3 Ways to be a Peacemaker
By: Dudley Rutherford
If you were to look around the world today, you would be hard-pressed to find a single individual who was not experiencing conflict in some area of his or her life. Since the beginning of creation, man has been at odds with God and with each other. As a result, we have strife within families, rifts in friendships, war between countries, fighting between rival gangs and clans, and the list goes on and on. On top of that, politics and the media never fail to fan the flames of animosity and controversy. Jesus Christ said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is described as the “Prince of Peace,” and He said in Matthew 5:9 that those who are peacemakers will not only be blessed, but they will also be called children of God. So, in this world filled with great trouble and strife, how can we obtain peace and how can we become peacemakers? Here are three important ways:
1. MAKE PEACE WITH GOD
Throughout the Bible (see Romans 15:33, 2 Corinthians 13:11, and Philippians 4:9 for examples), God is called the “God of peace.” But when Adam and Even disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world and put man in enmity with our Creator. Peace was replaced with war, life with murder and death. Despite these sad consequences of sin, God had a plan. Through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus—who was an atonement for our sins—the Lord provided a way for us to have peace with Him once again (Colossians 1:19-20). The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). However, God has given us the gift of “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” to whoever believes in Him (Romans 6:23 and John 3:16). You can make peace with God today by accepting the free gift of salvation when you put your faith and trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ
2. MAKE PEACE WITH OTHERS.
The Bible shares the important steps to reconciliation with one another. First, we must forgive others as God has forgiven us in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:13). Christ, who was without sin and did no wrong, was falsely accused, ridiculed, beaten, and crucified. As He hung a Roman cross, He said, “Father forgive them.” I know that some wounds are so deep that forgiveness can be very difficult. Preacher and author Thomas Watson defined “forgiveness” as resisting revenge, not returning evil for evil, wishing the other person well, praying for their welfare, seeking reconciliation so far as it depends on you, and coming to their aid in distress. (See Matthew 18:15-35 and Galatians 6:1 for further steps to restoration according to the Lord.) It may not be easy, but it is far better than allowing the bitterness of unforgiveness to take root in your heart. Forgiveness sets you free, and when you make peace with others, Jesus said you will be blessed and considered a child of God.
3. LEAD OTHERS TO MAKE PEACE WITH GOD.
Once you have made peace with God and with others through Christ Jesus, you will share the Gospel with others so that they, too, might find peace. In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 we are told that God has given believers “the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Freely share the grace, joy, and peace you have been given through your relationship with Jesus.
What an immense blessing it is that the Lord has provided a way for all people to obtain peace with Him and with others! To learn more about the peace that is available through Jesus Christ, please join us at Shepherd Church on Saturdays and Sundays in person, or online via https://live.shepherdchurch.com/.
Pastor Dudley Rutherford is the author of Compelled: The Irresistible Call to Share Your Faith (available everywhere books are sold online) and the senior pastor of Shepherd Church, which has three campuses in the Greater Los Angeles area. You can watch services online or connect with Dudley at www.LiftUpJesus.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.