God Is a Peacemaker
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
If you have ever seen two kids arguing on a playground or at a park, maybe you had a desire to go up to them and try to calm them down. Did you wonder what you could say? "Excuse me, Sally and Polly. Don't you think this is a silly and petty argument to have? Wouldn't you rather be playing quietly with your dolls and making lemonade for one another?" Or, maybe you have thought about saying something like, "Jimmy and Johnny, would you kindly consider the comfort and well-being of the many other people on this playground? We would all like to play in peace, and all your yelling is disturbing to the rest of us."
If you tried saying one of those two things, you would probably end up getting slapped or knocked down yourself! When we are upset or angry, usually almost anything someone might say to us will only make us even more upset and angry. It takes a very thoughtful, wise, and meek person to know how to calm people down and help them make peace with one another. It is very difficult to help two "enemies" become "friends."
Did you know that God is a peacemaker? It says in the Bible that God's whole plan of redemption is all about glorifying Himself by reconciling us to Himself through Jesus Christ. The verb "reconcile" means to bring together, to put right, to make peace with. Since God is holy, He is against sin. There is absolutely no way for Him to be at peace with sinners – at least, not without Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father, except by coming through the Son.
Because He lived a sinless life, died for sinners' sins, and rose from the grave, Jesus is qualified (able and allowed) to be our bridge, connecting us to God. Instead of seeing their sin, God can "see" believers as having Christ's own righteousness, not their own sin. Through Jesus Christ, we can be right with God. Instead of being God's "enemies," we can be His "friends" (like Abraham, who was called the friend of God because of His faith in the coming Messiah). Jesus Christ is the reason we can be reconciled with God.
2 Corinthians 5 teaches that we who are now reconciled to God ought to be about the business of peacemaking. We ought to be trying to reconcile other people to God. We are Christ's ambassadors (representatives, spokespeople), and we are to continue what He started in His time of ministry on Earth. He has promised to help and bless us. Matthew 5:9 shows this promise: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." God is interested in being reconciled to people, and we ought to be serving in the ministry of reconciliation, too.
Through Christ, God reconciles believers to Himself and passes on to them the ministry of reconciliation.
» Do I really believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?
» Am I trusting in Jesus Christ to reconcile me to God in spite of my sinfulness?
» If Christ has reconciled me to God, how can I be involved in "the ministry of reconciliation," too?
Truth In Real Life
“No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.”
In 1904, William Borden graduated from high school – the whole world at his fingertips. Born as the heir to a massive family fortune, Borden was a millionaire by the time he was sixteen years old. As a graduation present, his parents gave him a trip around the world.
As he traveled to places such as Asia and Europe, he felt a terrible burden in his heart for the people he saw. Millions around the world were dying without the Savior.
God convicted his heart during this trip, and he wrote his parents a letter that said, “I’m going to give my life to prepare for the mission field.” About this same time he also wrote in his Bible these two words – “No reserves.” He planned to hold nothing back.
Borden came home to the United States and attended college at Yale University. While there, he started a small prayer group that grew into a group of 1,000 students before he finished at Yale. He was known for making an effort to reach out to some of the hardest and meanest students in the school. He wanted to see Jesus Christ save them.
The plan that began to formulate in Borden’s mind was to go to China as a missionary worker. People told him he was foolish to throw away his life as a millionaire, but he believed better. Following his college graduation, he turned down high-paying job opportunities and wrote two more words in his Bible – “No retreats.” He would not hide from God’s drawing and calling on his life.
On December 17, 1912, Borden finally left for the next step in his missionary preparation: Language study in Egypt. Soon after his arrival in Egypt, however, he contracted spinal meningitis and became deathly ill. Within one month, he was dead. His friends and acquaintances back home and around the world lamented the tragedy and declared it such a “waste” of life.
But William Borden, who had once said, “Say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to Jesus every time” would not have agreed with the popular opinion about his tragic death. When his family members recovered his Bible, they found two more words added to the first four. At the time of his death, it read: “No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.”
If you were to die today, would you have regrets about the way you spent your time and other resources? What does God consider a “waste”? Are you living your life with a long, eternal view of what is most valuable, or are you listening too much to what the world says about what’s most important?
Philippians 1:21 – For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.