How to Be at Peace [cc]

Uploaded by JRDViralVideos on 26.08.2011

I'll be reading today
from Matthew
Chapter five
we're looking at the beatitudes
at the beginning
of the sermon on the mount
in this sermon
Jesus calls us to examine our character
and then summit to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit
the first four beatitudes
talk about how we view ourselves in relation to God
the last four
described how we need to relate to others
today with Tony's help
we discover the evidence for being children of God is found in being
so please follow belong with me as I read
first for Matthew five
one two and nine and then Matthew five forty three to forty eight
now when he saw the crowds
he went up on the mountainside and sat down
his disciples came to him
and he began to teach them and saying
blessed are the peacemakers
for they will be called sons of God
you have heard that it was said
love your neighbor and hate your enemy
but I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that
you may be the sons of your Father in heaven
he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the
and the unrighteous
if you love those who love you
what reward will you get?
are not even the tax collectors doing that?
and if you greet only your brothers
what are you doing more than others
do not even pagans do that?
be perfect therefore
as your heavenly father
is perfect
thank you Ken
I went and saw a movie this last week
called Captain America
I really enjoyed the movie
I'm not sure if that kind of the genre is something that you enjoy
you may not find it very entertaining but it's ever since I was a little boy
I've loved the stories
of superheroes
of comic-book superheroes
there is just something about
the story
of someone
who is an outcast, who was rejected, who is weak
who is unable to make a difference in their own lives let alone make a
difference in the world
who then mysteriously in some way receives
a superpower
that then
scares them
at first
and so they grow comfortable with it
once they grow comfortable with it then it starts to transform them into a better
Not only that
but they make the world
better place
I love that story
I would like that to be my story
I think there is
something about that truth that rings in our hearts, human beings
of being something
more than we are
when we become children of God when we are
the family of God, brothers and sisters in Christ
we receive a gift and that gift
is the Holy Spirit
the Holy Spirit is a power
a power
that may scare us at first as we don't understand it
sometimes we don't want to deal with it
but when we grow comfortable with that power
it transforms us from the inside out
and it makes us better
and then we make the world
a better place because of it
when Jesus is speaking
to his followers his disciples he's sitting down there in front of him
and he's teaching them the sermon on the mount
any sharing with them to beatitudes
his desire isn't to create
A club
of the elite people
his desire was to create the people
of God
that would go beyond the boundaries of
of church
of denominations
that it would go outside those boundaries
and impact and change the world
Blessed molested
are the peacemakers
for they will be called children of God
the blessing that we receive as the Holy Spirit transforms us into the people of
is contentment
it's being at peace
with who we are
with who God is
despite our circumstances
God is calling us
to be a part of something better
to be a part of making the world
a better place
and a lot of the starts with what we've already been looking at
who we are in relationship to God
being poor in spirit
being the meek
but now how do we take that message
and bring it to the world
God calls us to be peacemakers
what is a peacemaker
a peacemaker
is someone who see something that is broken and desires to fix it
They are whole makers
they desire to make relationships
restored and the whole day desired promote reconciliation and this is what
Jesus does for us in Ephesians two fourteen Paul says
Christ himself
has brought peace to us
he united jews and gentiles into one people when in his own body on the cross
he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us
what Jesus did on the cross
broke down the walls and the barriers that the Jews has set up for themselves
to be an elite club
Jesus broke down those barriers and restored the relationship between
the gentile believers in the Jewish believers
that they were all part of the same family of God
by definition
a peacemaker then it is a bridge builder
bridge builder and building a bridge can't be just one-sided
you can just build a bridge on one side
It's got to have two sides
otherwise it will not function well
once the bridges built between two people
it needs to be supported on both sides
it will collapse
so bridge-building, reconciliation
is the work that we are called to do with our spouses
with our families
with our friends
and with the world
the biggest thing that keeps us from being able to bridges
is unforgiveness
When we hold on to a grudge
we're up unable to build
A bridge
with other people
it breaks down
so peacemakers promote reconciliation they also promote encouragement
first Thessalonians five eleven
Paul says so encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are
already doing
he's affirming that Thessalonians you are doing a good job of building
each other up
keep encouraging one another
we live in a culture
that is not about encouragement
it's all about tearing down
it's even in our humor
I think humor of our culture is very sarcastic
and it's geared towards tearing others down
and I'll confess I'll watch movies
where there's lots of sarcasm and lots of tearing down and it will make me laugh
you know I'm a product of my cultures as well that stuff is
but what we don't realize is that
there's an entertainment value
but when it's actually put into practice with real relationships
it does a lot of damage
we spent
every year when we go down to Mexico when we go to camps our high school
spend an opportunity doing what we call an affirmation time
and we sit in a circle
and we take the opportunity to affirm each other I know that may be so little
fluffy but it's not
it's actually very powerful time
we take the opportunity to affirm every single person in our group
it's interesting
to see how unpracticed
we are
At pointing out the good in others
it's amazing how uncomfortable we start to become
what we're really amazes me
is that when someone is being affirmed they feel uncomfortable
because they're not used to hearing it
what a sad picture of our culture
where people don't know how to receive encouragement
encourage and build others up
one of things I mention
to our students it's a tradition we have is called no punch and patch
because the tendency is that when we fill uncomfortable we try to
joke around
and without a doubt
the first response
is to try to put someone down first and then build them up
You punch them then you try to patch it up
Well, you know I really didn't like you at first
but now I think you're pretty cool
Ok, that's not quite what we're looking for here we're trying to
just build up let's leave that first part off
we find it difficult
to affirm
sometimes we also catch ourselves building others up by tearing other people down
you know we try to build people up and say you know you this was great it
was so much better than this person
again you're losing
the power of what encouragement can do
we need a practice
we need to be
people who are willing to build people up
and the world is against this
this is an up hill
cultural shift for us when it comes to affirming
other people
but this is what peacemakers do
peacemakers live well
with others
which means they promote harmony
I love to play guitar
and I lead worship with our students by playing guitar I'm not great at it
I'm not an expert
I don't spend hours a day practicing but I love to play
if you take one, there is six strings for those who don't know, if you take one of those
keys and
you turn that key so one string gets off
even though the other five strings
sound great
when you playing together
It sounds bad
there is disharmony
peacemakers desire for everybody to be in tune
on the same page
so that what comes across to people around them is something beautiful
sometimes we feel like we need to compromise truth
in order to have harmony
this gets us into trouble too
see if
if one of those strings is out of tune
I don't want to tune other strings to that one
they may be in tune with each other but they're not
it's not the right sound
it's not what it's supposed to be it's a little messy
what you want to do you want to take that one string it out and stretch it
build some tension maybe
to bring in alignment with what it's supposed to be, the truth
sometimes we feel like
Well, we don't want disharmony we don't want division so let's compromise truth
so we can have harmony
but then what happens is he actually
don't have either
so sometimes
as they promote harmony
will cause conflict
And tension
this is an interesting dynamic
but we see this in second Corinthians thirteen
Paul says Dear brothers and sisters I close my letter with these last words
be joyful
grow to maturity encouraged each other
live in harmony and peace
then the God of love and peace will be with you
live in harmony and peace encourage each other build each other up
but this might cause some conflict
will cause
some conflict in the world Romans twelve eighteen
Paul tells us if it is all possible
as far as the depends on you
live at peace with everyone
as long as it is possible
in other words it might not be possible
as long is it depends on you in other words you can't control other people and
how they responsed all you can do is control your own actions and your own
as long as it's in your control you're able to do something about it promote
and live in peace with everyone
but peacemaking does not necessarily mean peace
and Jesus
paints a great picture for us
because the peacemaker longs for peace works for peace sacrifices for peace
but in the end may not
Jesus himself who is the greatest peacemaker
tells us this in Matthew ten thirty four through thirty six
don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth
Jesus you didn't come to bring peace?
No, he came to
and bring truth
now hopefully if everybody
gets in harmony with the truth there will be peace
But he came to save and to bring truth
I came not to bring peace but a sword
I've come to set a man against his father A daughter against her mother a daughter
In law against her mother-in-law your enemies will be right in your own household
Jesus knows that the truth he is standing for
is probably going to bring
some trouble
because if people don't want to hear the truth or they don't believe it is the truth
there's going to be
There's going to be conflict
but again the goal is to tune
everybody to the truth
not to de-tune
to what everybody is comfortable with
and therefore peacemakers promote
the truth
Ephesians four twenty five let us tell our neighbors the truth
for we are all parts of the same body
Paul is telling us, if we are brother and sister Christ we need to be truth speakers
we need to be truth speakers
that does that mean that we should ever see conflict or be responsible for
but the truth we stand for will bring trouble
will bring trouble
this is especially true when peacemakers promote Godly living
we are supposed to promote peace
in our culture in our world
but we also need to promote peace
by speaking truth to each other
This gets
little messy sometimes
this is a little uncomfortable
This is what Paul says in Galatians six one he says brothers if someone is caught
In sin
you who are spiritual should restore them
but watch yourself or you may be tempted
I believe we have done a lot of damage in people's lives
by trying to be truth speakers
in ways that are inappropriate
we need to speak truth to each other
but we need to do it in the right way
Paul says if someone is caught in a sin
you who are
should rebuke them
you who are spiritual
see Jesus tells us that
before we can take the spec out of our neighbor's eye we need to remove the log
from our own eye first
we need to remove the plank from our own eye those who are working
To removing the plank from their own eye
they have earned it the right
remove the spec
from their neighbor's eye
we have to earn the right
to speak truth
into people's lives
they don't hear it
nobody cares about what you say
Until they
know you care
Jesus sets a great example of this
when he encounters the woman at the well the Samaritan woman
a Samaritan was considered a half breed
the Jews they don't have anything to do with them
so I have this woman this Samaritan woman
Have an encounter with
this Jewish rabbi
was unheard of
in that time period
Jesus encounters this woman
they have a conversation
and through that conversation
at the end of it
he speaks truth into her life
He says the man you are with is not your husband
and the five other people you've been with
Aren't your husband either you've been sleeping around
what was her response
her response was that she heard that truth
she'll respond with saying don't judge me who are you
to judge me
her response was this is truth
and you were speaking truth of my life and it transformed her
she went off into the village and started telling everybody about this Jesus who
knew everything about her
imagine if Jesus started up a conversation with her in that way
I know you
The man you're with, not your husband
you've been sleeping around
That is not God's plan for your life
Instant wall
she would not be able to hear that truth
it wasn't until Jesus show he cared
that she cared about what he said
Wasn't until Jesus earned the right to speak that truth into her life
that it transformed her life
instead of her rejecting it
we need to be careful
we need to be careful
doesn't mean we should be shy
and not do it though
God help us
nobody wants to be
the first patients of a surgeon
We prefer
to have a surgeon who has performed hundreds if not thousands of surgeries
before we let them cut into us
a surgeon only becomes a surgeon
through practice
whoa to the first patient of the surgeon
none of us want to be on the receiving end
of somebody who was practicing
how to speak the truth in love
nobody wants to be the first person to receive a rebuke
in gentleness by someone who doesn't know how to do it yet
but we cannot become truth speakers
unless we practice it
now I share this with you because most likely almost, I could probably guaranteed it
every person in this room
has had truth spoken to them
that we were not able to hear because that person did not earn the right
it was done in an inappropriate way and that person hurt us
those words or those actions actually did damage instead of transforming us
for good
now I share this because
We're all practicing
and we all need to practice which means we should probably show a little grace
little mercy
to our brothers and sisters who are trying
to do what's right
this is difficult when it hurts us
but we're all learning
we are all becoming
We're in process
we haven't gotten there yet
this is something that Jesus is doing in us
from the inside out
but unless we put into practice
we're not going to get good at it
but can you imagine
a church
the people of God
who are truth speakers and who have become great truth speakers
he would transform our family it would transform the world
this is what it means to be peaceful to be
the blessing
that is given to those
Who are peacemakers is that they will be known as children of God
John one twelve
but all who believes him in accepted him he gave the right to become
children of God peacemaking is a hallmark
of God's children
a person who is not peacemaker is either not a Christian or they're disobedient
we are called
to something better
we are called
to something bigger
we are called
to make a difference
in this world
the power we have received by the Holy Spirit isn't just us, it is for God's
and we are a kingdom work
we are trying to make a difference
in our world
Galatians three twenty six
you're all sons of God through faith
in Christ Jesus
it takes faith
It takes a relationship with Jesus Christ that allows us to receive that power
but once we receive that power let us not be scared of it or
Neglect it
but let us
use the Holy Spirit in a
submissive way
to transform us
Jesus is interested in our character
it is our character
which is going to influence the world
I believe the greatest
to peacemaking
is unforgiveness
unforgiveness is holding a grudge
when you forgive someone
You don't hold something against that person any more you've let it go that's what it
means to forgive if you still hold on to that and hold it against them that's
called a grudge, nursing
a grudge
make our hearts hard
and cold
it makes us bitter
and if the core of who we are in our character
has bitterness involved
it's going to affect
how we become peacemakers
In fact we're not going to be able to be peacemakers
because our heart isn't going to be in the right place
I want to give you an opportunity this morning
To let go of some grudges
so that the Holy Spirit can use you as a peacemaker
with your spouse with your family
with your friends with this community with the world
the passage that was read
this morning Jesus tells us day you have heard that it was said love your
neighbor in hate your enemy
but I tell you
love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons
of your father
In heaven
my guess is that when I mentioned that we hold grudges and unforgiveness to
that may be a name popped up in your mind
maybe multiple names
of someone who is said something or did something
that has wounded you
in your pews there are a little pieces of paper blank pieces of paper
And I want to encourage you to pull out one of those pieces Of paper and I want you to write down those
you don't need to let the people next to you know what those names are just
between you and God
but I wanted to raise your right down their name or couple names of someone
who has hurt you
because at the end of our service I would encourage you to walk out the
doors and the patio area by the fountain
there's a couple fire pits
there some fires in them
don't worry we have fireman on hand
and we have fire extinguishers it's okay
and make sure this was all good first
as you walked out today I want you to put that piece of paper in the fire pit
and have it burn
And as it burns
I want you to be able to
let God burn that grudge out of your heart
to purify your heart
so that your heart doesn't get hard and cold
Jesus calls us to forgiveness not because he wants to let people off the
he calls us to forgiveness because he wants us to trust in Him that he's going to be
working in their lives too
we can't change them
the Holy Spirit can
God wants us to forgive
because it's good for us
we cannot be the people of God we cannot be people of character
If our hearts are hard
and cold
and full of bitterness
and grudges
End up being the source of that
and God wants to set you free
we experience freedom when we forgive others
now some of you might be thinking I don't know Tony, I don't know if I can do
that right now
what this person did or what this person said, I cannot let that go right now
and that is ok
see healing takes time
forgiveness sometimes takes time
it's a process
Of God working on our hearts and God working in their lives
now if you're able to surrender those grudges today
you will experience some freedom
if you're not there yet
I still want encourage you to take those names and to burn them and to say a prayer
to pray for them, to say God
I cannot forgive this person yet but I know you forgiven them
And I want to forgive the way you forgive helped me
to forgive this person
and I don't know how long it'll be before can actually do that
but I need your help
we've got to start somewhere
that process of starting will start to soften your heart
will allow you to be transformed into the character that Jesus has in store
for you
we see in Colossians three thirteen bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have against one another
forgive as the Lord has forgiven you
this is
the way to be a peacemaker
this is the way
to be peaceful
Let me pray for us
Lord, we come here today because we're not interested in just participating
in rituals
were interested in being different
were interested in being something better
were interested in in making the world a better place
Holy Spirit please come
we need your power we cannot do this on our own we cannot change ourselves
all we can do is submit to your powers so come and fill us maker us into the people of
God, there are people here who have been hurt and wounded
and Lord, I ask that today would be an opportunity for them to experience the
of not holding on to those grudges anymore but instead of letting them go
God, you call us to the cross
so the foot of the cross because at the cross
we know about your forgiveness
but also at the foot of the cross we can lay down
Our unforgiveness
we can lay down the names and the people in our lives that have hurt us
or who have done
incredible damage to our spirituality to our hearts
we want to lay those down at the foot of your cross
because we want experience the power of the resurrection
new life
bring healing Lord
as we bring our offering to you
it's not just our tithes
we bring you to offering of our lives and of our hearts
we give them to you because you are God
and we are your people
we says this in Jesus name
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