Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.(Matt 5:9 – NASB)
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:10-12
They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. (John 16:2)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have beenon frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have beenin labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Admit your own poverty of spirit, and that you need God.
- Confess and forsake all your sin. Tell Him about every sin you can remember doing, and ask Him for forgiveness.
- Meekly submit your will – your desires, your plans – to Him.
- Pursue righteousness and integrity in everything you do, again with His help.
- Offer mercy and forgiveness to those who owe you or have hurt you.
- Ask Jesus to purify your heart, and press into more and more purity, by meditating on His word. You are made clean through the God's Word, The Bible.
- Then you will become a peacemaker too, and you experince His peace, you will want to draw others to His side as well.
“for they shall see God” (Matt 5:8)
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,” Ps 24:3
This is an article I wrote a couple years ago, but it fits in with what I have been blogging on lately.
Mark 11:25-26 "And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
Peace wall, Belfast - photo credit - http://www.flickr.com/photos/a11sus/460787247/
How do I get what is in my heart into words? I have been pondering a question that I have heard posed by many for decades, believers and skeptics alike, and somewhere inside of me, the Lord is turning the tables on a huge lie that has derailed many a faith-walk. The question in question: Where was God?
When I was hurting, where was God?
When I was abused, where was God?
When all my friends left me, where was God?
When my heart was breaking, where was God?
Have you ever thought any of these things? You are not alone! Are you one of the many who read the “Footprints” poem and think ‘Yeah, Right?’ Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love that, but I am not sure that everyone who has walked through the worst of circumstances felt ‘carried’ through those times when there was only one set of footprints. Sometimes you just feel alone!
I am not sure that my words here will be any better. But there are a few red letters that come to mind as I ponder those ‘one set of footstep moments.’ There are a couple things that Jesus said that I want you to consider next time you are wondering where God was in your darkest moment.
Four times in Matthews telling of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us we can expect to be treated in direct relationship to the way we treat others.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7 NASB)
Oh how we need to hear this! After taking a big step up this stairway to heaven and stirring up a hunger and thirst for righteousness, what do you know, my spirit gets all, well, judgmental! I am a wreck. The more I see Jesus, the more I am amazed. Here is the one who never – ever – no never darkened a commandment with the slightest nod, but does he get all stirred up about sinners and their sin? Nope! He has lunch with harlots, and protects the virtue of adulteresses. He goes out to dinner with the drunkards, and hangs out with the worst vermin of all, tax collectors.
We have to get this. Have you ever used the line – I love the sinner but hate their sin? Are you aware that there is no chapter and verse for that? I have heard this used as an excuse for hate on more occasions that you can image.
If I am brutally honest with myself I wonder if I would have been the Pharisee in Jesus’ day. Is He talking to me when He says: “go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:13)
Have you read in 2 Corinthians 5:19 where Paul tells us: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” Do you read this the way I have for decades, “God is not counting Christian’s sins against them?” That’s not what it says. If it did we are all without hope. God is not counting anyone’s sins against them today! Today is the day of mercy and the day that grace is available! A quick comment about the difference; Mercy is the fact that God is not counting your sin against you. This is currently true for all men. You will have to give account in the last day, but today, there is nothing keeping you from approaching God. Grace on the other hand is the free offer of righteousness that is extended to everyman. It must be accepted or received.
So here is the deal, and it’s pretty straight up here. If you expect to receive mercy on any level, give it in the same measure you are expecting it. In this moment of grace, don’t impose condemnation where God is not doing it. [Tweet This] In the mean time we must keep up our pursuit of integrity, our submission to God’s voice, our honesty with God about our failings, and our humble spirit. WOW these beatitudes are not just kid stuff, are they!
“for they shall be completely satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6 AMP)