“Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be called children of God.”
Some people think peace is the absence of conflict. But peace is more than that—there is no ‘strife’ in a cemetery, but that’s not a model of peace. God sees peace not as the absence of conflict, but the presence of righteousness. Righteousness will bring about right relationships. Peace is not just stopping a war. It’s the impartation of righteousness that brings two parties together in love. God’s peacemakers don’t just stop wars—they replace what causes the war with the righteousness of God. True peace is when conflict is resolved and the parties become friends.
God’s wisdom attains peace through purity. Peace is never established at the expense of righteousness. Peace and righteousness are inextricably interlinked—they can’t be divorced from each other. Psalm 85:10 says, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” True peace is always accompanied by righteousness and purity.
Many people talk about wanting peace for their lives, but will never experience it because they ignore their sin. Man will never produce peace on his own because it is a result of holiness, righteousness, and purity. That’s why James said, “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by them that make peace” [ James 3:18 ]. A person can’t have real peace until he bears righteous fruit.
God’s whole ‘plan’ of redemption is to provide peace WITH Himself for those who were formerly ‘alienated’ from Him—ultimately bringing peace to the whole world (Isaiah 9:6-7 – Jesus, the ”Prince of Peace”). It was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that made peace between God and man.
Peacemakers ‘draw’ their peace from God, and those who abide in Him have His peace. Then, as they continually ‘commune’ with God, He sends them out as His ‘ambassadors’ to dispense His peace to others. The greatest privilege a peacemaker has is helping someone ‘at war’ with God to make peace with Him—to be ‘reconciled’—which lasts forever!
Peacemakers strive to establish peace that embraces God’s provision of peace, so that people will be in harmony with one another—reconciling adversaries, quenching hatred, uniting those who are divided, promoting true understanding, and showing God’s love. When one acts like this, God refers to them as His “children”—having the character of their ‘Father’.
Peacemaking is not avoiding, appeasing, or always ‘giving in’ to everyone. If you ‘run’ from conflict, you will be miserable. Unresolved conflict will ‘mess up’ your life—because it blocks your ‘fellowship’ with God, and He will not ‘hear’ your prayers—it will block your happiness! (“Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness” [ James 3:18 ]). There is no ‘requirement’ that one become a pacifist—rather, they are one that is willing to ‘fight’ for peace. Jesus was the greatest peacemaker of all and He didn’t avoid conflict. (Jesus “overturned the tables in the temple” – Matthew 21:12).
Biblical peacemakers are not quiet, easygoing people who want to make no waves and have no sense of righteousness. Some who appear to be peacemakers are that way because they have no convictions. A Biblical peacemaker will not preserve the status quo at the expense of truth. He will not accept something that is wrong so that things can be “peaceful.” Biblical peacemakers seek to resolve a problem with the truth by bringing to bear the righteousness of God.
A peacemaker must not abandon Biblical principles. He knows it’s better to offend people with the truth so they can eventually experience real peace. Christians aren’t ‘peacekeepers’ in the sense that they never cause strife. They are ‘peacemakers’ in that they offer true peace to those whom they confront.
Peacemakers know that they need to listen for the hurt ‘behind’ the words, since though we think we argue over ideas, we really argue over feelings and emotions. A Chinese proverb says this well: “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”
If you only look at someone’s behavior, you can be quite judgmental. But if you look at the ‘fear’ behind the behavior, you will be a whole lot more understanding, and be more patient with them.
We tend to thing that our doubts and fears are perfectly rational and entirely normal, but someone else’s are irrational and unreasonable. [ F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real ]. We tend to judge how far people have to ‘go’. Instead, we should focus on how far they have ‘come’.
Peacemakers also know that one is never persuasive when one is abrasive—and that people change faster and easier when the truth is ‘wrapped’ in love–so, they strive to be ‘tactful’ in their communications. Truth without love is resisted. Truth with love is received. (“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” [ Proverbs 12:18 ]).
Peacemakers also try to focus on fixing the problem, and not the blame—‘attacking’ the issue not the person. They also focus on ‘reconciliation’, since, often times, when the relationship is restored, the issue becomes insignificant. You can have unity without uniformity. You can ‘walk’ hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye.
The theme of peace dominates the Bible. It begins with peace in the Garden of Eden and it ends with peace in eternity. Today there can be peace in the
hearts of those who know Jesus. You can’t be a peacemaker until the first six Beatitudes characterize your life.
Are you at peace ‘WITH’ God? Do you have the peace ‘OF’ God?
“Peacemaker” Related Bible Verses:
“Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!”
[ Psalm 85:10 ].
“The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, His righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”
[ Isaiah 32:16-17 ]
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.”
[ Isaiah 42:2-3 ].
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”
[ John 3:16-17 ].
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
[ John 14:6 ]
“Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
[ John 14:27 ]
“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”
[ Romans 7:18-19 ].
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
[ 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 ].
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
[ 2 Corinthians 13:11 ].
“For He Himself is our Peace. He has made us both one, and has broken down the hostile dividing wall between us.”
[ Ephesians 2:14 ]
“I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
[ Ephesians 4:1-3; 31-32 ].
“Through Jesus God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”
[ Colossians 1:19-20 ].
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.”
[ Colossians 3:15 ].
“May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
[ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ].
“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil work will be there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
[ James 3:16-18 ].
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FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT #7:
Not too long ago, a person’s word was their bond, and a mere handshake sealed major business agreements. Tales of Abraham Lincoln’s honesty over pennies are an almost legendary part of our nation’s history.
Faithfulness hinges upon what we value as important combined with commitment. Humans have a powerful tendency to be faithful to what they think is truly important, be it a family name, spouse, friendship, employer, school, athletic team or even certain ‘things’ like a make of automobile.
Webster’s defines faithful as: “steadfast adherence; loyalty; constant; staunch; and resolute. Steadfast adherence implies that a person is bound by an ‘oath’ or obligation. Loyalty implies undeviating allegiance to a person, cause, institution, which one feels morally bound to support or defend. Constant suggests freedom from fickleness in affections or loyalties, and staunch implies such a strong allegiance to one’s principles or purposes as not to be turned aside by any cause. Resolute stresses unwavering determination, often in adhering to one’s personal ends or aims. All of these ‘variations’ of faithfulness are marked by a strong sense of duty or responsibility, conscientiousness, reliability, and maintaining a strong allegiance.
The Greek word for faithfulness is “pistis” (pronounced: piss-tiss), is also translated as “faith.” It refers to a moral conviction to do right by relying upon God. Those individuals who are faithful and demonstrate faithfulness are assured in their belief in God’s holy character, and therefore this impacts how they lead their lives and treat others. The Hebrew word for faithfulness is “emunah,” which literally means “firmness,” figuratively means “security,” and morally means “fidelity.”
When we speak of one another as faithful, we mean that we adhere to our word—that we are trustworthy. It is much the same when we think of God’s faithfulness. Usually, the first idea that comes to mind when God is called faithful is that He keeps His promises.
Faithfulness is devotion to God, loyalty to friends, and dependability to carry out responsibilities. It is keeping your word. It is a firm and unchanging attachment to a person or idea. The word “faith” assumes there will be challenges to this loyalty—the passing of time, disappointments, setbacks, even danger.
The thing is, unfaithfulness is rampant in our world today—even among God’s children—because they fail to use His Word as a guide and therefore quench the Spirit by their thoughts and behavior. We see this manifested in the increase of breakups between business partners and divorce in marriages.
Faithfulness is as much needed in our time as it was in Jesus’ time on the earth. “Faithfulness” turns out to be one of the most common and important words in the New Testament. It’s simply a variation of the word “faith.” To have faith in God is to trust Him, to take Him at His Word, and to put ALL of our confidence in Him. God IS worthy of our trust!
So, what’s the attitude, or what qualities in us should correspond to us being faithful? Well, ‘holding fast’ is the first indication of faithfulness. Being “reliable” and “trustworthy” engenders loyalty and dependability.
God’s faithfulness should awaken faith in us, so we can respond in submissive obedience. If He is worth trusting, we should trust Him. Just as with two tuning forks of the same pitch, when one is struck, the other responds by vibrating also. “For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD” [ Psalm 117:2 ].
God’s very nature and character constitute a solemn obligation that He is ‘bound’ by what He is and that He can never be, even in the smallest degree, contradictory to or less than the ‘perfect’ level of His own consistent and uniform self.
By contrast, a ‘war’ goes on inside us. Contradictory impulses and thoughts flood our minds. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh” (Galatians 5:17), and we frequently lose the battle because God’s “divine nature” does not completely fill our minds. We are ‘hot and cold’ and don’t ‘rise up’ to our best selves.
Have you ever found yourself seemingly cut loose from all moorings, adrift in a sea of problems from which, as far as you could tell, God has ‘vanished’? Have you ever begun on what seemed like a great adventure only to be swept away in a flood of sorrow, loneliness, perplexity, and disappointment that seems as though it will end only in despair?
Well, God will not lose track of you! His faithfulness promises another great assurance: It guarantees that all your trials will be in proportion to your strength.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” [ 1 Corinthians 10:13 ]. God will never lay on us anything beyond our power to overcome. He knows how much pressure our ‘hearts’ can stand. He clearly recognizes how to shape the burdens needed to prepare us for His Kingdom.
A vibrant faith is based on our faithfulness to God—and it springs from a joyful hope in God’s promises. Faith in the goodness of God enables us to be patient when we are suffering or experiencing affliction of any sort. Faith is expressed when we pray with confidence in God’s provision for our lives: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” [ Romans 12:12 ]. We are called to pray faithfully demonstrating our faith in God.
The good news is that there are ‘rewards’ for our faithfulness to God in the midst of persecution—spoken of as the “crown of life.” This ‘crown’ is given to those who endure intense persecution for their faith or lose their life because of their dedication to God. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” [ Revelation 2:10 ].
God rewards faithfulness. When we have faith in God we can have courage that He is by our side in the storms of life. Our faith in God grows as we continue to be faithful to Him no matter what may come our way.
Jesus wanted Peter to hold Him of greater importance than anything on earth, and He expect the same staunch commitment from us today! We must love Christ supremely, or we do not love Him much if at all. If we are not willing to give up all earthly possessions, forsake all earthly friends, and obey Him above all others—including our own carnal desires, and to be faithful to Him—our attachment to Him is tenuous at best. Is such a proposition too much? Does not marriage require a similar faithfulness from each spouse? Without it, it is no wonder there is so much adultery and divorce.
Perhaps our greatest obligation on earth is for us to imitate Jesus’ faithfulness. It does not become an individual who professes to trust in the faithful God to be shifty and unreliable in word and deed. Since God has been faithful to us, it should become our responsibility to imitate Him in being faithful by being faithful to others.
Because God is faithful, the strength to be faithful is promised to us. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” [ Hebrews 4:16 ]. Forgiveness, access to His throne, the promises of His Spirit, and that no trial will be greater than we can bear—combined with His declaration that He works in us both to will and to do—assure us that this fruit of the Spirit can be produced in us when we yield as faithful servants.
Jesus was and is faithful to the Father. Because Jesus Christ is our Lord and Master, we not only seek to serve Him, we also desire to be more like Him as we grow as His followers. We are ‘called’ but be faithful servants of God. “His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” [ Matthew 25:21 ].
As Christians, we are called to faithfulness to God and to each other as reflected in our lives by keeping our promises and God’s commandments. God grants us ‘access’ to Himself through His Spirit—giving us the ‘means’ to be faithful.
“Faithfulness” Related Bible Verses:
“Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.”
[ Psalm 31:23 ].
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
[ Psalm 34:8 ].
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
[ Psalm 100:5 ].
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
[ Proverbs 3:5-6 ].
“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”
[ Proverbs 28:20 ].
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,”
[ Deuteronomy 7:9 ].
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”
[ Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ].
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
[ Jeremiah 29:11 ].
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
[ Habakkuk 2:4 ].
“And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
[ Matthew 21:21-22 ].
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.”
[ Matthew 24:45-47 ].
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'”
[ Matthew 25:21 ].
For nothing will be impossible with God.”
[ Luke 1:37 ].
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”
[ Luke 16:10-12 ].
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
[ John 3:16 ].
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
[ John 3:36 ].
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”
[ John 6:47 ].
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
[ Romans 5:1-5 ].
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
[ Romans 10:17 ].
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
[ Ephesians 2:8-9 ].
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”
[ 1 Corinthians 4:2 ].
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
[ 2 Corinthians 5:7 ].
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”
[ 2 Timothy 2:13 ].
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
[ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ].
But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
[ Hebrews 10:38-39 ].
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
[ Hebrews 11:1 ].
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
[ Hebrews 11:6 ].
“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
[ James 1:3 ].
“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
[ James 1:4 ].
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
[ James 1:5-8 ].
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
[ James 2:14-26 ].
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”
[ James 2:19 ].
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
[ 1 John 1:9 ].