Text: Matthew 5:9-12: Memory Verse: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matt 5:10.
THE PRACTICE OF PEACE-MAKING: Rom 12:17-21, Proverbs 15:1, Philemon 10:20.
The true child of God is a peacemaker. He not only loves peace, wants peace, promotes peace, works for peace, prays for peace, he also does everything to maintain peace among people; he abhors completely all strives, discords and contention. He hates war because it engineers killing. And if there is anything he can do, it is to make peace.
He labors with all might to prevent the fire of contention from being kindled and, where the fire is already kindled, he endeavours to calm the stormy spirit of men and, to quieten the turbulent passion, to soften the minds of the contending parties and reconcile them with each other.
It demands that we make up our minds to be the source of peace in the community. Make it a principle to all the people of peace, to control everything you do or say to make for peace like Abraham who took the initiative to make peace with Lot rather than promote conflict. He had a willingness to be cheated in the situation. If everyone fights for his right, there will never be peace.
In making peace, you reconcile others too. When there was conflict between Philemon and Onesimus, Paul the Apostle was so committed to ensuring that there was peace between them. Likewise, when there is conflict between people, don’t take sides but work towards making peace between them.
THE PROFIT FROM PERSECUTION: Matt 5:10-12, 2 Cor 4:14-18, 1 Pet 4:12-14.
To profit from persecution, ensure that you have a Bible definition of persecution: that it is for righteousness “sake” and not that you are suffering from rebuke resulting from your carelessness. But if you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake and you endure it, you will be rewarded. Whatever the persecutors say or do to you, be resilient in the faith.
Your persecution will not destroy you as it could not destroy the children of Israel; your persecution will bring promotion across your way. God will turn every negative thing in your life for your own good. When Jesus talks about peacemakers, He does not mean organization that make or settle personal or national conflicts as a profession, Rather, He means citizens of the kingdom who had received comfort after mourning, who had their broken fellowship and relationship with God mended: He means those who have become meek and gentle; those whose thirst after righteousness had been satisfied and whose chief pursuit is still purity of life.
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I WILL COME AGAIN
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:3
Because of the cares of this world, many Christians have forgotten the promise of the Lord that He will come again. Every genuine child of God should have the hope in him and constantly prepare himself/herself for the coming of the Lord. We should plan our lives as if this world will last for another 100 years, but we should live our lives as if the world will end tomorrow. Don’t compromise your faith for whatever gain of this world. Nothing can replace the value of your soul. If you lose your salvation, you have lost all. Refuse to be influenced by the surrounding corruption. Even if people you so much respect and trust begin to deviate from God’s standard, don’t be moved. You are permitted to follow people as long as they are going to Heaven but if they suddenly change their direction to hell, don’t follow them. Don’t compromise your faith because you feel that others are doing it. Dare to stand out. Only those that endure to the end shall be saved. He is coming back again.
QUESTION: How can we know backslidden Christian?