What Everyone Wants
(Matthew 5:9; John 14:27-31)
1. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God.
2. Everyone wants peace, right?
3. But despite our desires and protests, peace is not what rules our world.
A. Violence Is What Dominates:
1. Our politics today.
2. Relationships – so many relationships are not peaceful.
3. Entertainment – most of our entertainment is based on violence.
a) When competitiveness destroys peace we celebrate it as a spirit of victory or triumph.
b) We trivialize, caricature, cartoon and even enjoy violence.
4. The lack of peace is everywhere.
5. The existence of conflict is not just extensive, it is expensive.
B. When We Look At Wars In The Last Century.
1. The two world wars – 120,000,000 dead.
2. Millions dead in the Chinese cultural revolution.
3. 188,000,000 dead in the 20th century due to wars and oppression.
a) Genocide and Tyranny – 83,000,000 dead.
b) Military deaths in war – 42,000,000 dead.
c) Civilian deaths in war – 19,000,000.
d) Man made famine – 44,000,000 dead.
4. In the 13th century 40,000,000 lives were lost in the Mongol conquest.
5. In the 8th century 36,000,000 lives lost in an Lushan revolt.
6. During the fall of Rome 3-5th century 8,000,000 lives lost.
C. Billy Graham apparently said that if someone had been sent from Mars to report on
Earth’s major industry they would have to return and report that our chief industry is war.
1. Why is it that peace is such an important word in our vocabulary?
2. Yet the experience of peace is so elusive?
3. The world craves peace.
4. We as Canadians are better at peace, we do not fight, do we?
5. After-all, we are the peace keepers – we are peaceful, right?
II. The Greater Picture – Peace and Peacemaking:
A. Let’s Be honest.
1. Peace and Peacemaking are not just global armed conflict issues.
2. Peace and Peacemaking are very personal, everyday life issues.
a) Our fights are over bad drivers.
b) Over someone parking in the wrong spot.
c) Over hurt feelings.
d) Over misunderstandings – mercy leaves the benefit of the doubt.
e) Over rude comments – mercy absorbs and deflects them to God.
f) Over what the pastor says or does not say.
g) Over because I did not get my way – we leave church and blame the pastor.
h) Our problem? We are unwilling to deal with our own heart – it is a heart issue.
3. Living in this world means there will be rubs.
a) There will be conflicts – how we respond to the conflict is the issue?
b) There will be issues – will they build or will they infect, it is up to my heart, your heart?
c) We can be part of the problem.
d) Or, We can be part of the solution.
4. Peace and peacemaking is not just a United Nations issue.
a) It is a home issue
b) It is a work issue.
c) It is a community issue.
d) It is a RFC issue – if we decide to do life from love and forgiveness, restore.
5. The Bible makes it quite clear that all conflict has the same root cause.
a) The root of conflict lies in our self-centeredness (Gal 5:19-21).
b) The core of strife is the unregenerated heart, Jesus knew this.
c) Because of that, peace is an issue for all of us.
6. We usually think about the big picture (social scale).
a) Jesus always brought it up close and personal.
b) Jesus’ primary concern was our heart – is it inclusive, and forgiving?
c) To Jesus the eternal destiny is what really matters.
d) Peace must begin on the personal scale.
7. Albert Einstein said: The threat of nuclear warfare was not found in the power of
bombs, but in the power of the wickedness of the human heart.
8. James 4:1 says that fights and quarrels come from the desires that battle within us.
9. These words of Jesus are more of a challenge then we might want to admit.
10. If you want fights – I am not with you – if you want quarrels – I am not with you Col 3:13
11. The pastor – is about the group – peace in the group and for the group – never about the pastor.
12. The root problem with quarrels can be attributed to a failure to love.
B. What Does Jesus Really Mean By Peace?
1. We must note that peace in Biblical terms is “a work of the Holy Spirit”.
a) Galatians 5:22-23 tells the reader it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
i) The fruit described in Galatians is a triad: A cluster of three fruit each.
ii) Peace is listed in the first triad – a fruit of character attribute.
iii) An interesting side note: The first three have only one syllable, the second set of three have two syllables, the third set has three syllables.
b) Love, Joy, and Peace are the first three fruit of the Spirit.
c) It is God working in us to inform His attribute in us to shape our character.
d) God’s peacemakers are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
e) Peace is the quietness of the soul, that is unmoved despite the trials and tribulations in our lives (Romans 5:1)
2. Peace is more than the absence of conflict.
a) The main word in the Old Testament for peace was “Shalom”.
b) Shalom did not refer to the absence of something.
c) It referred to the presence of what God alone can provide.
d) John 14:27 – Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
e) The kind of peace the Bible talks about is a “peace of reconciliation”.
f) This fruit will become evident in our lives – as we live more peaceably.
3. Colossians 1:20 – Refers to the making of peace between God and humanity.
a) The reconciliation affected through God’s mercy.
b) Just as God has made peace in us through Jesus our Christ.
c) We are now required to make peace with those around us.
d) Peace is reconciliation – reconciliation may not always be easy.
C. Peace Is The Existence Of Bridges Instead Of Walls:
1. Peace is less about having issues resolved as much as it is bringing reconciliation into a relationship.
2. Peacemakers place a higher value on the person rather than the issue or problem.
3. Peace is harmony, balance, and wholeness – without compromising God’s attributes.
D. There Is No Such Thing As Passive Peacemaking:
1. A Peacemaker is someone who works hard to bring peace.
a) They want reconciliation between themselves and God – Repentance.
b) They want reconciliation between themselves and others – Relationship.
c) They want reconciliation between others and God – Evangelism.
E. Six Practices Of Peacemakers:
1. Peacemakers Pray – 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
2. Peacemakers intentionally avoid causes of contention – Colossians 3:15.
a) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts – Colossians 3:15.
b) Keeping the peace is a Biblical concept – Proverbs 6:15.
3. Peacemakers love their adversaries.
a) Matthew 5:43-45 – Jesus said: “. . . Love your enemies and pray for those
who persecute you”.
4. Peacemakers spread the Gospel.
a) The Gospel is the message of peace.
b) Peacemakers share the path of peace.
5. Peacemakers take risks.
a) Peacemaking is about challenging the powers of death with the powers of life.
b) Peacemaking is about confronting evil with good – never running from conflict.
c) It is not about running from evil – it is about restoring the good, the holy.
d) Peacemakers work with violent people in violent situations to restore.
e) Peacemakers get themselves into volatile situations to restore for the good.
6. Peacemakers do not compromise God’s priorities.
a) A Peacemaker does not compromise purity or truth to gain peace.
b) One of God’s characters is that of Peacemaker.
c) As people of God, our character and behaviour should reflect our inheritance.
d) As God is – so we should desire to become – it is a journey.
In Romans 12:18 – Paul says – “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone, especially the household of faith.”
1. Note – as much as we are willing.
a) Not meet them halfway.
b) As far as we can – as much as is in our power.
2. God went all the way to bring eternal peace.
a) As His ambassadors we must go all the way to bring peace.
b) It is Jesus’ idea of a peacemaker.
c) Jesus is our lineage – Let’s exhibit that and be a lover of peace.