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Attitude: Are You a Maker of War or Bringer of Peace?

Strife and those who cause disunity are listed in the Old Testament as things God Hates. Throughout the New Testament, we’re called to unity, and to love, look after, build up and seek the welfare of “one another,” with “one another” being used in some 92 verses. Yet if we look at many churches, who both dislike one another over minor doctrinal differences, and within individual congregations, toil and strife seem to be the norm. Many church teach the opposite of Christ’s teachings, with “love your neighbor and hate your enemy,” and even go as far as an “us vs, them” mentality when it comes to politics, denominationalism, and other divisions. This is not to say we’re to compromise the Scriptures or change to fit the tone of the world, but Jesus said “Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Blessed. Consider this word carefully: one is blessed, one is content, one is at peace as they are peacemakers. Within the act, which is often violent, and filled with backlash, one is content and at peace. One receives peace as they seek peace. This all sounds, repetitive, I admit, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around it. God blesses as we seek peace. …are the peacemakers. And not the world’s peace, full of negotiations and compromises, but God’s peace, found only when one is content within Him. We bring our loved ones, friends, and, yes, even enemies to the negotiating table through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and while some will most certainly walk away empty, those who receive Christ will find peace themselves. Within the body, when seek to make strife cease, and seek peace, joy, and love among the brethren, we reach the heart of God. Consider the beginning: God made us in His image, and blessed us, saying “be fruitful and multiply,” told us to, together, rule the earth and subdue it, sin marred this image and blessing, but some day, through Christ’s work on the cross, we shall return to this: being fruitful, multiplying God’s image over the whole of the earth, and living in His presence in perfect unity, forever.

…for they shall be called Sons of God. This is the heart of God. When strivings against Him cease, and we become His sons and heirs alongside Christ, in accordance with the Word. We, peacemakers, surrender our lives, and then preach the Gospel that can bring men to salvation, and then peace with God is perpetuated, so that we can see that, in Christ, we are all made new, holy, and heirs alongside Christ. True peace is only found in Christ, for in Him there is no division, but love and unity. The Holy Spirit joins us with Him, and by the Spirit, we are conformed in to the image we were always meant to be. Christ, by His word and the Holy Spirit, conforms us in to the image of God, we work together to share the Gospel, and increase His peace throughout the earth. We are His Children as we follow Christ and pursue His peace.

1 John 3

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

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