Saturday, May 7, 2011
THE PEACE MAKERS
What you’re about to read has the potency of changing your status eternally. If you read this closely and allow the Holy Spirit to work on your heart, it will be impossible for your life to remain unaltered. In Matthew 5:9 the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” (NKJV). How I love the New Living Translation’s rendering of this Scripture. It says “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Who was Jesus referring to as the peace makers or those who work for peace? Was He referring to those who go to war in order to establish peace? Was He referring to those who settle fights and quarrels at local level? Or was he referring to those the world give the ‘Peace Ambassador’s award’? Well, Jesus must have had something different in mind. Understanding the kind of peace He was talking about will give us a clue on the kind of peace makers he was referring to.
The Prophet Isaiah, in prophesying the coming of the Messiah, said this about Him: “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6,7; NKJV). Well, time will fail me to explain this portion of Scripture in details. But I want you to observe the underscored phrases and see that Jesus was actually referring to a peace that had to do with the Kingdom of God (The reign of God on earth and in the hearts of men). The Lord Jesus Christ, in His discourse with Nicodemus in John chapter 3, explains that except a man be born again he cannot experience (see or enter) the Kingdom of God – the reign of God (John 3:3,5). The Book of Luke 2:13,14 tells us that when Jesus was born, Angels and a great heavenly host rocked heaven with these words in singing “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (NKJV). The coming of Jesus Christ to the earth was the arrival of peace and with that peace comes good will. That peace was going to unveil the good will of God for man. Man was going to have a new experience because the peace of God has come to earth. Glory to God!
The Peace Makers Jesus was referring to certainly are not necessarily the police force, the military or quarrel settlers. The peace makers are those saints who have taken on the Great Commission as a life style. They live solely for this cause. They are the soul winners. They have personalized the heavenly vision. They are the true ambassadors of the unshakable Kingdom. Whatever they do in life, they put the heavenly vision at the fore front. They can’t live a day without telling someone about the peace that Jesus brought to the earth. They are the ones the Father considers as mature sons (Matthew 5:9b). They are the ones who understand they have been called to the ministry of reconciliation and have been given the Word of reconciliation! They understand their role in forcefully advancing the Kingdom of God. Unlike what you might think about peace makers, these guys are radical with their message of peace. They may look cool, calm and collected but in reality they are hot, armed and dangerous. They are heaven’s work force – ever pleasing the Father. They are on heaven’s pay role – never can they be paid by men. They understand the demands of the Father and they understand the urgency of the task. These folks never give up in their bid to be obedient to the heavenly vision despite the odds. They pray like warriors – ever fighting for the souls of the lost. They easily get heaven’s attention. They are tough and are terrorists to the kingdom of darkness. The devil aims at these ones – they are his target. They wreck havoc in his kingdom. He wants to get rid of them but the more he tries to destroy them, the more they reproduce themselves – they simply multiply.
The Peace Makers Jesus was referring to are those who live for the sole purpose of connecting men back to God through Jesus Christ by preaching the Gospel of Peace. The Gospel we’re called to preach is the Gospel of peace – the Gospel of reconciliation. Everything about the Gospel is PEACE, PEACE, PEACE. The Book of Ephesians shows us that the redemptive work of Christ was a work of peace. Ephesians 2:12-22 is such a wealth of the Peace work of Christ and what it means to us. Jesus Christ made peace through the cross of His death. Hence, a new definition of peace. Peace is no longer just the absence of wars, calmness of heart and mind or quietness in the home. All these could be the effects of peace but not the main substance. Peace simple means connecting with God through Jesus Christ His Son. In John 14:27 Jesus said something so profound. He said “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.” (NKJV). The disciples will later discover that the peace Jesus was talking about was not just the calmness of mind but something deeper, something that He was going to die for, letting His blood spill on the evil soil of the earth. “What manner of man is this?” They will say once again.
The Gospel we’ve been called to preach is a peace Gospel. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 shows us that. It says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” (NKJV). Reconciliation speaks of peace. There is something else I want you to observe. Just as the Lord was telling us that we who are in Christ are New Creations, He is simultaneously telling us that we’ve got the ministry and the Word of reconciliation and that we are heaven’s Peace Ambassadors if we engage in this peace mandate. That’s good news for me and you! Ephesians 6:15 tells us that “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” (NKJV). This implies that if you are not an active soul winner, you are not fully equipped for the fight of faith because the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace is a part of the armour of God and the Lord admonishes us to “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (NKJV). Are you a Peace Maker?