Being a Person of Peace - First15 - October 28, 2017

Being a Person of Peace

Weekly Overview:

One of the most powerful marks of a believer is transcendent peace. This world offers us no reason to be peaceful. It offers us no reason to be without stress, burdens, cares, and total frustration. But we serve a God who offers us peace in the midst of any circumstance. We serve a God in whom all true peace finds its source. May you discover the heart of your heavenly Father to bring you peace this week.

Scripture:“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” - Matthew 5:9

Devotional:

One of the highest callings of God on the lives of his children is to be peacemakers. This world has no reason to have peace or give peace. While people are at war within themselves, striving to satisfy longings that can only be satisfied in God, we cannot expect them to bring peace around them. It’s for this reason that you and I are called to make peace at all costs.

Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” To be a child of God is to make peace with everyone around you, regardless of how they treat you. Jesus sought peace at every turn. Even his turning of the tables was a cry for peace between man and his Father in heaven. The passionate condemnation of sin in Scripture exists to rid that which separates us from the peace of God. The fight for heavenly peace in the lives of men is a cause worth sacrifice, unfair treatment, and even persecution. For example, Scripture teaches us in 1 Peter 3:9-11,

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

This world has no defense for unmerited blessing. It has no defense for the people of God loving unconditionally. When we choose not to repay evil for evil or revile when we’ve been reviled, we bring heaven to earth around us. No man or woman can live a truly peaceful life apart from the help of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-42,

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

The next time someone does evil to you, remember that it was us who did evil to Jesus. The next time someone “slaps you on the right cheek,” remember that it was us who shouted, “Crucify him!” when Jesus had done nothing wrong. It was our sin that put Jesus on the cross, and yet he willingly sacrificed his life that we might know peace. It’s time for the people of God to choose to love others as Christ has loved us. It’s time for us to lay down our rights in this life that others might come to know the love we’ve been shown. May you be filled with the courage to love unconditionally today as you encounter God’s heart to fashion you into a peacemaker.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the call to be a peacemaker.

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

“Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” - Psalm 34:14

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 14:17

2. What consistently keeps you from being a person of peace? What sense of justice or fairness keeps you from turning the other cheek?

3. Meditate on the actions of Jesus when he was unfairly treated. Why didn’t he fight back? Ask the Holy Spirit to heal any wounds you have that keep you from loving unconditionally. Ask him to make you like Jesus that you would love people better today and make peace around you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” -Matthew 5:38-42

“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For ‘Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.’” - 1 Peter 3:9-11

Scripture never said that making peace would be easy. It also never said that it would come naturally. Being a peacemaker only comes from living out of a revelation of who Jesus is and who we are in him. It only comes from valuing God’s heart over our own worldliness. There are not some of us who are peacemakers and others who are fighters. There are not some of us who are just meek and mild and others who aren’t. We are all called to make peace. We are all called to turn the other cheek. We are all called to search out the will of God for our lives and choose his ways over our own or the world’s. To choose to make peace is to live a lifestyle filled with the Spirit and all his fruit. May you abide in your heavenly Father today and experience the abundant life that comes from making peace all around you.

Extended Reading: >1 Peter 3

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