Beatitudes 45: Peace 7

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:8)

The great issue of being a peacemaker is not a small thing. In one sense the blessing of being a peacemaker is set out in the Beatitudes. Yet there is even more to being a peacemaker than what we normally think of. In the realm of theology there is one attribute of God that is rarely mentioned. It is the attribute of simplicity. Historically this has a different meaning than what the word might imply today. What it refers to is that in a very real sense, that is, in the depths of the essence of God all of the attributes of God are really one. God Himself is gloriously one and He sees Himself in the beauty, splendor and glory of who He really is. That bright light shines out from the being of God and comes to human beings who cannot comprehend such glory. We cannot comprehend the blazing glory of God in His oneness so we have to have it broken down to us in little bits. We see His holiness and His love as attributes that are different, but in reality they are one. We see justice and mercy as virtual opposites in our fallen and finite state, yet they are really but one.

The beauty of the simplicity of God is not thought of very much today, but that does not negate its glory. This newsletter is not on the simplicity of God in a direct way, but that is being spoken of to point out another unity. That unity is the unity of Scripture which comes from God who is one in all of His being. More directly, the teaching of Scripture on the blessedness of being peacemakers is tied in with the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandments of God. All of the truth of God set out in Scripture is tied together as expressions of His glory. His glory is the effulgence or shining forth of Himself though Christ. While we see the oneness of His glory diffused as through a prism in and through Christ, we must recognize that God is essentially one in His being and all of Scripture flows from His character and being. Each verse of Scripture is intimately linked with all Scripture.

The blessing of being a peacemaker is not really distinct from the Great Commission given by Christ. Being a peacemaker is not really distinct from the Greatest Commandments either. If we love God, then we will want the glory of God to shine through the Gospel of His glory in Christ in all places on this planet. If we love God, then we will want His name to be exalted through the Gospel in all places on this planet. If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, then if we would want someone to take the Gospel to us we must take the Gospel to the whole world. Simply put, being a peacemaker requires us to be global in our mindset. To be peacemakers might require you to go to a hard place because God deserves it and you must love your neighbor as yourself. What would you be willing for others to do to bring you the Gospel? What are you willing to do to take the Gospel to others?

There are many places of dire need in the world today. I think that the United States is in dire need of hearing the true Gospel rather than the culture of religion that goes under the guise of Christianity today. However, there are places that have never heard the Gospel and there are places that were under communistic teachings for a long time and are virtually swallowed up in an atheistic worldview. There are places where the Muslim religion oppresses anything that appears as Christian. Our God deserves His glory to be made known and those people have no right to live in a way that is not to His glory. We simply must, whether we go ourselves or finance others going, take the message of His glory in the Gospel to our neighbors. It is not an option. The only question that remains is how we are going to do this. It is easy to think that others will do it. Without trying to get the quote exactly, I think it was Jim Elliot who put it this way: “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

A missionary in Indonesia is crying out for help. Perhaps his cries for help and this newsletter are not like the dream that Paul had of a man calling out to him to come and help. But let us make no mistake about this, the area where the missionary in Indonesia is asking for help is a dark place in terms of the Gospel and virtually no one is there with the Gospel. If the love of God for His glory and your neighbor is in your soul, how can this bit of information not move you? There is a place on this planet where God is not being glorified and many of your neighbors there have not heard the Gospel. There are a few believers in the area of Indonesia but the few need to be discipled and the many who have not heard need to hear. Let us all who read this not blow this off as we do so much other information. It is easy to stand back and argue about the fine points of theology and various issues and deceive ourselves into thinking we are doing something. Nonsense!! The only question left is what are we going to do? Are we hearers who walk away without doing anything? Is our faith accompanied by love?

Romans 5:1 tells us this: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are to proclaim the Gospel to the people in Indonesia so that they would bow in submission to God and have peace with Him. Until that time they will be at war with the One we say we love with all of our being. With John Piper’s book in mind, don’t waste your life. If you have wasted your life in one sense up to this point, then don’t waste the rest of it. You have been created for the purpose of manifesting the glory of God. What are you going to do with the rest of your life? Are you looking for a life of ease and comfort? If so, that is not the life of Christ in you that is doing so. The same Christ that lives in His people is the Christ who did not have a pillow to lay His head on when on this planet. He is not leading you to a life of ease and comfort. If Christ is in you He is calling you to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. That may be to the hard places of the world, but that is also to the blessedness of knowing what it means to be a peacemaker.

The missionary in Indonesia is looking for people who would be willing to be part of a team working with the local people and other team members. The plans are to be “circuit riders” in a sense by using boats and planes to go to surrounding tribes. If someone has an interest in teaching children, someone could go to teach the children of other missionaries. This is not a call to those who want an extended vacation or to those who have a romantic idea of missions. This is a call to go and suffer hardship for the sake of His name in getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard it. We are told to pray for the Lord to send workers to the harvest. Let us all commit to doing that, but some of us need to bow to the lordship of Christ and go. We live in a day in the United States were we don’t waste things but instead are told to recycle them. You cannot recycle your life and use it again, so don’t waste it. We are also told that we only have one life so live it with gusto. We have only one life so we must not waste it but use it as an expression of the glory of God. Pray for the grace to live to His glory. Pray and see if it is you that God would send as a peacemaker to the hard places of the world. By pray I am not meaning to offer sounds from the lips, but earnestly and honestly pray to the Lord about this.

If anyone is interested in going to a hard place in Indonesia, please get in contact with me. I will get you in touch with the missionary on the field. Did I mention that there are security concerns? More importantly, however, there are eternal security concerns. First make sure that it is out of love for the glory of God and the souls of your neighbors that is your motive. This is something that will require a willingness to act and tenacity of love to keep acting. This must not be just a momentary flare of desire. If you have a real desire to join this team, your airfare will be paid if all that is needed is a visit to confirm your call. Several families are needed in order to maximize the impact there. Don’t just think that another will do it, the need is for several. There will also be opportunities for shorter term missions in the coming months. Perhaps some would go and build an airfield or help build a house. There is always the need for financial help too from individuals and churches.

One example of the great need there is that there are villages that are not accessible at the moment by any other method than on foot. What that means is that it may take ten hours to hike to a village. One aspect of a work like this is that it will take a lot of work in some of these areas to build airstrips so that there is easier access to the villagers. As you can see, the need is great and the hardships are many. It will take a lot of grace and love in the hearts of people to go to places like this and labor in many ways to get the Gospel. Is this a real obstacle? Yes, but not one that God cannot overcome. What are you going to do with the rest of your life? You don’t know how long it will be no matter where you live. What is the purpose of your life? In reality it is not your life and it is not your choice. You don’t belong to yourself and you have no right to disobey God. The real question, then, is whether God is calling you. If He is, you have no option. The only option you have is to go as you are commanded. That is what a peacemaker does who is more concerned with the kingdom of God than his own kingdom. After all, it is His kingdom that we still pray to come. Do we mean that prayer enough to go?

There is also a place in the Czech Republic. A man and his family have been in a city in the Czech Republic laboring away for several years in the Gospel without apparent outward success, though there is always true success when one lives out of love for God. He can promise no outward success if anyone would come. However, the need is great. He would love to have someone come and help there. It would be great if a person could go over and teach English at the university there as that would be an opportunity to build relationships. Here is a man that is wearied at times from the burden of working many hours and trying to minister. Will someone go to stand alongside this neighbor of ours and our brother and hold up his hands?

Sometimes I feel the burden of being in Kansas and having the need for the Lord to send workers into the harvest as the need is so great. There are so many towns here that are without a Gospel witness. There are so many churches that are in need of ministers to preach the true Gospel to them. The need in Kansas is so great, yet it seems as if the need in Indonesia and the Czech Republic is even greater. The vast majority of people in those places have never even heard the true Gospel. The reality of it all is that there are many other places in the world where God’s name is not loved either and the Gospel has scarcely been heard or not at all. Let us quit playing with our tinker toys of the world and quit being so concerned about what others think of us (family and friends) and simply bow to what Christ teaches us in Scripture about being peacemakers, the Great Commission and the Great Commandments. All of those things are telling us the same truth about the same God and our duty. All of them are utterly impossible to carry out in the strength of the flesh. The Gospel of the glory of God will never shine through people; regardless of how religious they are, if the love of self dwells in them rather than the love of God. Let us be broken from our self-love, selfishness and self-centeredness and go out in the strength of grace. I can only hope and pray that some will go out in the strength of grace to Indonesia and that others will go to the Czech Republic while still others will go to other places. Maybe some will even come to Kansas. May the rest go by supporting those who do go. May all of us never forget the blessedness of being peacemakers which consists in seeing the glory of God shine through ourselves and others.

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