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Jun 09, 2019

Life in the Kingdom: Peacemakers

Life in the Kingdom: Peacemakers

Passage: Matthew 5:9

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Life in the Kingdom

Category: Peace, Joy, kindness

Keywords: beatitudes, peacemaker

Want to be a peacemaker? Check your heart, listen and see yourself in others.

Scripture:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
- Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
 
"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."
- Matthew 6:12 (NIV)

Devotional:

Our polling firm often tests messages by using "he said-she said" questions, with a Republican argument on one side and a Democratic argument on the other side. That might look like arguments for and against a tax cut, or regulating an industry, or military action. One of my favorite things to do in that work is to write arguments that "the other side" makes. Especially on an issue you care deeply about, it can be a challenge to be faithful to their point of view.
 
A funny thing happens when you force yourself to look at the issue from "the other side": you actually start to see that they're not the socialist/fascist/left-or-right wing nut who comes at the issue with bad intentions. It's possible that they love people and think their way is the best, most compassionate approach. That doesn't mean I agree with the approach, but it is a baby step toward peace not only with them but within myself.
 
It's still an ongoing process. I've read through the Anatomy of Peacetwice with different small groups, and I'm still learning the lesson that we need to look at others as people with legitimate needs and wants rather than as objects to work around or avoid. And there's a reason everyone laughed when Chris mentioned being a peacemaker in traffic. Maybe, just maybe, the person in the minivan is late to their child's doctors appointment. As we take a moment to consider the lives of others, we reflect a glimpse of the grace we are shown by the love of Jesus Christ.
 

Prayer:

Gracious Father, we thank You that You showed us Your mercy by sending Your Son to teach us, love us, and sacrifice for us. By Your Spirit, give us the strength to put others first, to consider their needs, to enter into conversation and understanding with the people You put in our lives. In Your Son Jesus' precious name we pray. Amen.
 
 
Written by Jon McHenry. Jon leads our devotional team, is a council member, worship speaker and part of the men's ministry at Arcola Church. He is a devoted husband and father.