Sunday, January 29, 2017

The peacemaking gene

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 5:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "Blessed are the peacemakers
For they shall be called the sons of God." Matthew 5:9

When a new baby is born we study its face to see who it looks like—Mom or Dad. Children who never knew their parents, though happy in their adoptive homes, still often experience a strong urge to find their birth parents and discover their blood lines. There is something inside us humans that longs to be part of a family—to know where we come from. When we find our roots, we begin to understand where some of our distinguishing features of body and personality originate.

Being part of God's family is not so different. For just like human children inherit physical features and aspects of temperament from their ancestors, the children of God bear a family likeness. Jesus highlights one trait of the "sons of God" in the part of the Sermon on the Mount that we read today. It's peacemaking.

A sidebar article in my Bible elaborates:

"In our relationship with the heavenly Father, we display our family likeness by manifesting the fruit of the Spirit of peace and in doing what is important to Him: making peace. Jesus said, 'Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God,' and He also said, 'I must be about My Father's business' (Luke 2:49). His last will and testament was, 'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you' (John 14:27). He came to bring peace, made peace through the blood of the Cross, and calls us to be peacemakers. Peacemaking is the family business we all need to share" - Loyd Ogilvie in "Call to Unity," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1297.

How does this family trait work itself out in everyday life? From the Bible we see that peacemakers:

  • Are slow to get angry, and in this way stifle contention (Proverbs 15:18).
  • Defuse potentially explosive situations with wisdom (Proverbs 16:14).
  • Hesitate to take a perceived wrong to court, preferring to do all in their power to rectify a situation themselves before bringing in the strong arm of the law (Proverbs 25:8).
  • Practice conciliation, even under extreme pressure (Ecclesiastes 10:4).
  • Make reconciliation with others a priority (Matthew 5:24), allowing the sensitive conscience of their brother or sister trump their own rights (Romans 14:19-21).
  • Show themselves to be spiritually wise by being peaceable (James 3:17).

I ask myself, do I carry this family characteristic? Do you? Would people be able to tell that we're children of God because we are peacemakers?

PRAYER: Dear God, please show me where my habits and reactions work against making and keeping peace. Help me to be more of a peacemaker. Amen.

MORE: "My Father's Eyes" by Amy Grant


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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