Blessed are the peacemakers | Malcolm Cox

What would it be like to preach and teach through the filter of the beatitudes? What would the impact be on us as speakers and our congregations as listeners? Today, we will look at the seventh beatitude:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9

Peacemaking can only be done by the pure in heart, because impartiality is necessary to that endeavour. So this beatitude follows on from the former.

  1. The Meaning in the context of the Gospel
    • Peacemakers are children of God because “What they do is to repeat what God has done.”
    • Jesus was prophesied to be the “Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6)
    • Christ is our peace
  • Eph. 2:14 ‘For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…’
  • Col. 1:20 ‘…and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.’
    • All Christians are called to be peacemakers by nature. Speakers have an opportunity to demonstrate this in what they say and how they say it.
  1. The Meaning for a preacher/teacher
    • A preacher or teacher fully invested in being a peacemaker will look for opportunities to reveal the God of peace, explain how we can be at peace with him, and show how this peace inspires our discipleship.
    • In preparation
      • Is there a lack of peace between you and anyone in your congregation? What can you do to improve the situation?
        • “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
      • Process any irritations you are experiencing before you get up to speak. A peacemaker is one who removes irritations, rather than causing them. If you are irritated at something, or someone (including yourself) you will not be speaking from from a position of peace and will therefore find it hard to preach as a peacemaker. Sort that out in prayer and conversations with a safe person before you speak. If it happens during the service, pray and ask God for help.
      • What is there in your lesson that will promote peace between human beings and God and between people?
    • In presentation
      • There is a place for teaching that disturbs — Jer. 6:14 ‘They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.’ However, when this is warranted make sure it is the word doing the disturbing, rather than you.
      • Develop discernment as to when God is saying, ‘Hold back’! On occasion I feel ready to say something especially challenging. When it is right I know it. When it is not, I also know, but only if I am paying attention. This is hard to explain, but I know it is not the right time when I feel a burning sensation in my head.
      • If you are delivering a challenging message watch your tone. A loving tone is possible even when making a challenging point.

Benefits for us and our hearers:

  1. In promoting peace we inspire people to live that peace and call others into that peace
  2. We reveal the heart of Christ to our hearers
  3. We inspire and motivate our hearers to Christ-likeness

Next week we will get into the eighth Beatitude, but for today I’d like to know what you think. How can we preach and teach in a way that is informed by the seventh beatitude?

What kinds of questions does this bring to your mind regarding preaching and teaching? Why not pray over the beatitudes, asking God to reveal how they can flavour your speaking? If God reveals anything to you, please drop me a line.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

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God bless, Malcolm

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