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04 Following Jesus Through the Beatitudes

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions



  • June 18, 2020
    9:00 AM
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I good morning once again it's a privilege to be standing before you here this morning in the house of God and to be reflecting with you again on these incredible and these beautiful teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it's a privilege to be here this morning with our brothers and sisters will get warm welcome to all of you around the world watching online on your devices in your homes hope Why don't drive ng but it's a privilege to welcome you here today and today we're going to be looking at 2 more of the beatitudes of Jesus The 1st his blessing on the pure in heart for they shall see God and the 2nd is bless it are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God These are beautiful the attitudes of Jesus they are pregnant with meaning and so before we open the Word of God I invite you to bear your heads with me we ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts so shall we pray I have any father we asked this morning that we be humble and teachable I ask that there be less of us at the end of this hour or more Jesus in our lives father as we see this world unraveling I pray that we indeed can build our lives in our characters upon the rock of Jesus and His teachings so speak to each of our hearts now father mold us and shape us breakers and convict us in Jesus name I ask the man. So the 1st of these Beatitudes is found in Matthew chapter 5 in verse which is the pure in heart in verse 8 and there you see it there on the screen blessid other pure in heart for they shall see God and we may ask ourselves what does Jesus mean by the pure in heart and what does it mean to to see God Well actually Jesus is drawing this teaching from a very well known side is some 24 I invite you to turn in your Bibles to the 24 saw and we will see there where Jesus is taking this teaching from the some here verses 3 through 6 we're going to be looking. At these verses here this morning remember the other day when we talked about Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth while Jesus was drawing upon Psalm 24 in verse one which has the earth is the Lord's and all that is in it and we have the attitude yes the earth is the Lord's all that is in it but this bit of land with a white picket fence around this is mine and so in this beatitude Jesus is continuing his exposition of this psalm in some 24 I'm going to pick it up in verses 3 through 6 and this is what it says Who shall ascends the Hill of the Lord and who shall stand in His holy place those who have clean hands and pure hearts who do not lift up their souls to what is false and who do not swear deceitfully they will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from the God of their salvation such as the company of those who seek Him who seek the face of the God of Jacob and within these these free verses of Psalm 24 we have the essence of what Jesus is and summarizes in this beatitude blessid other pure in heart that is included in this Psalm those have clean hands and pure hearts after they shall see God says Jesus and the at the end of that verse 6 says. They will seek the face of the God of Jacob and so Jesus is really expounding once again one of the Psalms of David and this was a psalm that was sung when people enter the temple of Jerusalem it is a psalm that is that refer relates to when we actively coming into the presence of God Now we talk about clean hands and clean hearts in Jesus time of the Rabbi's focus primarily on the question of external ritual cleanliness and purity the mission or the covers includes an entire division on the topic of cleanliness is called tore off which means cleanliness and that includes nearly $200.00 pages divided into 11 chapters all tractates as they're called and these cover such topics of the cleanliness of your of your cooking vessels cleanliness of your clothing and Aquinas of your accommodation but crucially this chapter of the mission does not say anything about clean this of the heart the rabbis focused on external cleanliness Why do your disciples eat food without washing their hands that's a question that every parent asks their child why do you eat this food that washing your hands and adjourn this coven pandemic my daughter every time I walk home she says Dad why didn't you wash your hands well I've just literally walked in the door I had to walk 3 metres to the sink but she's caught me in that moment that why haven't you washed your hands now the rabbis focused on external cleanliness and they argue that there were 3 levels of ceremonial cleanliness and the hands were on the 2nd or the 3rd level but no where did they discuss cleanliness of the Hot Jesus is not critical of the ceremonial laws per se in this beatitude but he is asking us to focus not on external cleanliness so much as on the purity of the heart. In Hebrew thinking the heart was not just the century of one's feelings but it constituted the entire Rianna reality of our in a life including our thoughts our emotions and our conscious will so to be pure in heart he might say from a Jewish perspective means to be so in divide undivided internally before God and His will that is manifest in a trance an m.r.i. transparency now dealings with others that we reflect God's love and his character and His will to those around us now if you turn back to the Sermon on the Mount Matthew chapter 5 because that is where this b.s. you just found Jesus repeatedly connects in that it be at in the Sermon on the Mount and throughout the Gospel of Matthew he repeatedly connects the issue of the heart and the eyes and so Jesus links the heart in the eyes that as what comes in the eyes affects the heart and so forth what our heart desires where it directs our eyes to look at so for instance in Matthew 622 and 231 maybe turn then your Bibles Jesus says the eye is a lamp of the body so if your eye is healthy your whole body will be full of light but if your eye is unhealthy your whole body will be full of darkness if then the light in you is darkness how great is the darkness and Jesus has he that our eye our physical or you might say our spiritual eye or deep level our spiritual tastebuds their eyes a good and sound they are either simple or they're evil they are divided in their attention or they are focused on God Himself we've already seen in Matthew's in the attitudes of the just of those who appear poor in spirit and those who they are who tremble out the Word of God who come to God with empty hearts with empty hands that is they do not come to God on the basis of their own self sufficiency but in Matthew chapter 5 in verse $28.00 Jesus connects the eyes and the heart once again we see that Jesus says in Matthew 520. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery with her in his heart and how can we know where our hearts truly are well it's what where we spend our time and then Jesus talks about this in Matthew chapter 6 and verse 21 he say talks about do not store 3 self treasures on Heaven where on earth where thieves break in and steal in Moscow's corrupt and destroy but then he concludes that little passage by saying For where your treasure is there your heart or your Cardia will be also and so Jesus discusses a number of places throughout the Gospel of Matthew in there are 5 major sermons in the Gospel of Matthew he discusses repeatedly the question of the human heart and the influence of the the eyes and what goes into our through our eyes and how it affects the human heart yet. How as we ascend the hill of the Lord as the Psalmist White might say kasama said who can ascend the hill of the Lord as we ascend the hill of the Lord or as we seek to draw closer to our Heavenly Father Jesus discusses at least 4 different experiences of the heart within the Sermon on the Mount that can actually be cause a cause of stumbling that may prevent us from reaching the presence of God Himself I want to just well in those 4 conditions of the heart that are that are that are not recommended by Jesus because Jesus says bless it are the pure in heart for they will see God but then he discusses a number of other conditions of the heart that that really troubled many people today and it's an invitation for us to reflect on whether we experience these heart condition the cells are the 1st condition of the heart that Jesus discusses is the Occupied look I want to preface this discussion about water which we're going to come to a moment by saying that in John chapter where is it John Chapter 8 John Chapter 7 verses 3838 and with You want to turn then your Bibles John Chapter 7 My apologies John Chapter 7 Jesus says there. In verse 37 John 737 on the last day of the festival the great day while Jesus was standing there he cried out and anyone who is thirsty come to me and let the one who believes in me drink as a Scripture has said out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living water Jesus is affirming his divinity in this chapter of John and so the question the psalmist who shall ascend the hill of the Lord or who may come into the presence of God is also question who may come into the presence of Jesus and Jesus talks about coming to him as seeking living water and that when we come to Jesus then the the presence of Jesus in the presence of the Spirit flows out of the believers heart as a stream of living water so there is this question about the purity of heart and streams of living water that come out of our hearts. So Jesus discusses in the Sermon on the Mount for conditions of the heart heart conditions you might say that actually prevent us from coming into the presence of God in the 1st of those is the Occupied heart a turn back to Matthew chapter 6 in the Sermon on the Mount for and that we see there that Jesus discusses from verse 25 through 31 the occupied heart is therefore I tell you Matthew 625 Do not worry about your life what you eat or what you will drink or about your body what you will wear is not life more than food on the body more than clothing look at the birds of the air they neither so nor report gather into barns and yet your heavenly father feeds them are you not of more value than they and can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life and why do you worry about your clothing Consider the lilies of the field how they grow they neither toil nor spin yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not clothes like one of these but of God so close the grass of the field which is alive today and more was thrown into the oven will he not much more clothe you oh ye of little faith therefore do not worry saying What shall we need to what will we drink or what shall we wear for it is the Gentiles who strive after these things and Egil Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things and then this is the conclusion but seek he 1st the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given unto you so let me illustrate. By using some water here here's an empty cup and here's some fresh drinking water and Jesus teaches in the Gospels that. Out of the believers heart the Holy Spirit pours forth like a stream of living water is life giving isn't it is delicious to the taste the problem is is that some people have a heart condition known as the Occupied heart. And I have his from Crown Cinnamon I stole my wife's kitchen this morning she doesn't know so for this is all on the record so everything I do will be taken down and used in evidence here's some guy and pepper is kind Peppa good Absolutely it's great for putting with egg on your Lexus or the rabbits don't eat them and here we have some so we have some cinnamon we have some cayenne pepper and we have some garlic powder Now each of these things each of these things is intrinsically good would you agree while theoretically we have some garlic powder Ok I'm going to pour it in here right so you saying there are some garlic powder in here and. The point about this I mean these back in here the point about this is that Jesus intends for a heart to be filled with living water in the presence of the Holy Spirit and we can add lots of good things to our lives paper is not good paper is not bad Cinnamon is a good thing these are all nice things but the problem is when our life becomes filled with these good things that which was intended to be pure and life giving is cause. It's no longer life giving it's absolutely disgusting one of the conditions of the heart that Jesus talks about is the Occupied hot worrying about our food and our drinking eating and our clothing and our mortgages and our businesses and our cars winterizing our boats June all the host of activities we have to do the more we cumulate possessions more maintenance we have to do we spend so much time on the cares and worries of offensively good things that you end up having no time left over for God and you have no time to come closer to God as we've been seeing in our evening programs the prince of press women 2 nights ago we are so busy we have no time to pray to what I have any father any longer and so the busy heart the occupied heart is filled with things that are not necessarily bad but when they feel our heart to this extent then no longer from my heart flows a stream of living water now the 2nd condition that Jesus talks about in the Sermon on the Mount is a is a high is a condition of the heart that it affects more more people these days and God intends for us to have the streams of living water coming out of our heart but the 2nd condition that Jesus talks about is the lustful look this is the eye and this is sugar here Ok this is the eye that is so focused on that which is sweet sweet to the taste. And. The lustful look as we just read here looking up looking upon a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. This condition of the heart for lustful look is the eye of the heart that is focused on self gratification in all of its many forms a life that is focused on pleasure on sensation seeking on gratification the always wanting to taste something sweet a new sensation every day ultimately that which was intended to be life giving by Heavenly Father. Again even though the sugar isn't intrinsically bad in and of itself when you mix it with water it tastes absolutely disgusting and it pollutes the taste of the otherwise life giving water Jesus says out of the heart comes evil intentions murder adultery fornication theft false witness and slander there Matthew 15 in verse 19 so Jesus talks about in Matthew's Gospel the occupied heart being worried excessively about the daily realities of life your physical possessions and this can actually prevent your heart being a stream of living water Jesus talks about the lustful hop the heart that is focused on self gratification this is a heart that you know the sugar is intrinsically bad but when you mix it with fresh water really tastes disgusting in it and it pollutes the water that when Jesus talks about our hearts that is polluted by anger and we find that in Matthew chapter 5 in verse 2122 And Jesus says they're going to read these 2 verses Matthew $521.22 you heard that it was said to those of ancient times you shall not murder and whoever murders shall be liable to judgment but I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister usual be liable to judgment and if you insult a brother or sister you will libel to the council and if you say you fool you shall be liable to the Hell of the hell of fire and so forth and so Jesus commands us here to seek reconciliation rather than allowing the pain of the past to stain us and so once again we have some life giving water as Jesus intends our hearts to be filled with life giving water but the reality is that sometimes bitter experiences come our way. And those bitter experiences tend to stay in our heart that which was supposed to be clean and life giving in a blessing now because smells disgusting what is it is lemon extract. All right so when I drink this probably not certainly not in large quantities. Yes I don't drink any of that actually the heart that is stained by bitterness and anger is not the heart that Jesus wants us to have as his followers today we may have an occupied heart excessively busy with the cares of this world we may have a heart focused on self gratification and lust we may have a heart that is stained or tainted by bitterness or range or anger from the past and a lack of forgiveness all of these are common heart conditions that Jesus discusses within the Sermon on the mount but it is the pure in heart who will enter the presence of God Not so much those with busy hearts will last for Hearts or bitter hearts and on the other kind of hearts that Jesus discusses here is is the is that the frozen hearts now I did actually prepare a frozen bottle of water this morning or last night as I was in the rush to come here this morning I forgot it you know one of those things that got away so I want you to imagine for a moment here that this is not a glass of living water but this is a glass of frozen water. The frozen hot the cold hot might say the embittered hot and wet Jesus talk about this while he talks about this in Matthew chapter 7 verses one through 5 this is the the idealized taht And Jesus says in Matthew 7 vs one through 5 Do not judge so that you may not be judged for the measure you make you will be judged for the judgment you make you will be judged on the measure you gave will be the measure you get why did you see the speck in your neighbor's eye but do not notice the log in your own eye and know how can you say to your neighbor let me take the speck out of you right while the log is in your own eye you hypocrites 1st take the log out of your own eye and then you will clearly see to take the speck out of your neighbors I am the ideal Look the idealized heart is often a frozen heart it comes often when people have a sense of their own self sufficiency how perfect I am that everything is in order in my life and because everything is in order in my life I can now look down on everybody else and it leads to a critical spirit a backbiting spirit a slanderous spirit an attitude that Tez people down because they don't meet your high expectations and so Jesus talks in in the summer on the Mount about busy occupied hops. That is so busy that they are no longer a source of living water to those around Jesus talks in the Sermon on the Mount about hot for the consumed by lust and entertainment and gratification again you would never give this to anybody else it's it's a terrible drink and it's not going to do us any good either Jesus talks in the summer on the Mount about hearts that are tainted by anger and bitterness and once again you would never dream of giving This is somebody else as out of believers heart will not come a stream of tainted water and then Jesus talks about the frozen heart the frozen heart experience where you are so sure of your own goodness you are like a frozen frozen glass of water which is unpalatable to anybody nobody can drink a frozen glass of water there are 4 heart experiences within the Gospel within the Sermon on the Mount and yet Jesus wants us to have a heart from which flows a stream of living water I would never dream of giving any of these options to you if you're a guest in my home but I would give you this but in order to give you this Jesus counseling us against lives that are so occupied with the daily business and shows that we are too busy to serve Him Jesus counseling us against Hearts the so consumed by the desire for an entertainment and lust and and scrap occasion that is unpalatable to anybody else Jesus quoting us again how can you be my disciple if your heart is tainted by anger or bitterness out of your mouth will never come a stream of living water. And she's warning us against having an idealized self image thinking we are better than we really are because actions leads to criticism of others and pointing out all less faults rather than lifting them up into the kingdom of God No it is Jesus intense that the pure in heart out of their hearts flows a stream of living water this is the only glass you give to somebody else is it not and that is what Jesus is inviting us to within this particular beatitude So what are the implications of this b.s. you go Firstly the human heart is deceitful above all else always of a man indeed to seem right on to him yet the end thereof is destruction when we reflect on the motives behind our actions if we're honest with ourselves we come to the conclusion that we really do not know our own motivation their motives we like to tell ourselves these are all these are my motives their motives that we suspect are hidden in our hearts but we don't want to vocalize and we're kind of embarrassed about them and their motives that we're afraid of or in our hearts and but we really don't want to go down that pathway at all the truth of the matter is we do not know ourselves we dress up our motives with window dressing we can always dream of a good motive for for for whatever we do but the human heart is deceitful above all else and so we invited to pray with the Psalmist some $51.73 create him you know God a clean heart and put a new and a right spirit within me the sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit a broken and a contract heart oh God you will not despise search me oh God know my heart test me and know my thoughts see if there be any wicked weighed me and lead me in the way everlasting So a recognition of our inability to know the exact condition of our heart. When we recognize we do not know whether our heart is in this condition or this condition or this condition is an invitation to us to open our hearts to God so that he can perform the divine heart surgery that all of us need that we may be counted among the pure in heart Secondly we read in some 19 verses one through 4 that nature reveals God and His character we can see God all around us we can see God in the blessings of our brothers and our sisters we can see God in the natural revelation of the earth around us if we are looking for God and we're not looking to criticize others God will reveal Himself to us and our hearts can be changed and finally do we actually want to see God with the Psalmist that the Beatitudes says Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God but the question is do we actually want to come into the presence of God Some people have cherished sins they know they have those cherished sins and they say well I'm happy for Jesus to come but just not at this stage of my life today thank you very much I'm enjoying my cherished sins for others their relationship with God is like a long distance relationship and all long distance relationships have their ups and they have their downs and lack of joy in our relationships they with God indicates a lack of anticipation of meeting him one day when Jesus comes again and so in this beatitude Jesus is inviting us to ponder our relationship with him if we do not find joy with Jesus today we're not going to look forward to his return we're not going to work for his return and his other disciples and their state of being will be of little concern to us but if we eagerly awaiting the moment when we indeed can see God face to face then all of a sudden we want to work for his return we're concerned about what's happening with our brothers and sisters we're concerned about what is happening in the world and reaching the law so they may to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are 3 or 4 questions here based on this beatitude I want to share with you is a sign is that this cry is the Psalmist describing me as I am or as I hope to be what is the condition of my heart today Jesus says it is the pure in heart I'm going to see God these other conditions need to be replaced by those who are pure in heart is Jesus describing me today or is he pointing me to how he wants me to be how can I be sure to day that my motives are pure and God fearing Jesus inviting us to reflect and to slow down and to think about what our motives truly are many years ago I was in Azerbaijan with no electricity for months at a time I go home every evening working refugee camps and with no electricity I would sit in my sleeping bags it was cold in the mountains I have a candle at full light and I went from being a human doing in England right used to live to a human being in Azerbaijan because when you are forced to slow down you have time to think and Jesus is inviting us in this beatitude to slow down and to ask ourselves what truly is the motive of my heart he's also the next question is Jesus is seeing Jesus face to face more or less important than seeking social applause today we touched on that yesterday that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are seeking the approval of God rather than the approval of their community of faith. And finally is there a promise or an invitation from God for me in this beatitude today blessed and said Jesus are the pure in heart for they shall see God It's a beautiful promise I invite you today to ask God to indeed give you that clean heart experience and to clean out the other heart experiences that Jesus discusses within the Sermon on the Mount which leads us to our final beatitude for today and this is found in Matthew 5 in verse 9 when Jesus says bless it are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God And interestingly this is the only place in the entire Bible where we find the word peacemaker just just a couple days ago we saw that the merciful the only place in the Bible where we have the word merciful is found in the Beatitudes I'm the only time in the entire scripture where you find the word peacemaker is found here Matthew chapter 5 and verse 9. Now we today often associate peace with an end of hostilities such as the Armistice the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that ended World War one or we talk about the treaty of a sigh we associate peace with the absence of war or the cessation of hostilities now cease fires and surrenders are important predicates to peace but Scripturally they do not constitute biblical peace peace in the Bible is not so much the absence of war but the presence of Shalom it is the finest of loving relationships with between individuals within families within communities and across nations and across nations that seeks for the human flourishing in all of its variety and diversity peace peace includes good health and the peace that Jesus is discussing here as he discusses later in this Gospel is the peace of God is a force of good for mutual trust and deep in a security now Jesus lived in the time of the Pax Romana or the peace of Rome and of the Pax Romana arose from the Roman self believe that they had the superior system of governance and it was their unique mission their historical mission to impose their laws and their civilization on the rest of the world in practice the arrival of the Pax Romana in an unconquered territory was accompanied by mass rape and deportations selling into slavery the complete destruction of towns and homes and communities and the mass deportation of the survivors. When Rome was when Rome conquered Jerusalem in 8070 and they took over a 1000000 people out of Druce and they sold them as slaves in the slave markets of Egypt they were selling them by the 30 by batches of 30 because there was so many slaves they needed to get rid of the arrival of the Roman Empire I'm pariah into newly conquered territory was announced by his public carols with the Greek word a one gallery on which is where we get the word Evangel from all good news so while the Pax Romana was good news to the Romans themselves it was terrifying news to the conquered and the 1st disciples of Jesus were called to pronounce the l. on galley on the good news but the good news of Jesus Christ cannot be compared with the good news of the Pax Romana or the Pax Britannica or the Pax Americana for the pronouncement of the good news of Jesus Christ includes the announcement of the Peace of God to fall upon all and any who will receive it Jesus has a Matthew 10 if you wanna turn there for a moment Matthew 10 versus 12 through 13 discussing this piece of God Jesus says there Matthew 10 verse 12 of the sends out the ditch the 12 he says as you enter the house greet it if the house is worthy let your peace come upon it but if it is not worthy let your peace return to it this peace of God that Jesus commands his disciples to bring to communities involves peace with God peace with our neighbor and peace with ourselves but Jesus knows only too well that peace does not easily happen among disciples I had a friend once who was a pastor and he became an accountant so I asked him why did you make the transition from pastoral ministry to the Treasury he said Carney said it's easier to reconcile figures and people and there is some truth so that it is harder to reconcile people than it is to reconcile figures you can have a balancing item in a balance sheet but you can't have that among individuals but to be like Christ means we are to be peacemakers. And Jesus taught us in Matthew 18 what it means to live as peacemakers within the community to if any of you put a stumbling block between one of these little ones who believe in me says Jesus in verse 6 it is better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depths of the same woe to the world because of scar stamps something blocks in the words a stumbling block in Greek a scandal on that's how we get the word a scandal from a scandal is a cause of stumbling occasions for stumbling are bound to come says Jesus but whoa to the one by whom the cause of the stumbling block comes followers of Jesus therefore ought to be aware of causes of stumbling in our own lives and Jesus inviting us to voluntarily hold back from that which might cause a younger disciple to have a crisis of faith. In our western world we have for size a fact I'm free to do what I want and you going to have to like it or lump it but I'm free to do what I want and Jesus teaching that to be a peacemaker means that if I know that I'm doing x. but x. is going to be a cause of stumbling for my sister why over here Jesus is a teach me to hold back from x. because I don't want to be in an unnecessary course of stumbling from my sister over that Jesus is inviting us to live our lives with reference to how our lives are perceived by those around us so that we are deliberately and intentionally removing causes for stumbling from those in the community of faith even lawyers understand this if you have if you're defendants in a criminal trial and you have you know when your body is covered with tattoos your lawyer will probably advise you that if you're being charged with aggravated assault or murder or attempted robbery that is better to wear a nice suit preferably a single tone suit black or blue suit with a single tone shirt and a single tone tie why because you're giving the jury as few reasons as possible to dislike you and if you have love and hate tattooed across your face your you know your knuckles keep your hands in your lap or behind your back at all times even lawyers understand that it's in your own interests not to unnecessarily because of stumbling for somebody else and Jesus in Matthew 18 talking about what it means to be a peacemaker he commands us whoa to those by whom the cause of stumbling comes if there is something in my life or in your life that you know is a cause of stumbling for somebody else don't do it it may be your Christian liberty to do it it may be lawful for you to do it says Paul but it's not beneficial for the Body of Christ so we have to live our lives with reference to how we impact those around us peace in the Gospel of Matthew is to be actively worked for Matthew 181-5220 he's a familiar verses that is somebody. Ns against you go to them privately not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram go to them privately and explain the matter to them and and if that doesn't work and the appeal to the conscience and work then take 2 or 3 witnesses again privately not on Facebook not on Twitter not in the the church parking lot and you discuss the matter with them there and if this does not work out then you bring as a matter to the whole church you're seeking for a resolution of the peace maybe peace in interpersonal relationships and there may be community harmony and in bringing the matter before the entire church family both sides are agreeing to live with and to on of the decision of the entire church family what are the implications of this beatitude Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God Firstly Jesus Himself is the Prince of Peace many years ago the law season 2015 it was not long ago I was in northern Iraq I was in an airport ISIS were just half an hour's drive away and I was sitting in a local transit hub and an army officer came up to me an Iraqi army officer he was a big burly guy he was dressed in combat gear there's a lot of soldiers on the streets they were very nervous I was a prime target for ISIS being a Westerner in that part of the world and he came up to me sat next to me and I thought was he going to say and he said Why you here now why why did you come to our country in the midst of ISIS in the fighting and so what do you say in those circumstances I said well actually I'm a pastor and I'm a missionary and so that's interesting he says Tell me about Jesus and was I to explain about Jesus the 1st thing I said about Jesus is that Geno one of the titles of Jesus is he is the Prince of Peace. And we spoke for about an hour about Jesus being the prince of peace and in a world that is racked by conflicts the notion of following Jesus as the Prince of Peace is a beautiful concept in the time of the disciples Jesus made it plain that those homes all communities that rejected him will be rejecting the peace of God and in rejecting the peace of God they would find them subject to whatever human form of domination would be imposed upon them and all forms of human peace whether it be the Pax Romana or the pax for Tanneke or all the Pax Americana are ultimately based on imbalance of power and some people and forcing their position in the world over somebody else at a broader level we may understand the conflicts between the Arabs in the Jews in the Middle East as arising from the fact that both of them Judaism in Islam have rejected Jesus as the pins Prince of Peace and if both sides have rejected the prince of peace it is no wonder that there is inevitable conflict in our own families the implication if we reject the rule of the prince of peace if at the end of the Sermon on the Mount we do not build our lives in our homes not families in our marriages on the teachings of Jesus if we do not want the prince of peace to be preeminent in our lives then why are we surprised when conflict ends as our marriage is and enters our homes and enters our congregations 2nd that the 2nd implication our time is moving on here is that there's an African proverb that says when the elephants fight the grass is trampled. As a great proverb Yes when the elephants fight the grass is trampled and sometimes in congregations you have to elders like bull elephants they bear the battle scars from years of bruising meetings on the board meeting and church business meetings and they're going to juke it out over this this this issue or that issue and the problem is that because their old bull elephant or not can retire from the fight but the grass gets trampled all around when leaders fight in the church when spiritual leaders choose not to work and sacrifice for peace but they want their way or no way at all it is the young in faith who are discouraged the grass is trampled the children the teenagers they see this conflict and they say they don't say I agree with this bull elephant or that bull out front they say I want nothing to do with the entire zoo and I'm leaving when elephants fight the grass is trampled if you're watching this online I want you to reflect on this whatever is happening in your church in your family in your community of faith do not fight over matters that are of really of no consequence when Jesus comes again this church will be burnt to the ground it matters not the color of the carpet when Jesus comes again the church manual will be burnt with everything else it doesn't matter what's in section 6 paragraph 3 subsection 3 a it really does not matter at the end of the day we should not be fighting about things that divide us but we should be fighting for salvation to come to those who are lost today and Jesus in this chapter pronounces eternal judgment upon leaders who fight in a way that disillusions those who are young in their faith is a cautionary note that those imposition on not authorized to fight on with and without regard for the impact on teenagers and children in our churches today and finally peacemaking involves self-sacrifice and why do I say that. I was turning your Bibles to a final text to Fiji's chapter 2 and verse 4 fusions chapter 2 as we're in verse 14 and Paul wrote about Jesus Christ bringing peace between Jews and Gentiles and he says they're inefficient to and verse 14 says for he that is Jesus is our peace in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall that is the hostility between us our peace with God comes through the self-sacrifice of Jesus who was entirely innocent he was not the guilty party he was not to blame for the breakdown in our relationship with our Heavenly Father yet our striving for peace today generally involves requiring somebody else to apologize somebody else to admit that they were fault somebody else to say that they were sorry somebody else to lose face while while I come out smelling of roses when we make peace today we want everybody to know that I was in the right and I'm entirely vindicated and you're entirely in the wrong and you're going to repent in sackcloth and ashes before the brothers and sisters. But that is not how Jesus made peace to follow Jesus in peacemaking to be a peacemaker as well as Jesus involves a willingness on my part to be personally hurt or personally compo compromised or humbled in order that the community as a whole might experience the peace of God Jesus sacrificed himself that we might have peace with God and if we are to follow Jesus in His way of peacemaking we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves in order there might be peace within the wider community if everyone is seeking for their way to be followed there will never be peace if everyone is willing to make peace and to following the path of Jesus and making peace then finally the peace of God will flourish in our homes in our churches in our congregations within our communities and within our nations blessin said Jesus are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God and close with a some questions a person reflection one of the person characteristics of someone who is at peace with himself or with herself describe what the presence of God might look like in your life in your home in your congregation or in your community if you are involved in a conflict right now what personal sacrifice are you willing to make in order to be known as a peacemaker and as a child of God is our promise few in this beatitude Is there an invitation for you in this beatitude is the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart stay out appeal to you do not quench the words of the Holy Spirit but heed the words of Jesus blessid are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God Jesus was the ultimate peace maker and he's inviting us today to follow in his footsteps to be men and women of peace that people may know that the Prince of Peace is coming soon made us be our experience for the glory of God and for the glory of His Kingdom Amen. And white like to invite she was we close this sex segment here to bow your heads where you may be and we'll close with prayer by Heavenly Father it's easy to go to war but it takes courage to make peace a father I ask that you change the broken tendencies of our hearts the take away these occupied hearts these busy hearts these frozen hearts these last 4 hots my boss that you replace them with hearts that are filled with the living water of your spirit that we indeed might be peacemakers in our homes in our communities. Father yesterday that your peace may reign supreme in our hearts the homes around our heart in our community the name of Jesus we are coming. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons they visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.


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