Wanted: PeaceMakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

Blessed are the lovers of peace?

Blessed are those who think peace is peachy?

Blessed are the fans of peace?

Nope. Nope. Nope.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Our world is full of people who are lovers of peace, people who think peace is peachy, people who are huge fans of peace, but don’t know a thing about making peace.

What our world – the world that is shooting rockets into Israel, is blowing up buildings in Gaza, our world where torn apart by race, our world where gun violence is reeking havoc – what this world needs are peacemakers.

You can be a lover of peace, a fan of peace and sit on the sidelines and watch the world go to pot. But if you are a peacemaker, there is no sitting on the sidelines. Peacemakers are in the mess, in the pain, in the turmoil doing their part to make peace wherever they are. Peacemakers do this because the Lord of peace lives in them. If Jesus lives in you, you are a peacemaker because Jesus is a peacemaker.

eirene is the Greek word for peace. Jesus says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”

Peace doesn’t originate with us. The source of peace is Jesus. The peace Jesus offers is a peace that the world cannot give. The peace that Jesus gives is literally out of this world.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.

Intentional Time with God

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35).

Don’t miss this: Jesus made it a habit to spend time with God.

Jesus, the Son of God, made it a habit to set aside time every day to get alone with God.

Jesus did this because he was not just the Son of God, but he was fully human. The human part of him needed a daily reminder of who he was and who his Father was.

Life has a way of getting in the way of our view of the Father. It’s astonishing how the circumstances of life have a way of blocking the view of the Father. And when we lose sight of the Father, we begin forgetting why we exist. When we lose sight of the Father, circumstances of life take on a life of its own while the promises of God dim.

Because Jesus was fully human, Jesus made it a habit to set aside time to get alone with God.

Pastor Craig Groeschel says, “We are often weak because we haven’t connected with what makes us strong.”

This is true when it comes to our bodies. The longer we are stagnant, the weaker our bodies become. Our bodies need to work out in order to be strong.

This is true when it comes to our brains. When our brains are not stretched with new thoughts and ideas, they slow down. The latest brain research proves no matter how old someone is, as long as we keep working out our brains they never stop making new brain cells and new connections. Our brains will keep growing as long as we work them out.

What is true of our bodies and our brains is even more true of our faith. We need to work out our faith. We need to make time in the gym of God through the study of God’s word, prayer, regular worship, and regular service an intentional part of our lives. When we stay connected with the things that make us strong, we grow stronger.

Jesus spent time with God. Be like Jesus. Be intentional about your time with God.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.'” (Psalm 122:6)

As you read this, thousands of rockets have been fired upon Israel. There have been dozens of bombings and missile strikes in the Gaza Strip. There are Jews dying. There are Palestinians dying. Hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis have been injured by the conflict.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

The Old City of Jerusalem is divided into four sections: The Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter.

When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are praying for all the residents in Jerusalem: the Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Armenians.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

Pray for wisdom for the leaders of both Israel and the Palestinian people. As long as they both react to one another, tit for tat, many more will die and all of Israel and Palestine will suffer.

Pray for restraint. Pray that both sides will refrain from violence and seek peaceful means for moving forward.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

The word for peace in our text is shalom. This means so much more than peace or the absence of conflict. Shalom means completeness, soundness, fullness, peace. Shalom means having all that one needs to be complete, sound, full, and at peace.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”