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Happiness Is To Bring God and Others Together (7th In Series)

Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. -Matthew 5:9

The NT says that the natural state for human beings is hostility—hostility to God, our self, others.  I don’t mean that natural state is hatred, as ordinarily understood, but rather division.  We don’t think like God, act like God, or see like God.  The more we come to know our selves the more we discover a division, a tension within us: For I do not do what I want. (Romans7:15).  The closer we get to another person, the more we discover our differences.

We are all infected to one degree or another with the “everyone for herself/himself” syndrome—the isolation of human kind from one another.  This produces a basic insecurity which we seek to alleviate by position or power or wealth.  It may be camouflaged for a while but someone has said, “If you and I are on an island and you have the loaf of bread, you will never sleep.  We will never have peace as long as we are afraid that others want what we have—our vested interests, power, possessions, prestige.

But if the natural state is hostility, God’s goal, objective in the gospel is peace.  Making peace is the essence of God’s work.  God is the great peacemaker, and those who are engaged in that work are his children.
The basic hostility is between you/me and God.  Until that is settled, there is no hope of bringing the world together.  God in Christ has acted: broken down the wall. (Ephesians 2:14  )  You might say, “I don’t feel hostile to God—enmity as the Bible puts it.  But unless surrendered to Him we are rebels, undermining his kingly rule and plan.

We also must make peace with ourselves (peace is indivisible).  Many personal conflicts are the result of inner conflicts—guilt, insecurity, low self-esteem—all kinds of unresolved personal conflicts distort our relationships.

When we peace with God and ourselves, we are ready to make peace with others.  We are talking about sweeping differences under the rug for the sake of a false absence of conflict.  Nor are we talking about a truce—uneasy and fragile, broken at least provocation.

The Bible, Jesus are clear.  If you are not part of God’s peace movement, you are not a follower/disciple of Jesus.

Peace is God’s gift to us, but it is also a work.  We must live it out.  Basic to it is the sharing of the good news about Jesus so to bring God and men and women, boys and girls together.  Once people are right with God, most conflicts can be solved.

It is important that we build structures that promote community (fellowship).  At its foundation is the realization of other importance (all are precious in the eyes of God).  Personal worth is affirmed when we respond to needs, don’t take each other for granted, confront/correct and encourage each other.

I heard Maxie Dunnam tell this story.   Richard Nixon is remembered as the President who resigned in disgrace.  When Nixon first returned to Washington after his resignation for Hubert Humphries’s funeral, he was shunned and avoided.  Jimmy Carter, then President came into the room where Nixon was off in a corner.  He walked over to him and Nixon stuck out his hand–Carter surprised everyone by embracing him and said, “Welcome home, Mr. President.  Welcome home again.”  Read all 8.

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