It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage. In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
“Make peace not war” God loves peacemakers! In fact, Jesus said that the proof to the world that you are a child of God is that you are a reconciler, a person who works and loves diligently for peace. You face conflict every day, but you can reconcile and bring peace.
The Reconciliation Choice
God blesses those who are peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9 (NLT)
Peacemaking/reconciliation is not avoiding or appeasing.
When I don’t resolve conflict, it blocks
my fellowship with God,
and my personal happiness.
Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.
James 3:18 (NLT)
Making the Reconciliation Choice:
1. Make the first move.
If you’re standing before the altar in the Temple, giving an offering to God, and you suddenly remember someone has something against you, leave your offering there beside the altar. Go at once and first be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your gift to God.
2. Ask God for wisdom.
If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you…
3. Begin with what’s my fault.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? They are caused by selfish desires that are continually at war inside you.
Pride only leads to arguments…
Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye?...First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.
4. Listen for their perspective.
…Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:4-5 (NIV)
…We must bear the burden of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others…
Romans 15:2 (LB)
5. Speak truthfully and tactfully.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed…
6. Focus on the problem, not the blame.
You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
7. Work towards reconciliation, not resolution.
Reconciliation = re-establish the relationship
Resolution = resolve every issue
God has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. God was in Christ restoring his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. We are Christ’s representatives…We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God.
II Corinthians 5:18-20
BOTTOM LINE: God’s much-loved children are peacemakers!
1) Pray the prayer every day!
2) Evaluate your life for areas of tension and conflict, and ask God for insight, wisdom, and courage.
3) Consistently work for reconciliation, not resolution.