Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, January 8, 2016
It seems that peace has become a precious commodity these days. Just like the Bible foretold, there are wars and rumors of wars. Some of the wars are in our own homes. Others of the wars are among the nations. There are wars in media. There are wars of political debates. There are wars even among our brethren in churches. For good reason, the Bible says that peacemakers are blessed. Not only are they blessed, but they also shall be called the children of God. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but God is the Chief Peacemaker. The Bible says that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Sin is the reason we were enemies of God; it places us at odds with Him. This is no simple argument due to a difference of opinion where we go our separate ways, but a separation that puts us in position to be destroyed.
The Bible continues by letting us know how much God loves us. It says that Jesus came to His own people and they received Him not. Don’t miss that. His own people rejected Him. Instead of giving up on them, God enacted a plan whereby those who were once His enemies could become His children. Divine love could not just sit up in heaven and allow His children to continue sliding down the slippery slope toward destruction. No! Divine love was compelled to do something about it.
I think part of the reason people are not quick to make peace is because we don’t understand just how much God had to go through in order to save us from our sins.
If we really understood how much patience God had with us we just might be more patient with our spouses if they say something in a way that we don’t appreciate. If we really understood how merciful God was to us, if our church brother or sister offended us we would choose mercy rather than malice. If we understood God’s kindness and how He graciously lends us His breath even though we are not always kind to Him, we would be extra kind to people who seem like they’re having a bad day. If we really understood Jesus’ role of intercession, and how He pleads His blood on our behalf when we deserve to be destroyed, we would refuse to take sides when our brothers and sisters are having disputes, and choose rather to direct both of them to God’s love and facilitate the mending of their broken relationship.
It’s no wonder God blesses the peacemakers. It is not natural for us. Peacemaking is a divine character trait. It requires the Holy Spirit to be at work, whether we realize it’s His Spirit or not. When God’s Spirit is at work in our lives, He bears witness with our spirits that we are His children. Therefore, in as much as it is possible, and is within your power, we should be peacemakers. Choose love rather than hate. Choose patience rather than quick-temperedness. Choose to understand before seeking to be understood. Put the thoughts and feelings of others above your own. And most of all, as you receive this power from God to make peace, help to restore people who do not have peace with God. The Bible says that since He has reconciled us to Himself, we now have the ministry of reconciliation. This is why peacemakers are called His children.
Today’s Scripture Promise:
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).
Today’s Marching Orders:
Ask the Lord to make you an ambassador for His kingdom. Ask Him to show you how to bring people closer together and closer to Him today.