Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Peace is not just a bunch of principles we put on a shelf it’s something we have to be put into practice. Our world talks a lot about the importance of peacemaking, but until we pursue it and put peace into practice, it’s just words. So what action steps should we take?
- Make sure you’re at peace with God.
You’re never going to make peace with others until you make peace with God, and the only way you’re going to make peace with God is to surrender to Him. Colossians 1:20-22 tells us that: “through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” Have you surrendered to the Savior? If you have never placed your faith in Christ then you are an enemy living in enmity, at war with God. There is a story told about Admiral Nelson, arguably England’s greatest naval officer who was noted not only for his inspirational leadership but also his superb grasp of strategy. After one of Nelson’s decisive victories against the French, the French Admiral came before him to surrender. As the French admiral came aboard the British gun boat, dressed in his full regalia, medals pinned to his shoulder, and his sword hanging by his side he reached out his hand to Nelson. Even though he was surrendering he wished to be friends with his famous foe and so as he reached out his hand to Lord Nelson he asked, “will you not shake hands?” Lord Nelson just stepped back and said, “Your sword first” and after it had been surrendered he said and “and now your hand, business must come first.” You can’t just come up and shake hands without first laying down your sword. Have you participated in the peace conference with the Prince of Peace? Have you surrendered your sword? There is no way to have the peace of God until you know the God of peace. Many never surrendered their sword to the Savior because they don’t want to bow and let Him be the boss. There are many who want be saved they just don’t want to surrender and let Him be Lord of their lives. They want to be right with God and still retain the reigns of control, in reality they want to be God, which is the fundamental issue that causes us to war with God. It’s what is at the root of our rebellion; we want to be our own God. But we will never have peace until we surrender to the Prince of Peace. Haddon Robinson once said, “No peace will exist between nations until peace reigns in each country. And no country will have peace unless peace resides in each community. And no community will have peace unless peace dwells within its people. And no people will have peace unless they surrender to the Prince of Peace.”
- Lead others to be at peace with God.
Ephesians 6:15 calls us as believers to have our feet fitted with “the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 2 Corinthians 5:18 says that, “God has given us this task of reconciling people to him” Are you living a life that actively seeks to share the good news of God’s peace? The truth is that God loves you and wants you to know Him so He can fill you with peace and give you real life. John 3:16 says that ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” and in John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” So if God planned for us to have peace and life then why are we so far from God? Because we are separated from God by our sin, since the beginning we have chosen to disobey God and go our own way. Romans 3:23 says “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s holiness.” Sin is choosing to say or do or think things that are against God’s plan and the result of unforgiven sin is death. But we don’t have to be slaves subject to sin; God offers us the gift of eternal life provided through the payment of His Son on the cross. There is only one way to reach God, Acts 4:12 says: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Jesus Christ Died for our Sins on the cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for our sin, bridging the gap between us and God. 1 Timothy 2:5 tells us that: “there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” God has provided the only way and we must make the choice to receive Christ. We must trust Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and receive Him as our Savior and serve Him as our Lord. John 1:12 says: “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believed on His name.” Have you responded and received God’s gift of grace, are you sharing the good news?
- Be at peace with those around you.
Make things right with those you have wronged or those who you are at odds with. Is there anyone you need to forgive? Or is there anyone you need to ask forgiveness from? Pursuing peace means admitting when we are wrong and seeking to make things right, it means humbling our hearts. Are you going to let pride prevent you from peace or let peace put pride in its place?
- Come alongside others who are in conflict.
Are you willing to let God use you to build bridges between people who are in conflict? Peace is hard to make and even harder to keep. It’s usually easier and often seems a lot less messy just to walk away from a problem than it is to get involved. But pursuing peace means caring about more than just your personal agenda. But there is a price to peace and the question is, are we willing to pay the price and get involved? It’s easy to walk on by but what would happen if we would all pledge to pursue peace? Do you care enough to come alongside and help those who are in conflict or are you so caught up in your own personal agenda that you don’t have time to pursue God’s peace? Are you at peace with God and those around you, are you helping those caught in conflict? Are you a conduit of concord or one of conflict?