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   Peacemaker - Paul and Mary Devotional Service    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Matthew 5:9


Matthew 5:9
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."


Dear devotees, the title of this devotional service is 'Peacemaker'. Today's reading passage says the peacemakers will be called sons of God. 'Sons' here also refers to the daughters. Those who have listened to the holiness gospel for a while in their religious life understand the importance of having peace.
If you just attend this church for a couple of years, you find that there is hardly any strife or arguments with loud voices. But the reason why I am delivering this message is because you have to cultivate true inner peace and not just peace on the outside.
Let me give you an example. There is a Korean saying, "You avoid human refuse not because it's to be feared but because it's dirty." It means you should not try to argue over what is right and wrong with those who are rough and stubborn in character. It means that if you come in contact with such a person you will only be offended so you should avoid him in the first place.
But this is not really having true peace with him with a good heart. You still have some discomfort in heart, and if you are confident that you can suppress him, you will break peace any time. Moreover, in fact, it is an evil attitude because you are judging that person as very stubborn and you look down on him as if you are seeing something dirty. If you keep quiet with this kind of attitude, we cannot say you really have peace even though there is no strife or argument.
Now, you know this truth, and do you really have peace that God desires of you to have? Having no audible conflict does not necessarily mean you have true peace. You have something against that person in your heart, but you just suppress it because you know the truth. Or, you just do what the other person wants, but you still suffer in heart having discomfort, so you think, "How long do I have to put up with this person?" Can you really accept the other person wholeheartedly, humble yourself and lift that person up so you can have peace?
Jesus had peace with everybody. He did not have peace only with those who were educated, meek, and obedient. He served with love and had peace with those who were less educated and even with sinners and tax-collectors. Also, He died for all people who were living in sins to bring peace between God and human beings.
You should not just have peace among yourselves, but also you should be able to help people around you to have peace. I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, your peace and joy will overflow wherever you are, and you will be recognized as children of God.
To become God's children who are peacemakers, first, you must cultivate goodness in you.
It is not just goodness in your sight but the kind of goodness that is recognized by God. Many times, even those who break peace do not think they are evil. Even in the politics of the world, every politician says they are working for the country and the people. But in fact, they are seeking their own advantage. So, they cannot be united and they always have conflicts.
It's similar in the Lord. Even those who are strong in character and collide with others often do not think they are doing anything evil. They think they are trying to accomplish something good. They say, "My intention is good. This will bring about better results, and that is why I insist on my opinion." Or, they say they have learned and they know the truth, so they are right and others are wrong.
But those who really seek goodness will never break peace. On the surface they seek goodness, but the reality is each one seeks his/her own. That is why peace breaks. Even in a situation where both options are OK, they insist on what they want. They insist on what seems to be right in their eyes, what is more beneficial for them, what is more comfortable, and what reveals them more.
Goodness comes out of goodness stored up, and evil comes out from the evil stored up. Even though they learned the truth and know it, goodness cannot come out as long as goodness is not cultivated in their heart. They might hurt others' feelings or act rudely just to insist on what seems to be right in their own sight.
On the other hand, those who have goodness of heart cannot do any evil. They seek the way that gives comfort and more benefit to others. They seek what is more beneficial for the kingdom of God. Unless the other person is doing something unrighteous, they go with others' opinions. Even though they are more right than others, they feel sorry about insisting on their own opinions when others are insisting on theirs.
If both parties insist on their own opinions, both parties suffer. In mission groups or small groups, if each one insists on their own opinions, they all suffer together.
Let's say, for example, you have a meeting in a small group, but their hearts are not united. Here, the group leader might think it's not right and wonder, "Why can't my workers and members gather their hearts as one? They know the truth to some extent, so why are they not faithful within the group?" The leader thinks it is goodness to obey within the established order and gather with a united heart, but the members are not doing so. It means she is trying her best to lead the group, but she is suffering because her members are not following her as she thinks is appropriate.
But the standpoint of the members is different. They would say, "Our leader just does what she wants without asking the opinions of the members. Even though we offer our opinions in the meetings, she just does everything her way, so we don't even want to go to the meetings." As the leader it is practicing goodness by understanding and following the opinions of the members. But the leader is so self-righteous that it is difficult for the members to follow her.
In a mission group, the guidance pastor might think as follows: "As the pastor I prayed concerning her and I advised her by the urging of the Holy Spirit, but she just cannot accept it and she avoids me. How frustrating this is! Also, this leader does not respect the opinion of the pastor, and how can the mission group have revival?
But the members might think quite differently. "I am trying my best, but the pastor always points out my weak points and it's hard. I would rather avoid her." Also, the leaders might think, "The pastor is asking me to do this and that, but the small group leaders and members find it exhausting. I am caught in the middle and don't know what to do."
But if you consider the viewpoints of others, you will not have such uncomfortable relationships. Through continuous prayers, the pastors and leaders in higher positions should think of the ways to make the members' souls prosper and make them happy in leading their Christian lives. Also, the members should try to gather their hearts and be united taking consideration of the standpoints of the pastors and leaders.
In everything, you should not insist on what seems to be good in your sight and make others follow it. I hope you will always seek the benefit of others and seek what the benefit of the kingdom of God, which is truly good.
To become God's children who are peacemakers, second, you should be confident before God.
For this, you should not apply the standards of truth to others but to yourself and cultivate your heart with the truth. Some people act as if they are good in front of others, but they still have evil in heart and store up walls of sin before God. Even though they don't clash with others, you are breaking peace with God. And thus, you cannot be confident before Him.
This happens a lot with your words. You speak out words of complaints, resentments, judging and condemnation and it builds up a wall of sin before God. It also gives Satan a chance to bring accusations against you. This is not only the case with new believers. Some of those who have faith and say they long for goodness act this way. Nevertheless, they do not realize that they are saying evil things, because they think they are saying only things that are right. They are complaining and passing judgment and condemnation, but they think they are only speaking within the truth.
For example, when God tells us to have peace, we have to realize the heart and will of God who wants us to have peace and cultivate peace in our heart. Only then can we be confident before God, and we can also have true peace with others in all things.
But those who break peace begin to break peace with God with the word of God telling us to have peace. They speak out words of complaints and resentment such as, "God told us about peace, so why does that person always insist on his own opinions and give a hard time to others? Why does the mission group work in this way so the members are having a hard time? Why don't the leaders work more wisely and make a more comfortable environment for the members?"
They say it is the word of God, preached by the senior pastor, but they don't understand the heart of God or that of the shepherd. They just interpret it in their own way. They are only insisting on their own righteousness and goodness. They want what seems to be good in their sight to be fulfilled saying, "This is the way to have peace, and that is not the way." This kind of person has no peace in his heart.
You can be confident before God only when you understand the will of God in everything and follow the desires of the Holy Spirit. Through the words of truth, if you always think of what God wants of you and how you can please God, then, you can have happiness and peace all the time. So that you can act in truth goodness in all things, I urge you not to apply the standards of the truth to others, but to yourself. If you can be confident before God and please Him, you will have spiritual peace everywhere you go.
To become God's children who are peacemakers, third, you should have hope in Heaven.
Where do you put your hope? Do you have your hope in this world? I believe you have your hope in Heaven. To have your hope in Heaven means, in other words, you do not put your hope in the fleshly things of this earth.
If you say, "I have hope in Heaven, but I want to enjoy this and that on this earth as well," then, it does not make sense. If you understand the value of the things above and invest in them, you will also understand how meaningless worldly things are.

Of course, this does not mean you must do only church work neglecting your worldly duties. If you have hope in Heaven, you must be faithful in all God's house. You should be faithful in the world, so you can give glory to God by receiving His blessings. But you will not have any greed for any worldly things or covet any of them. If you covet something, you will eventually do something against the will of God.
For example, those who engage in business might do something untruthful acting against the word of God. And yet, they say, "It's not just for me. If earn a lot of money then I will give a lot in offerings, too." But this only proves that he does not have hope in Heaven. On the outside he says it is for the kingdom of God. But in fact, this hope came out from the fleshly mind. It is only for his satisfaction.
But the hope in worldly things is not only about making a lot of money and eating and getting drunk. If you work a lot to be recognized by others, and if you want to be recognized as a faithful worker in the church, this is also worldly desire and hope. Even if nobody recognizes you, you have to think of the eyes of God and not the eyes of people.
One servant cannot serve two masters. If you have hope in Heaven, you have to store up your precious things in Heaven. You should look up to the valuable things in Heaven, and you have to invest your earthly life in Heaven.
When the little children role-play, they prefer to play the better role. If they play princess and the maid, they would want to play the princess. If there is a super hero and an evil man, they would want to play the super hero.
So, among the brothers and sisters, they might fight with each other saying, "Why do I have to play the maid every time while you play the princess?" "Why do I have to be the evil man while you play the super hero every time?" They would want to have the good plastic sword with some jewels on it, while they want others to play with just ordinary wooden swords.
But whether they were princesses or maids, or army generals or presidents, they will leave everything behind and go back home when the day is over. If you, as a grown adult, play with those children, you wouldn't insist that you want to play the better role and fight with the children. It's because you don't put any value or meaning in that play.
It's the same with those who have hope in Heaven. You would not covet the fame or authority on this earth which you will leave behind eventually. You would not try to step on others to climb up the social ladder and enjoy more things. You would not fight with others to undermine their opinions and to fulfill your wishes. You would only consider fleshly things valueless, so you can forsake even good things as waste. It's because you understand how meaningless and futile the fleshly pleasure is.
You can rejoice with the truth and seek the benefit of others when you consider others better yourself with your heart. It's because you understand very well that only by doing so can you really enjoy the truly valuable things in Heaven. You would rejoice when others are praised and recognized, as if you were praised.
Rather than seeing the faults of others, you would think in goodness in the viewpoint of others, looking at them with the eyes of faith. You would not practice the truth feeling coerced. You can practice the truth with joy because you believe that it will make you noble and it will bring you honor.


Think about today's reading passage Matthew 5:9 once again. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." It says, 'sons of God'. It's not sons of the President or some billionaire, but the sons of GOD. If the owner of all things in heavens and earth and the almighty God recognize you as His dear sons, what would you lack in your life?
Become peacemakers. You should have true goodness in heart and have peace with everybody. You should act in true goodness in God's eyes so you have peace with God, too. I hope you will place your hope only in Heaven and cast away the meaningless things of this world, so that you will always have peace in you. I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, as true sons and daughters of God the Creator, you will give glory to God on this earth, and also enter into the most precious place in Heavenly kingdom.