This is post #23 of a series entitled Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace. We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here you’ll find very practical and biblically-sound advice on building bridges instead of walls, offering hope instead of despair. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Click on the link below to listen to the podcast version of this blog!
Truth #8: Peacemakers Work From God’s Circle of Peace.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported Kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When He looked out over the crowds, His heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” He said to His disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9: 35-38 (MsgB)
So, if you’ve been with us thus far, you know we’ve covered a lot of ground…
Truth #1: Peacemakers Understand the Times in Which We Live.
Truth #2: Peacemakers Find Themselves in Christ.
Truth #3: Peacemakers Take an Honest Inventory of Themselves.
Truth #4: Peacemakers Embrace the Biblical Power of Peace.
Truth #5: Peacemakers Practice the Presence of God’s Peace.
Truth #6: Peacemakers Read/Pray/Converse & Learn.
Truth #7: Peacemakers Discern Where God Is Working and Join Him There.
Which now brings us to a very practical question…
What will the work of Christ-centered peacemaking look like in our generation?
As you might recall, in the Old Testament, when “peace” (shalom) is present, there is a wholeness, a soundness, a completeness or rightness to life; and in the New Testament, “peace” (eilene) equates with right and reconciled relationships, both with God and with people; a state of tranquility or serenity, where war, injustice, chaos, and conflict no longer rule the day.
As I see it, Jesus’ three-year ministry throughout Israel, as described in today’s Lectio Divina from Matthew’s gospel, was truly a work of peacemaking, setting things right where there was little or no rightness. From the first recorded miracle where plain H2O was turned into wedding wine, to the raising of Lazarus from the dead, every work Jesus put His hands to brought both a message of God’s Circle of Peace (rightness & wholeness), and a miraculous work that demonstrated that God’s Circle of Peace (rightness & wholeness) was breaking in on people’s bruised and broken lives.
In other words, whenever Jesus was working on behalf of God’s peacemaking efforts, His Circle of Peace, it came through both His words and works.
In Luke 4: we find Jesus in His hometown of Nazareth, kicking off this three-year words and works ministry of peacemaking by reading a portion of the text from the scroll of Isaiah (see Isaiah 61):
God’s Spirit is on Me; He’s chosen Me to preach the Message of good news to the poor. Sent Me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind. To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act! Luke 4: 18-19 (MsgB)
Do you see what Jesus is doing here?
In one fell swoop, Jesus is ushering in God’s work of peacemaking, His Circle of Peace, sent on behalf of our benevolent Creator/King, to bring not only a Kingdom message of God’s peace to all mankind, but powerful actions as well that will demonstrate, for believers and scoffers alike, that God means business when it comes to setting things right here on planet earth.
Hear ye! Hear ye! The peacemaker has now come. Pay attention, people. Peace, God’s shalom, is now in the room! This is the appointed time for eilene to come. Ready or not. Here I AM!
And, here in today’s Lectio Divina from Matthew’s gospel, we find Jesus, as He is on assignment bringing these words and works of God’s peace to many, surveying the massive job that’s set before Him. And it’s there, when He turns to His friends, and says..
What a huge harvest! How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!
Which now brings us to you and me.
Harvest hands. Peacemakers-in-training, for the cause of Christ.
So, what’s Christ-centered peacemaking in our generation going to look like?
I’d say, if we do things carefully and correctly, preferring and deferring to Jesus, it will look identical to the words and works Christ and His friends did two thousand years ago.
So, in a sense, you and I can re-word Luke 4: 18-19 to read like this…
God’s Spirit is on us. Jesus has chosen us to preach the Message of good news (peace) to the poor. Sent us to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind. To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!
And just like Jesus did with His first-century disciples, you and I are now commissioned to go out into our broken and hurting world, moving in both His power and His authority, extending both Jesus’ words of peace (the Gospel message), and the works of peace (rescuing, reconciling, restoring; setting things right), all accomplished through the indwelling and empowering work of the Holy Spirit, for the greater glory of God.
My Prayer: Jesus, without a doubt, it’s both Your words and your works that have set me free. As I see it, when it comes to furthering Your cause of peace in the world today, we can’t just do one without the other. So Holy Spirit, indwell me to speak boldly the Good News message of God’s in-breaking peace in the harvest field at hand. Empower me, as well, to put my hands to the task before us; sowing seeds of peace, weeding the field of distrust and contempt, so that peace might flourish, and be harvested. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Questions to Ponder: In Jesus’ peacemaking work, He spoke boldly about God’s in-breaking shalom, and performed many different works of peace that set the burdened and battered free. What words and works of peace is Jesus asking me to deliver to others today? Am I confident that Jesus not only has called me to this work of peace, but that God’s Spirit is also on me to do such work?
So, how are you experiencing God’s presence as you are becoming a peacemaker for the cause of Christ?
Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace.
We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!