Peacemakers, Children of God, and Imitators of God

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9; all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible).

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Jesus said that peacemakers will be called sons or daughters of God. As God’s children, we should spiritually resemble Him.

Children resemble their biological parents and instinctively imitate them. Likewise, we should imitate our heavenly Father. Since Jesus is the radiance of His Father’s glory “and the exact representation of His nature,” we have an example to follow. We can imitate Him, and in so doing, imitate our heavenly Father.

This imitation of our heavenly Father will be counter-cultural. If we imitate God, we will not follow the ways of the world, the flesh, or the devil. Humility, forgiveness, and an attitude of servanthood will define our personalities.

The child of God will live a self-sacrificial life. Just as Jesus died for the sins of humanity, we will surrender our lives so that others may experience peace with God. The following are signs that we are not imitating our Father:

  • When we seek personal peace without concern for the world’s chaos. We are concerned with our emotional comfort and not the needs of others.
  • When we are overly competitive. If we try to put others down or make it look like we are better than them, we are not expressing a Christlike spirit or seeking to be peacemakers.
  • When we are aggressive. If we insist on our way without regard for the needs or interests of others, we are not pursuing peace.
Matthew 5:9. Photo by Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The child of God will be merciful. Jesus said, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36) and “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:8). As Jesus extended mercy to us by dying on the cross to forgive our sins, bringing peace between God and mankind, we should offer that mercy and peace to others. We cannot offer mercy and peace if we are seeking our desires.

Much as Jesus’ life was a sacrifice for our sins, our lives become a sacrifice for His glory and the spread of the Gospel. His life was a “fragrant aroma” to God. The Old Testament frequently describes the sacrifices as “soothing aromas” (Numbers 15:14; Leviticus 1:9; 2:2; 26:31; etc.). While animal sacrifices ended with Jesus’ death on the cross, the Christian’s life becomes a sacrifice to God:

“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

A committed disciple of Jesus Christ will offer up his life as a sacrifice to God. As a peace offering, we seek to advance peace, especially between the people we know and the God we serve.

Lord, we long for peace in our hearts, minds, homes, and daily lives. Use us as peacemakers in the lives of those around us. Equip us to be peacemakers who bring Your peace to those who need it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What does “peace” or “peacemaker” mean to you? How can you bring God’s peace to others in the coming days? Share your thoughts below.

Copyright © 2023 Michael E. Lynch. All rights reserved.

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