Peacemakers – The Great Divide

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As Lead Pastor Ben Snyder brings our series, The Great Divide, to an end, we are reminded that God is in control of our world.  We should be unified by Jesus and the mission he has given us, allowing that to be the common unity to help us with our complex differences.

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

“Blessed are the peacemakers”—not peacekeepers.

In ancient Rome, it was declared that every knee would bow as every tongue declared Julius Caesar “Lord.” Meanwhile, Jesus followers were not allowed to meet. It was likely his declaration of “Dictator for Life” that caused his assasination. Augustus Caesar was his successor, and established the Roman Republic by instituting civil service, rule of law, and a common form of currency. He also secured travel and established a huge trading network throughout the Republic. From his leadership commenced a period of time called the Pax Romana (“Roman peace”). During this time, peace was maintained through peacekeepers, not peacemakers.

Peacemakers bring groups of people together by helping them understand and respect each other’s rights. Peacekeepers do whatever is necessary to ensure all group stay in line with authority. During Pax Romona, roman soldiers used force to keep citizens in line with what the Roman government wanted.

Peacemakers are at peace with God and desire to live in peace with all men. Peace with Christ enables us to be ambassadors of God’s message to a troubled world. Thus, they shall be called “the children of God.”

In our hearts, we know there is a difference between being a peace-lover and a peacemaker. Peace-lovers like the calm and security of “giving peace a chance.” But peace has no chance unless it is waged!

Peace is the result of the work, nature, and sacrifice of those who are peacemakers. Those who pursue peace, take risks, and forgive. Those who compromise on personal demands without sacrificing personal honor. Those who are living out Jesus’ teachings.

Romans 12:18
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

It is not always possible to live in peace with all men. Just ask the apostle Paul, who was stoned, whipped, and even left for dead when his only crime was preaching the Good News.

 Colossians 3:15 
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

This is a peace that we have within ourselves, even when there is no peace to be found in the world around us.

Questions:
Is Jesus describing you when he says “blessed are the peacemakers”?

Where do you stand concerning peace in your relationships? Do you really want peace between them and you?

Next Steps:  
If you make the choice as a child of God to be a peacemaker, Jesus says you are not only blessed but you shall also be called a child of God who seeks the good for all through loving people as Christ has loved you. Make a difference by reaching out to someone today. It has to start with you!

Prayer:
Abba Father, I pray that I become a peacemaker in the lives that surround me and in my heart. I pray that by being a light in your name, it will inspire others to share in your peace and to learn your way to peace in this troubled world. Amen.


This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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2 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Thank you Gary for the distinction between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. There are rifts in the relationships in my family that are breaking my heart. I pray that God will give me the words and action needed for repair.

  2. Luke Shortridge
    Luke Shortridge says:

    Man, this was great! (And not just because I’m a history buff) Am I a peace lover, peacekeeper, or peacemaker? I’ve never thought about it in those terms before. Great stuff!

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