Sermon on the Mount

Episode 8

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:9

To be a peacemaker you must be able to carry the rod and the staff.  To bring peace to your family you must learn to speak truth in love.  To be a child of God means that we choose to be uncomfortable because these situations are difficult.

In the ancient of days and in some societies even today the shepherd carries a rod and a staff. (remember that according to Psalm 23 that these two together comfort us)  The staff is used to rescue and guide and lovingly lead the sheep.  This is a part of peacemaking.   Guiding and showing the way is required today.  People simply do not see when they are being bullheaded and stubborn.  They deem anybody that disagrees with them to be haters and  the enemy of all things good.  As children of God we must begin to lead our culture to learn to listen.  In the end we will likely not agree.  In some things we can simply walk away and be content.  But in other situations the rod will be needed. 

Typically the rod is used by the shepherd to protect the sheep from outside intruders.  This is using the justice system or actual physical force.  We must protect the most vulnerable around us from the oppressors.  NOTE: The oppressor will typically not see themselves as an oppressor so keep that in mind.  In today's world we also may have to use the rod to protect our sheep from wolves that are internally mingling with the sheep.  These include villains who are unstable and are looking for weak minded people to control.  These also include false teachers who prey upon our own natural selfishness for health and wealth.  They are right in their own eyes just like any other oppressor so as a peacemaker you must defend the powerless. 

The man or woman of God must become good at using either tool. 

To be a peacemaker will require courage.  Engaging in peace making efforts will use a great deal of energy.  It is easier to look away and ignore the situations around you.  It is easier to not talk about hard things.  But we must decide to engage.  Peacemaking is all about the ultimate result, being children of God.  

As a peacemaker you will not always win.  Sometimes you will step back in horror as all of your efforts collapse around you and blood (physical or emotional) is pouring out onto the street.  Sometimes others simply are unreasonable.  Love them enough to try.  Other people are often working off of their own hurt and are unable to see the possibilities in other opinions.  Many are like children who will throw a tantrum if you don’t do what they say.  Try anyway.

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