Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Blessed are the peacemakers 8.27.2017
Good morning, dear friend in Christ!

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ today and forever! And may we remember that this greeting is one that is a reality, for God has made peace with us through propititiating (appeasing) His wrath against sin by pouring it out on His Son, which means that He has been and is merciful towards us (not giving us what we deserve) and now He is at peace with us and through repentance and faith we are at peace with Him and with one another (all people everywhere)

As we live in a world that is experiencing increasing violence, increasing living for self and increasing hatred for Christ and His Church, it is good for us to take stock of ourselves and our attitudes towards others. In the 5th chapter of Matthew, it is written that ‚€œBlessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.‚€Ě

So as we listen to the many voices speak and as we listen to ourselves speak, it is good for us to consider this question: ‚€œAs a child of the Most High God, am I a peacemaker?‚€Ě

Last week we finished a four sermon series from the 8th chapter of Romans in which the Apostle Paul, speaking by the Holy Spirit, brought home to us in a resounding conclusion the reality that as children of God nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus!!! And then I mentioned briefly of how he makes the statements in the next chapter:

KJV Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Paul‚€™s heart burned in love towards his fellow Jews who were yet living in blindness to the salvation brought through Jesus, and he demonstrated the magnitude of his burning love for them saying that he would be accursed for their salvation‚€™s sake. Wow, wow, wow!

So then, as a child of God, filled with His love, are we peacemakers? And to make it clear, the peace we are referring to is bringing people to peace with God, with themselves and with others. Today let us take a look at an Old Testament prophet, Elisha, to see how he brought peace in his time.

2 Kings 6:8 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

Elisha demonstrated the heart of Christ towards his enemies, acting quite different than he had earlier in his ministry on a different occasion. We must understand that Elisha had special revelations from God and very well could have done what he did below from a direct communication from God, but yet his actions give us something to think about in the light of the coming New Testament revelation of Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Let us turn back to an earlier time in Elisha‚€™s life‚€¦‚€¦

2 Kings 2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

John, the Apostle of love, had to come to see the truth of what Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew and which He demonstrated for us with His attitudes, words and actions.. Let us read the following scriptures‚€¦

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

With God having peace with us, with us living in peace with Him and with all others, may we ask a few questions of ourselves in conclusion:

Do I know and live in the peace of God?

In my heart, am I at peace with others?

If I am not living in peace with someone, how may I bring peace to that relationship?

How might I assist someone who is not living in peace to come to live in
peace?

May our hearts be softened today through the knowledge that we have been granted grace and mercy, and as a result, God is at peace with us. Therefore, we are peacemakers, and are called the children of God.

God‚€™s Peace!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala



Posted on 27 Aug 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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