January 27

Text: Matthew 5:9

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (NASB)

Making peace!  There are few challenges greater.  Why?  We are talking about making peace, not preserving peace.  Preserving peace is hard, but making peace is more difficult.  Preserving peace is the challenge of keeping something that already exists and has been accepted by at least some involved. 

Making peace involves bringing into existence something destroyed.  Peace that existed no longer exists.  Peace has been replaced with apathy or—worse—with hatred. If apathy is the problem, the individuals or groups involved do not care enough to make the necessary efforts to create and sustain peace.  If hatred is the problem, negative emotions must be replaced with positive emotions. 

The existence of peace involves more than the absence of negative emotions.  The existence of genuine peace involves specific acts and feelings.  While indifferent apathy may have some advantages over the hostile anger produced by hatred, apathy is NOT peace.  The fact that hostility is not expressed does not mean that peace exists.

The opportunity God created for us to be at peace with Him is phenomenal!  Though our evil acts and feelings unjustly offended God deeply, God initiated the means that make our peace with Him possible.  He laid aside feelings that arose from our unjust offences to generate an environment free from hostility.  He enabled us to approach Him as though we never offended Him.  That is why He values human efforts to be peacemakers so much that He allows righteous peacemakers to be IN His family.

Suggestion for reflection: Be devoted to replacing negative hostile acts and feelings with positive acts and feelings—in individuals and groups.  NEVER be the source of hostility!  (Read 2 Timothy 2:24-26.)

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