January 7 (Matthew 5:9 NIV)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
We live in a strife-filled world. Whether we’re talking about nations at war with each other, our country after the most recent election, or families that can’t get along, tensions flare up all the time. Sadly, this is nothing new since the strife has been around since the time of Adam and Eve. In the midst of Roman-occupied Israel, a crossroads where warring armies met while going to other conquests, Jesus makes a startling claim: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Peace is a rare commodity in this world because it’s hard to work with people who look, think, and act differently. And when we’re so different, each of us thinks our way is right, but we’re so insecure in our beliefs, we defend them vigorously when challenged. We aren’t at peace with ourselves, and that means we won’t be at peace with God. If we aren’t at peace with God, we’ll continue to cause strife. When Jesus called us to be peacemakers He knew that we would need to be at peace with God ourselves, and His sacrifice tore down the walls of sin and made peace between men and God.
When we’re at peace with God, and we begin making peace in the world, we’re called children of God. What that means is that God and the people of the world will recognize this character trait of God in our lives and will recognize that we are like our Heavenly Father.
Oh Lord, this world is so full of strife. I ask you to guide us on the path to peace, and that You would give me the strength to be one of Your peacemakers.