The cost of a peacemaker

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Peace on the Sea of Galilee

Abram and Lot journeyed to Bethel (means “House of God”) in the Promised Land. They had great flocks and herds, and the land could not support them. This caused tension among the herdsmen.

So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Genesis 13:8

Abram told Lot that they needed to separate in order to continue prospering and living in peace.

Lot, choose the direction you want to go, and I’ll go the opposite direction.

Abram, I’ll take the valley. It has plenty of water and looks like the best land.

So Lot took his flocks and herds and traveled towards the cities, as far as Sodom.

Abram walked in the opposite direction and settled in Canaan. There, God expanded His promise to Abram to include not only great descendants, but also vast land.

It costs to be a peacemaker, but God honors peacemakers. They are God’s sons.

 

Cost of peace

Abram gave the choice to Lot to preserve peace. Lot chose what he thought was the best land.

Peace between God and humanity cost Jesus His life. Jesus brought peace through His death on the cross, through taking our sin upon Himself and paying the price for our sin … death and separation from God. His disciples thought all was lost. But Jesus rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God speaking on our behalf.

Our Messiah’s peace leads to our salvation, completion, rest, and reconciliation with other people and with God. Our Shalom is the fullness of life.

Markers of a peacemaker

  • Received Jesus.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12

  • Placed faith in Jesus.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

  • Led by the Holy Spirit. 

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14

  • Loves and prays for enemies. 

You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven … Matthew 5:43-45

  • Guarded hearts and minds

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

My prayer

Father, thank You that Jesus brings us peace with You. Father, loving our enemies is hard. Yet, Your dear Son loved His enemies and prayed for them. He asked You to forgive them. I pray for our enemies, those who hate You and hate Your followers. Father, show them Your love and Your forgiveness; show them Your holiness, and draw them to You. Soften their hearts, Lord, and cause them to receive Jesus as their Savior. Pour out Your peace upon them and upon Your children. Holy Spirit, lead us and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Thank You, Father. In You, we have peace that is pure, merciful, and gracious.

Leave a comment telling us what the Lord is teaching you about your role as a peacemaker.

Possess heaven

Cooking Class - 1

Ever step back and question what an instructor is saying?
Ever question God’s outrageous promises?

He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:2-3

Matthew Henry described poor in spirit as

to sit loose to all worldly wealthto be as little children in our opinion of ourselves, weak, foolish, and insignificant … to come off from all confidence in our own righteousness and strength, that we may depend only upon the merit of Christ for our justification, and the spirit and grace of Christ for our sanctification. That broken and contrite spirit with which the publican cried for mercy to a poor sinner, is that poverty of spirit.

Daniel knew what it was like to be poor in spirit. He was one of the young men brought to Babylon to become Nebuchadnezzar’s eunuch. The Israelite eunuchs were to be trained in all the wisdom of the kingdom and to eat as the king dined.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8

Here was a young man who had been taken from his mother and father, from his homeland, from his religion, sitting at the mercy of a keeper. He had no power, and, yet, he requested to eat vegetables and drink water, rejecting the delicacies of the palace and relying upon God alone to bring favor upon him.

Daniel laid the foundation of his life and career in Babylon with this single act of dependence upon God, and he waited upon God to keep him healthy, wise, and favored.

It’s an upside down life we live.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:35

A form of this verse is in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The principle must be important.

To possess the kingdom of heaven, we must release our grip on the world, relinquish our pride, and refocus our efforts. We must exchange these to grasp heavenly riches, to boast in the Good News, and to depend upon the everlasting life-giving power of Jesus.

My prayer

Father in heaven, thank You for Daniel’s example. Show us where we need to loosen our grip on the world and how to cling to You. You are all we need. In You, we live and move and have our being. In You, we can boast. In You, is the strength, the power, and the wisdom that will sustain us. In You, we rest.