9 Blessed are the peacemakers; for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
This single passage from the "Sermon on the Mount" has such power. It tells me what God wants, it lays out a direction for my life and then throughout the Gospel God gives me directions as to how to achieve this goal. In fact a bit later in Matthew 5 Jesus tells the importance of this passage: : “If you are bringing your gift to the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift in front of the altar; go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23–24)
If you think about Jesus’ words,you read that one must let go of all divisive emotions and thoughts so that you can truly experience peace with all of God’s people. This means an unrestrained willingness to forgive and let go of old fears, bitterness, resentment, anger, and lust, and thus find reconciliation.
God calls us to be a light in this world. One of 5the ways is to be a peacemaker, a sign that you are a child of God. Let your life reflect who you belong to. God bless you all and I hope to see you this morning.
Hebrews 5.12. “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.”
Growing old in the faith has its own dangers. It is easy for the extraordinary to become commonplace and to fade into the background of our lives. We have, after all, heard it all, seen it all, and felt it all. Perhaps, like many other people, we simply want something different. After a period of feasting on rich food, many yearn for the simplicity of a peanut butter sandwich. So a weariness can set in, and it is easy for habit to take the place of enthusiasm or words to take the place of confession. Many Christians, whose faith often began in an emotional conversion, may be particularly subjected to this falling away. That which flames up often flames out. Yet, Scripture tells us that, as faith ages, we need to reflect again and again on the basic affirmations of our faith. Like the people of Israel, we need to remake our covenant with God and rejoice again in God’s presence. Look within, the One who began a good work in you is faithful to the end. The walk to the Holy Land is one step at a time.
Folks, no matter what may come our way our faith tells us God is present, still sitting on the throne. For this truth let our faith grow in strength and let us live it out in our communities who need hope today. God bless and let us rejoice and be glad in it
Matthew 7:1-5 1 “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. 3 Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? 5 You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.”
Boy, we are quick to judge others in so many ways. Jesus knew this and He knew we tend to overlook or excuse similar (or even worse) things in ourselves. A pattern that is destructive and hurtful in the world, workplaces and families. Judgement brings nothing positive to the table.
Don't judge however, does not mean don't have an opinion.It simply meant don't hold those who have a different outlook or who might reach a different conclusion in contempt. Politics seem to put this "don't judge thing on Steroids." People are ready to attack, take sides and cast those who disagree in a category of evil or stupid. Did you see the ad the two men who were running for office of Governor in Utah did? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVSuooQORTU I can hear Jesus saying yes, that is what Matthew meant. If everyone acted this way, without judgement what a world this would be. it is never to late to begin and make this world a little better int he process. Civil discussions can be a thing again when we apply the rule, don't judge.
Of course, Jesus' words applied not just to politics but to all relationships. Think about all the family or friend relationships you have. Is it possible for two people to care deeply about each other’s well-being, and yet come to different conclusions about the best way to address issues that arise? Can they work together toward solutions without doubting each other’s honesty or motives? I believe it is possible, what sayeth you?
2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Most of us have heard that God can bring all circumstances of your life to work together for good and His glory. But do you really believe this statement? In reality it is at times difficult to see how unexpected pain and deep turmoil is allowed by such a loving God.
Understand, I do not believe God brings deep pain upon us but He is with us in the muck. I have found that in my life. The only way to deal with the suffering positively and proactively is to view it through the eyes of God. Everything won’t be completely clear, but you’ll have confidence that the One who redeemed you will not abandon His work in your life.
As my message said last Sunday we need to always remember that we are a beloved child of the living God. If sadness, heartache or pain touches your life, the Lord knows all about it and will catch the tears that fall as one Psalmist says. In His strength He will take your pain and sadness, even loneliness and produce something out of them positive. If you allow, He will use the adversity you've experienced to help you reach out to others who have been hurt and are struggling. Our God is good, not just in a moment but His entire being is good. Let us rejoice and be glad in it as he works through our pain to make us into ministers of His grace.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006