beatitude says, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. The beatitudes leading up to this one are the attitudes of heart to approach God’s throne of grace with a broken heart of meekness and humility. We need to become poor of spirit, mourning over our sin nature, with meekness to receive His instruction, hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Then we will begin to see things differently from a pure heart, after we have been purified through the trials and tribulation of God’s refining fire. Through patience and perseverance, we will understand His lovingkindness and tender mercy. Others will know the purity of our hearts when we reflect God’s mercy by giving mercy to those who have wronged us. Then we will be able to confess Jesus is Lord and Savior; that we are saved by His grace. In accepting His gracious gift of salvation, Jesus said, my peace I leave with you. Peace is the result of reconciliation. He reconciles our heart with God’s heart. We have peace with God because there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.
We all contend with the nature of sin of our fallen mind, will and emotions that we inherited from Adam’s fall. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day tried to approach God in their own self-righteousness. They expected God to send a political messiah to deliver them from the oppression of earthly rulers. However, Jesus said, that’s not why I’m here. They thought their messiah would establish a new kingdom for the children of Israel upon earth ... that only Israel deserved a righteous king. However According to 2 Corinthians 5, After God poured out His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, bond, nor freed man, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Unto those who are born-again, God has given the ministry of reconciliation and committed unto them the Word of reconciliation through Jesus Christ our Lord. To reconcile means to put back together that which has been separated. Sin separates our heart from God’s heart. Only Jesus Christ can reconcile our hearts with God. He will make of twain [two] one new man. Peace is the result of reconciliation ... in Christ we are made the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus Christ is the one who intercedes on our behalf. For He who was without sin was made the perfect sacrifice for sin on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him.
In the United States of America, we value our freedoms and liberties. Our nation was founded on Godly principles as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The reason our nation was founded was to secure our unalienable God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.... blessedness according to the truth of God and His Word. The freedom we have in Christ is according to Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” Some think that liberty means license to “do what I feel and please.” However, true liberty is not in pleasing ourselves but in delighting ourselves in the Lord and pleasing Him from a heart of reverence, respect and love. Then when we love God above all, we will not use liberty as an occasion to sin, but to manifest the love of God by serving one another.
It’s a hard lesson to learn that this life is not about me. God will break our hearts for what breaks His. He will tenderize our hearts through the trials and tribulations ... manifest in the pressures of this world. For tribulation works patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. When we’re softened through the affliction of this world, we come to realize that it’s not about us, it’s about the Lord. In Isaiah 55 God said to His prophet, for my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts... For as high as the heavens are above the earth so much higher are my thoughts than your thoughts and my ways than your ways.
After Jesus delivered His message about the beatitudes, He said, I’m here to seek the glory of my Father. As followers of Jesus Christ we seek no glory for ourselves. Our blessing is to glorify our Father in Heaven. Jesus said, A new command I give you that you love one another. If you only love those who are good to you, what good is that? Don’t even the sinners and the tax collectors do that? How can you who have been forgiven a lifetime’s worth of sin, not forgive others? Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Without forgiving others, our hearts will be full of pride, vengeance, and anger. We will keep a resentment bank against those who have wronged us. Nurturing anger, vengeance, and resentment is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person will suffer the poisonous effects. However, Jesus Christ is the one who gives us peace. When we come to Him, He will cleanse our heart from all malice, strife, contention, and evil attitudes toward those who have wronged us. The love of God covers a multitude of sins. Then we will realize that I have found the enemy and He is me.
Out of the heart, the mouth speaks. The Apostle James says the tongue is a little member that steers the whole body ... The tongue is an evil fire set ablaze by the flames of hell itself. Your tongue influences your heart. Then out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Those who grumble, condemn, complain and speak evil reveal the contents of their evil hearts. Because of Jesus’s supreme sacrifice we can do an about face. When we change from our own selfish desires and make Jesus Lord of our lives and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we will have peace with God. Jesus said, “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.”
As ambassadors for Christ, blessed are the peacemakers who deliver God’s peace treaty through our Lord Jesus Christ that we may ever live to the praise of the glory of His grace.
Your brother in Christ, Michael