(Part 9 of 12)
KINGDOM PEACE… Peacemaking spirit… Matthew 5:9… “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (KJV). The peacemakers become the sons of God by doing what God does. God makes peace. His nature is peace. That’s His mission concerning mankind. The cross is an example of God’s peacemaking. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” James 3:13-18 teaches that peacemakers must get wisdom from above, i.e., by the Holy Spirit. That wisdom is first pure, then peaceable. “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (v. 18). Without the fruit of the Spirit in your life, you will find it hard to make peace. Christians are guilty of reacting when trouble comes. The human tongue can do a lot of damage; so can your temper and anger. A peacemaker is not a quarrelsome person. He does all he can to make peace between himself and others. There are conflicts in the church society, and often there is no peacemaker. There are accusations and reviling and strife. It’s hard to rule in anger. The Spirit rules through peace. In 1 Samuel 3:21, “And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” The word “Shiloh” means “the place of peace.” The next chapter tells how Israel went to war with the Philistines and was losing the battle. They decided to take the ark from Shiloh hoping that God’s presence would save them. But, when they removed the ark from Shiloh, they removed it from the place of peace, and the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant. If you try to solve problems away from the foundation of peace, you will run into trouble, and you will lose the presence of God. The Holy Spirit will never lead you into a quarrel or misunderstanding or a dispute. He will, however, lead you to resolve these things without you becoming part of the answer. The peacemaker’s concern is God’s glory.
KINGDOM PERSECUTION… Rejoicing in attitude… Matthew 5:10-12… “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (KJV). The word “persecution” basically means fear of attack. That attack can be a tongue-lashing, imprisonment, a beating, character assassination, etc. Peter teaches in 1 Peter 2:20-23, “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” The reign of the Spirit in our lives helps us to take tongue-lashing attacks with patience and helps us to keep a watch on our mouth. Kingdom saints ought to have this same nature. Vengeance belongs to God. We only get persecution from an evil society for being under the rule (reign) of God. Paul teaches that if we put on the whole armor of God, we will be able to withstand the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18). Christians often react to wrong words with sassy back talk. If you have the nature of Christ, you will be hated and you will be persecuted. The greatest persecutors of Jesus were religious people–the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the lawyers…
The kingdom of God has ethics, character, and discipline. The Sermon on the Mount teaches exactly that.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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