"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sermon on the Mount and Love

In the last few weeks, the Sermon on the Mount has been on my mind, especially the one about blessed are the peacemakers. I’ve been wondering why this has been on my mind so much when my focus is on how ‘poorly’ I love. Now it may be obvious to the rest of you but it was not so obvious to me, so I said to God, ‘my mind has been so full about loving others Your way, so what’s with changing the subject now?’ To which God replied, Being a peacemaker is all about choosing to love others My way’.


Well, of course it does!!! Silly me!! So I went searching in the online Blue Letter Bible for the Greek meaning for ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’.


Stacking it up against what Corinthians says about love, this is what I found . . . .


Mat 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Peacemakers - break this down into two words

Peace: peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

  • of the Messiah's peace
  • the way that leads to peace (salvation)
  • of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

Maker:

  • A creator, manufacturer, producer, architect
  • Therefore: A builder or creator of peace

Love is patient, kind, not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant nor does it act unbecomingly. Love does not seek its own way, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered and does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and love endures.


On the flip side, do we make peace with anyone when we are impatient, unkind, jealous, act the braggart, be arrogant or act unbecomingly? Do we make peace in our relationships when we seek to get our own way or are easily provoked? When we do not bear all things, distrust or disbelieve things, when we do not hope, do we make peace? Do we live in peace in our own hearts??


I know for me the answer is a big fat NO.


I want to be blessed by God and live in peace in my own heart and with those who are in relationship with me, so therefore I must choose to be a peacemaker.

  • I must choose to be patient when things don’t go right or go my way, to be kind when others are nasty.
  • I must choose to be happy and content when I see others have things work out well and my life’s a mess.
  • I much choose to not brag but live in humility knowing its God who has blessed me, not of my own doing.
  • I must choose to not act unbecomingly (improper, inappropriate, indecent or incorrect)
  • I must choose not to pay attention to wrongs done to me.
  • I must also choose to be humbly patient when others provoke me and not seek to get them back.
  • I must choose to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure.

This is what being a peacemaker is and it’s our choice. It isn’t easy but it’s very worth it.


I don’t know if you’re on the same page as me, but I’m beginning to really see how the whole Bible ties together. If we want to live in peace we need to learn to do things God’s way. It says in Rom 12:2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."


Mind you now, when you begin to do things differently than the world or those who live the worlds way (Christian and non-Christian alike), they will feel judged and will strike out at you (*sigh* they almost always do), but if you respond Gods way, you will have peace, perhaps not outer peace, but inside where it counts and peace with God.


This is a direct fight against our own base nature, a choosing to do things God’s way.


So . . . to sum up, if I want peace I choose to do things God’s way which is diametrically opposed to how things are done here and now. What a challenge ya? The biggest fight of our lives is to fight against our selves.


I’ve added the rest of the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5. You can see how they stack up against loving others God’s way.


Mat 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Poor:

  • lacking in anything as respects their spirit – which we all are
  • in spirit,
  • the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated
  • the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides
  • the soul
  • the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one
  • the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.

Mat 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Mourn:

  • to mourn for, lament (grieve for) one

Mat 5:5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Gentle:

  • mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness

Mat 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
Hunger: for righteousness

  • metaphor: to crave ardently, to seek with eager desire

Thirst: for righteousness

  • figuratively, those who are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened

Mat 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Merciful:

  • compassionate, kind-hearted, lenient, generous, forgiving, gracious, sympathetic, kind

Mat 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God

Pure in heart

  • ethically
  • free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt
  • free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine
  • blameless, innocent
  • unstained with the guilt of anything

Heart:

  • the centre and seat of spiritual life
  • the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours
  • of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence
  • of the will and character
  • of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions

Mat 5:10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Persecuted’ for the sake of righteousness

  • to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away
  • in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one
  • to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something

Mat 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Insult:

  • to reproach, upbraid, revile
  • of undeserved reproach, to revile

Falsely:

  • to lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods
When I read these, I can find it almost impossible to love others as God loves me, and to almost impossible to be a peacemaker when I choose to behave in any of the above ways.
A lot of work left to do and not enough years left to do them in. Guess I'll leave God in charge of the timetable . . . .


Blessings as you walk your own journey of discovery . . . . Girl on a Journey