Are you a Peacemaker or a Peacefaker?

Hey there church family! As we continue our series on “How the Gospel Changes us,” let us consider how broken and fractured relationships lead us away from experiencing the fullness of the Gospel.

This Christmas season with who do you find yourself in conflict? We live in a world where there is constant opportunity for conflict, fights, struggles, bitterness, aggression, disunity. Husband and wife, friendships, co-workers, neighbors, children and parents are all vulnerable to daily conflict and disunity. Our culture is somewhat toxic as it loves to see and encourage the tearing down of others. We tend to wound and attack others quickly whether there has been an injustice or not. We do not seek to give charitable judgment or the simple benefit of the doubt. We do not seek forgiveness or reconciliation. We ignore, avoid, smile and move on without any desire to live out the command that Jesus has given us to be Peacemakers. Instead we have a tendency to embrace the culture around us of peace-breaking and peace-faking. We cannot be a people, we cannot be a disciple or a child of God without us actively pursuing peacemaking in all relationships.
What relationships do you know of in your life that needs peacemaking and reconciliation? Our heavenly Father is a God of peace (Romans 16:20) as He unfolds the entire story of redemption from the Fall to our Glorification when Jesus returns. The Son of God came to bring peace and to make peace between us and the heavenly Father (Luke 1:76-79). We are given the Holy Spirit of Peace (Galatians 5:22) that lives within us so that peace would be lived out in all of our relationships on this Earth. As followers of Christ we are called Sons of God who are peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). As God’s children we are to have the character of our Heavenly Father in the power of His Son, Jesus Christ, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. God loves peace so we are to love peace in relationships. Our God pursues peace and so are we. Because of the work of reconciliation of us with God by Jesus Christ through the blood of His cross we cannot be peace-fakers or peace-breakers. We are called to “strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14). Those are strong words!
 
Are you compelled by the love of God that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God reconciled you even while you were still an enemy, hostile in mind and doing evil deeds. That is the loving reconciliation of the Gospel. We are to live out of this Gospel Truth. That truth is to compel us moment by moment. Be motivated to be a peacemaker and reconcile relationships in your life by the love and reconciliation that God has shown to you. Be compelled by truth that you are the recipient of a love from Christ that is meant to transform how you see and react to others with emotions and actions of peacemaking.
 
How do you start to make peace? Get started with some introspection. What relationship in your life needs peacemaking? What part of that conflict must you own? What did you do to create disunity, frustration, splintering, fracture? Where have you added fuel to the fire? Where have you thrown logs without seeing the log pile in your own eyes? Own all of that. Are you surprised that there is conflict? Are you surprised that you and another sinner are at odds with one another? We should not be surprised when this happens which should move us quickly with much grace to peacemaking and reconciliation. We are redeemed children of God who still struggle with the flesh and sin and destructive words. Let the Gospel Truth persuade you to seek peace in these relationships.
 
Next, be lightning quick to give grace and take some too. We all need some grace. Acknowledge the hurt that you have caused, accept the consequences, alter your behavior and ask for forgiveness. That is being a peacemaker who is called a Son of God. Peace-breaking and peace-faking isolate us from the life giving Gospel and they will eventually destroy all of the relationships that we love and value and enjoy. Make peace today. Don’t wait. Jesus did not wait for you to make the first move, don’t wait for the other person to make the first step.
 
I look forward to peacefully worshiping with you Sunday. – Steve
 
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!
 
I hope to see you at the DSS Christmas party tomorrow morning spreading the Gospel Peace.

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