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

Peace never just happens. You have to go out of your way to make peace. That’s why Jesus said, “Blessed as the peacemakers”—not the peacewishers or the peacehopers. In a world torn by strife and fueled by hatred, we need Christians who will step into the breach as true peacemakers.

In the 1960s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked his followers to sign the following pledge:
   
    1.  Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
    2.  Remember always that the movement seeks justice and reconciliation—not victory.
    3.  Walk and talk in the way of love, for God is love.
    4.  Pray daily to be used by God so that all men might be free.
    5.  Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
    6.  Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
    7.  Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue or heart.

Those principles strike me as wise and realistic. The world would be a better place if we all lived that way. Think about the strained relationships in your own life. Someone has to make the first move. 

Go to bloody Calvary and gaze on the disfigured body of Jesus of Nazareth. Listen! Can you hear the howling mob? They scream for his blood, they cheer his pain, they laugh at his suffering.

If you want to see the real face of love, look to the Cross.
If you want to see kindness, gaze on the contorted face of the crucified Redeemer.

Jesus said, “Love you enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).  First he said it, then he showed us how to do it. 

Would you like to make peace with your enemies? You can, but it won’t be easy. If you would rather live in anger and bitterness, that option is always open to you. 

Or you can follow Jesus to the Cross and die there. The choice is yours. 

Lord Jesus, make me an instrument of your peace.  Give me the courage to get involved when I would rather walk away. Amen.

You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.