More sermon notes from Blessed are the peacemakers, following the exposition of Thomas Watson:
Some helps to peaceable-mindedness:
First, take heed of things that hinder peace.
These include outward things. Do not be a whisperer (Rom 1:29). “There are some who will be buzzing things in our ears purposely to exasperate and provoke.” These include tale-bearers (Lev 19:16). “The devil sends his letters by this post. The tale-bearer is an incendiary. He blows the coals of contention.”
It also includes inward things:
a. Self-love: "The setting up of this idol of self has caused so many law-suits, plunders, massacres in the world."
b. Pride: "He that is proud of heart stirreth up strife" (Proverbs 28:25).
c. Credulity: Proverbs 14:15: “The simple believe every word.” A credulous man "believes all that is told him and this often creates differences. As it is a sin to be a talebearer, so it is a folly to be a tale-believer. A wise man will not take a report at the first bound, but will sift and examine it before he gives credit to it.”
Second, let us labor for things that maintain and cherish peace:
a. Have faith in God and his Word.
b. Seek Christian communion. “There should not be too much strangeness among Christians.”
c. “Do not look upon the failings of others, but on their graces.” Watson exhorts: “Oh, let us not quarrel with the infirmities of others as to pass by their virtues. If in some things they fail, in other things they excel. It is the manner of the world to look more upon the sun in an eclipse than when it shines in its full luster.”
d. Pray to God for peace. “We should not as vultures prey one upon another, but pray one for another.”
All Christians must be peace-makers rather than “peace-breakers.” If peace-makers are children of God, peace-breakers are children of the devil. Deuteronomy 27:24: “Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbor secretly,” “that is he who backbites and so sets one friend against another. If there be a devil in a man’s shape, it is the incendiary.”
Let us labor to be “repairers of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12). “Peace makes the church of God on earth in some measure like the church in heaven.” The peace-maker will have peace with God and peace in his own bosom which is “the sweetest music” in the world.
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