James 3: 9-18, Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 16:7, Proverbs 15:4, Matthew 16:26, James 13:35,
Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Sacred Delights

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Call to Worship 

Our call to worship is from Psalm 85:8 & 10:
“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people….
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.”
Let’s pray together:
We meet you here, Lord,
at the intersection of love and faithfulness.
Here prayer and praise join hands,
scripture is embraced,
and our voices unite in hymns to you.
Speak tenderly to our hearts in this hour of worship,
God of all Creation,
and show us the path to peace. Amen.


Praise Songs


This is an exciting time of year for those who enjoy planting all kinds- flowers in pots, vegetables in gardens, and fields filled with crops. Because now we are seeing the growth, the maturing of that plant, the development of the fruit begins to emerge or bloom. We are seeing the purpose for which it is growing begin to take shape. 


It is amazing, isn’t it? You take a tiny seed and put it under dirt with great hope and anticipation while you wait for something new to emerge. I remember thinking with two different seeds I started that I might have planted them too deep and worried they wouldn’t be able to get above the surface. And yet there they came tiny little shoots that seemed to have no strength at all yet somehow can push past all that heavy dirt on top of them and make an opening to rise up above the darkness and stretch up towards the sun. 


Why? Because they were planted in fertile soil. We know how important good soil is for growing healthy and vibrant plants. The kids learned all about this at camp-being planted in good soil. And helping their friends come to be planted in the good soil of living with Jesus Christ as their Savior. 


It’s a wonderful process to ponder and watch unfold- a seemingly boring, insignificant seed that isn’t much to look at on its own unless you have the vision and faith to look at it and see what it will become. Then a handful of seeds can be quite exciting, can’t it? I can see why farmers get excited watching the crops come up year after year. This is how God looks upon each of us-He sees the vision of what we will become when we are planted in good soil and allowed to grow into the new creation He intends us to be. I can only imagine His delight as He watches us as little shoots sprouting up and pushing past the “dirt” that was covering us and He says, Yes! There you are! 


One seed planted in fertile soil, then tended to with proper care, will become so much more in time. One seed we planted in hope and covered in prayer is transformed into something quite spectacular-a beautiful plant with blooms over and over to enjoy, a vegetable plant with seemingly endless produce to enjoy, a crop that when planted among other seeds fills an entire field with a bountiful harvest to share. Amazing right?  As hard of work as it is, I can see the fulfillment of farming when you consider this cycle of hope and purpose. 


Without seeds being planted, we wouldn’t enjoy any of this. Without good soil, seeds wouldn’t germinate properly or have the conditions needed to grow to their full potential. 


So it is with all of us as human beings. We too need to be living and planted in good soil to foster the right conditions for our growth. We too need someone to plant the seeds of hope, love, and faith for God to come alongside and water those seeds. This is what missionaries do-they are seed planters of peace and hope. This is why we support the work they are called to do. We help ensure the seeds they plant are in good soil with proper conditions to help them grow. But planting seeds of peace and hope is something we all can and should be doing right here and right within our homes. 


The greatest way we can do this is to model the example of our Savior, our Prince of Peace. He spoke to those who had fertile hearts-to those seeking hope; to those who would receive faith; Jesus planted the seed of peace. We too should be sowers of peace and like we all enjoy as we are watching seeds we plant emerge from the ground or soil, as they sprout up and mature- we should find great joy in watching others around us doing the same as we sow peace into their lives and our communities. 

We must live by faith that as we choose peace and give peace freely, in the same way, we can’t fully understand how that seed transforms into an entirely new plant and produces good fruit, and so do people. God does it. We just plant the seeds and He comes and waters them and brings about the transformation. 

We may not see the results in all those we extend peace to, but we can trust God sees and God is working and there will be a ripple effect. 


In the beatitudes, Jesus teaches, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 


Not the rabble-rousers or the highly critical; not those who stir up contention; not those who bring about oppression; but the peacemakers are called children of God. 


Let’s take a look in the book of James at this same teaching and how we learn to sow peace more and more. We have a choice with every word we speak or write, and every action we take to plant a seed of peace or discord. 

James 3: 9-18 NIV

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and saltwater flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you?                     

  Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.


  • Cultivate Inward Harmony-in Others.

We all want inner harmony for ourselves-we do all sorts of things to bring ourselves inner harmony. And inner harmony and peace are good. But God calls us to cultivate this inner harmony in others as well. To be mindful of their needs, their heart, and current condition and sow peace into their lives. A wise and discerning person learns to pay attention and watch for opportunities to sow peace; and to know when not to speak also. The Holy Spirit teaches us about wisdom from God. 


James 3:17 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is, first of all, pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.


The world around us is constantly pushing against us and the “keeping up with the Jones’s” is still alive and well; the need for power and status is still causing many to climb to the top at the expense of others, and even the fear of being left out is a very real thing. All these things cause us to be worn out, insecure, fearful, and overwhelmed. 


Have you been there? So many people sitting right next to you and all around you are in desperate need of a word of peace. Do you see them? Do you heed what the Spirit gives to you to say and do? 


With all the media outlets people are being blasted on all sides-on news stations- Facebook- Instagram-all of it- in emails and text messages. The more writing and sharing outlets we have, the easier it is becoming to be quick to react, critical, unloving, and the opposite of sowers of peace. 


The Apostle Paul reminds us: 


Ephesians 4:29 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


No one is perfect and we will have our buttons pushed at times; we will all respond in less than peaceful ways when we are weary and overwhelmed; that’s a given. I’m not saying we must strive for perfection because that will never happen. 

But we do want to remember whatever seeds we are actively sowing, will reap a harvest of that seed. 


What are you sowing? Into your families? Your spouses? Your children of all ages? Your grandchildren? Your neighbors? Your co-workers? Your classmates? People in your community or at the grocery store or gas station, at the stoplights? Are people working against you? Are you fighting fire with fire? Or returning peace? 


Look at what God’s Word tells us: 


Proverbs 16:7 NASB When a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He causes even his enemies to make peace with him.


Again not something we can fully understand how that works, but have you tried it? I have and it absolutely is true! When we follow the Lord, surrender to Him and His ways, trusting He knows far better than we do and His plan has a purpose, He pours out His favor upon us. He causes enemies to become peaceful.


When we have the opportunity and we do every single day of our lives-beginning in our homes and then spreading out around us- to speak peace and lovingkindness to others, let’s purpose to do so. 


Some people think, “I don’t like all that mushy stuff.” Some think, “Well my family or spouse just know I love them-I shouldn’t have to tell them.” Or “They just know I’m proud of them I shouldn’t have to say anything.” Some use the excuse, “Life is just too busy- I’m always trying to keep my head above water and don’t have time to tell someone they are doing a good job.” Some might even think, “This world is a hard place so I’m just helping toughen others up so they can handle the real world.” 

But if we remember the seed that needs to be planted in good soil, that needs the warm sunlight, that needs ample water to refresh and the love of the one planting it, we can see how very important it is for us to take the time and make speaking words of peace and lovingkindness to others really affects their ability to grow and flourish into all God is calling them to be. 


Proverbs 15:4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

“Never underestimate the power of a seed.”  Max Lucado


Jesus was a seed God Himself planted into the fertile womb of young Mary. That seed grew into a boy and continued growing into a man, who grew into the Savior of the World. That seed pushed back stones trying to keep Him underground; stones of legalism, oppression, prejudice, and the biggest stone of all-death. That stone was rolled by human hands and sealed by satan. 


For a moment, it appeared that the seed was stuck in the ground, trapped under the weight of that huge rock. BUT GOD stirred that seed, the ground trembled and the stone was pushed aside! And the seed of hope and salvation blossomed into glory! 

  • Peacemakers Sow Kingdom Producing Seeds. 

 James 3:18 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness


Many people are driven by power and the need to control. So in this world, there are those pushing and those being pushed.  This happens in all forms and can prove especially true right within our homes. 


Do you remember the game King of the Mountain growing up? What was the purpose of it? Who was the winner? 

The one who made it to the top right? How did you get to the top? How did you stay on top? 


This game is still in full effect in life. 

Bosses keep employees in their place so they show no honor or praise to their faithful workers. A husband who withholds kindness to his wife, an employee choosing personal ambition over integrity, a wife manipulating her husband to get her way, the takeover of a church by a member or a pastor. King of the Mountain is alive and well and power and control are always in the driver’s seat. 


Here’s the thing- the pole to the top is greasy. Being king of the mountain will only last until someone else pushes you back down and now they become king of the mountain. Glory for self only lasts for a while and then it fades. King Solomon speaks of this- a man who had everything the world could offer and then some-including the gift of divine wisdom to ascertain what we humans chase after. He said over and over “It’s a chasing of the wind-all of it-power-pleasure-status-all of it a chasing of the wind. It’s all futile and it all ends in nothing.” If that is our passion and pursuit in life, he is right. It all ends in nothing. 


Muhammaed Ali- 3x world heavyweight boxing champion, “floats like a butterfly….stings like a bee.” “The thrilla in Manilla.” 


He had it all for a while. A sportswriter went to see where Muhammed was after years of glory and world-renowned success. Ali brought this sportswriter into a barn next to his farmhouse. On the floor, the walls, or in special cases were mementos of Ali portraits, his championship belt, and on those pictures were streaks of bird droppings. The pigeons now made their home in what was once his gym. Ali walked over and turned every picture over as if a moment of closure to that part of his life, and then he said, “I had the world and it was nothing. Look now.” 


Matthew 16:26 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?


The pole of power is greasy. Remember when you make it to the top of that pole of power the only way left to go is down. 


We have something far greater to invest our energy and talents in, to bring glory to God’s name over our own and to plant seeds to grow His kingdom rather than trying to build our own little kingdoms that will crumble and fall. We do this by using our talents and pursuing excellence for His kingdom with our God-given talents- to bless others and build them up. This is living a noble life and all your efforts will hold eternal value and be highly praised by our Father in heaven. This glory given to Him will never fade or perish. God does call us to live with passion and to use that passion to serve Him and others with excellence; to use this passion that is God-given, to love others; to be sowers of peace.  


How can we say we are followers of Christ if we actively sow hate and discord into our families, our communities, our workplace, in the world around us? Here me today saying nothing is still sowing something, not the harvest you might hope for. We have to be intentional in our words and actions. Jesus says it’s love that shows the world we are His followers. This love is not simply “they should just know I love them and I don’t ever have to say it or show it.” This love is agape love and that is actional, sacrificial, forgiving, graceful, peaceful, and kind. 


John 13:35 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

This way of living and this passion for excellence is what James was teaching about when he said, “Peacemakers will reap a harvest of righteousness.” This is righteous living to live to the will of God, surrendered to His ways, obedient to how He calls us to live, trusting His ways are higher than ours and He truly does work all things for good, even if it seems like evil is winning for the moment-knowing without a doubt Christ is victorious over this world- and ultimately living in the blessings that come through righteous living. 


Matthew 5:9 NLT God blesses those who work for peace,  for they will be called the children of God.


Conclusion: Is there any greater title to attain and be called than a son or daughter of the Most High God? 1000 years from now worldly titles will be of no value, but it will absolutely matter whose child you are. Live according to the name given to you. Sow seeds of peace into God’s Kingdom. Blessed are the Peacemakers.  Let us make sowing peace our greatest passion and hobby. 

Let’s pray. 




Final Blessing: Romans 15: 5-6 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.   Go in peace.