beatitudes

Goat Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Beloved,
   
How much do you desire peace? Martin Luther observed an excellent example of the lengths one is willing to go to pursue peace:

When two goats meet upon a narrow bridge over deep waters, how do they behave? Neither of them can turn back again, neither can they pass the other, because the bridge is too narrow. Should they thrust one another, they might both fall into the water and be drowned; nature, then, has taught them, that if the one lays himself down and permits the other to go over him, both remain without hurt. Even so people should rather endure to be trod upon, than to fall into debate and discord one with another.

Goats learned the valuable lesson of laying down one’s rights for the sake of peace. If goats can learn this lesson, how much more should we? The goat was motivated to simply to avoid injury, but we have the far better motivation.

     God promises that peacemakers will be called sons of God. Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself by making peace through the blood of cross. Jesus Christ is the ultimate peacemaker. God demonstrated his love for us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. We are no longer enemies, but have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” In the first century, a son received all the inheritance of the family. As Jesus Christ laid down his life to give us peace and the promise of an inheritance, while we were still enemies, how much more should we be willing to lay down our lives to make peace with others in our life?

      Blessed are the peacemakers, but woe to the peace-breakers. Titus 3:10-11, “As for a person who stirs up division (peace-breaker), after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” Which would you rather be called: son of God or warped, sinful and self-condemned? The choice is simple.

      God has offered you peace through Christ. I urge you in view of God’s peace, offer peace to one another. Be willing to be trod upon rather than to fall into discord with one another for blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.

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image credit http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/b9/d2/b9d271f3-7f66-4132-b5af-7d33844505b7/goat.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg


The Golden Rule of Mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Beloved,

Would you agree with the following statement “You have to give respect in order to get respect?” Would you give respect to someone who does not give you respect? I believe most of the world functions this way. People treat others how they have been treated.  Although this is not all bad, it is not biblical. Jesus gives us the “golden rule” in Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus summarizes the Old Testament in a succinct, powerful sentence. Jesus does not say, “Treat others as they have treated you,” but rather “Treat others the way you want others to treat you.” If you miss the difference, you will miss mercy.

Mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. When we are mistreated, we have the power to punish or harm them with treated them as they have treated us. But when we treat others as they have treated us, we forget the compassion and forgiveness God has shown towards us when we mistreated him. Merciful people understand that they have received mercy. We do not treat others in the way they have treated us, but we treat others the way God has treated us. When we faced an insurmountable debt, God showed us mercy by withholding punishment we rightly deserved and placing it on Jesus Christ. We will forever be debtors to mercy.

If we are not merciful towards others, then we cannot expect to receive mercy from God. Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” As the merciful will be blessed in receiving mercy, the cruel, unkind, mean, and unforgiving will receive wrath. We treat others the way we want God to treat us and the way God has already treated us in Christ.


When we demand respect before we give respect, we are forgetting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Beloved, God wants you to be merciful to the world as a witness to the mercy He has extended to you. Let us know known as a merciful people for, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” 1 Peter 2:10.