When I started writing my Sunday blog posts, it was just about what I got out of the sermon. You know, what I understood the main point was. But, I’ve seen a change in the way I write. I spend more time in preparing, going over notes and reading over the scriptures provided to make sure what I’m writing follows the Word of God. That’s the test. By taking notes in the first place, I have to pay attention to what the pastor is saying. If he posts the audio online before I’m done writing, sometimes I have an opportunity to listen to it a second time. I don’t take this lightly. No one asked me to do this, but it helps me to remember what I’ve learned.
The past few weeks we’ve been going over the beatitudes from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Our focus this week was:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 5:1-10
When I think of peacemakers, I think of those who try to bring peace to those around them. I was pretty much on track, but it goes much farther than that. Our pastor said that it goes beyond the absence of trouble. Jesus is talking about those who actually bring about peace…overcoming evil with good. It’s about the enjoyment of all good.
Peacemakers are not about avoiding trouble. Actually it’s quite the opposite. They are about making peace even when the way to get there causes them to face struggle. Establishing right relationships with other people is one of the highest tasks we could do. We can do this by spreading the gospel. This is after all the task we’ve been given by God.
As we make peace between man and God, we are reconciling man to the God he may have rejected. We are doing this as part of God’s family. Getting people to work together instead of fighting can be a blessing to us and them. Peacemaking is creating a right relationship with God.
Now let’s look at that next verse. When we are acting authentically as a Christian, standing up for the righteousness that we are called to, you’d better believe we are going to face some opposition. Satan goes into stealth mode when he sees us actively seeking to be more like Jesus and spreading the gospel to those who don’t yet know it. Standing firm here is our opportunity to show our loyalty to Jesus.
When we are attacked like this for our loyalty that should make us celebrate because it means we’re on the right track. We are to count ourselves blessed every time we are put down or lied about to discredit God.
We are called to be different. To live a life in which we give up our own life so that we become more like Jesus and we work to bring more into the Kingdom!