This is Father's Day and fathers were given a special welcome. The message today will include some of the statements Jesus made about those who are blessed and how to be blessed. In particular he wanted to focus on one in particular, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
An introit by McKinsey moved us.
We sang three hymns with the concluding hymn being Our Father in Heaven. Verse four reads, "Our Father in heaven, bring strife to an end. Where hearts have been shattered your love can still mend."
The offering was taken and we shared a time of prayer
Before the sermon Madie came and performed "Here I Am To Worship" with Brad... "You're altogether worthy" Lord Jesus.
Beatitudes to our homes.
Too many families are characterized by conflict. It's all too easy to slide into dysfunctional cycles in relationships.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)
Shalom is the original word for peace. It's more than just an absence of the bad. I wish for wholeness for you. I wish for the highest good, wholeness... positive, not the absence of negatives.
When Jesus said be a peacemaker he was abrogating the Old Testament notion of an eye for an eye. It was radical.
Peacemakers are different from Peacekeepers. Peace keepers make a false peace by avoiding conflict. Too often there is an undercurrent of tension as we put up with things to "keep the peace." This often happens in churches, too.
But peacemakers are not avoidance-centric. There are active, not passive.
Christ-centered homes are different from homes Christian in name only.
Romans 12: 17-18 and 21. Do not repay evil for evil. "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live a life at peace with everyone."
In Christ-centered homes fathers "speak the truth in love." This is very different from "yelling the truth in love."
How do we speak the truth in love? First, we do it in non-conflict times. Second, you attack the issue and not the person.
Brad shared a couple examples of
"When you don't listen to me, I feel like you don't value me."
"When you check your phone at the dinner table we feel like we're not important to you."
Another thing peacemakers do is they apologize when they're wrong. We apologize for specific actions and don't make uses. "I'm sorry I raised my voice like that, it was disrespectful. Will you forgive me."
"I'm sorry" is remorse. Remorse is not enough. We must repent and ask, "Will you forgive me?"
Forgiveness is hard, but in Christ-centered homes it is possible. The Lord calls us to freely forgive as we have been forgiven.
Remember this: Your families are worth it. Whatever it takes.
Do you only call yourself a Christian or do you live it?
Family doesn't stop at blood, it extends into the body of Christ.
Brad shared how his children look a little like him. And as we make peace as fathers and mothers, we begin to resemble our Heavenly Father.