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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Happiness is in You - Part 7

Michael Youssef - Happiness is in You - Part 7

Michael Youssef - Happiness is in You - Part 7
Michael Youssef - Happiness is in You - Part 7
TOPICS: Happiness is in You, Beatitudes, Happiness

Peace. Peace, peace is the cry of millions. It's a longing of untold numbers around the world. It's that delusion that is pursued by all of humanity; and yet, the reason why this longing for peace is not attained by so many who seek it is because they are looking for it in all the wrong places. They are chasing it in the wrong priorities. They are pursuing it like a mirage in the desert of selfishness. Why they cannot find this elusive peace? Why? Because true peace, which is worthy of the name, can only come from the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace because he's the only one who is the source of true peace, because he's the only one who's the dispenser of true peace, because he's the only who can give us his peace, and he gives it to individuals, he gives it to families, he gives it to communities, and he can give it to nations. "Blessed," happy, makarios, "are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God". We're slowly climbing that superstructure, the stairs, the steps that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us we call the Beatitudes. We are coming close to the second from the apex, second from the pinnacle today. We're ascending this ladder of growing in Christ, growing in godliness, growing in Christlikeness.

Let me explain the reason why "Blessed are the peacemakers" comes immediately after "Blessed are the pure in hearts". Purity of heart, as we saw in the last message, it means the daily cleansing, that we are positionally cleansed when we come to Jesus Christ in that very first step, but then daily we are cleansed, daily we are confessing, daily we are purifying our hearts before God. And that is why the daily cleansing had to come first, then peace, then peace. This cleansing has to take place because what it does... when we sin, we quench the Holy Spirit, and the cleansing of our hearts, the repentance of our sins, it unquenches the Holy Spirit.

When we ungrieve the Holy Spirit, this cleansing brings about this unquenched and ungrieved Holy Spirit back into our lives, not only that he is present, but he is present to dominate, to rule, and to control our lives. He will bring us true peace. See, that's why it has to come first. Peace will not come until there is cleansing. Not only that peace will reign in our hearts, but at that point the Lord Jesus is telling us that we will have such abundance of peace in our lives and in our hearts that we'll be able to dispense it to others. That's what the peacemaker is all about. We will be able to give it to others. "Blessed," happy, joyful, makarios are those who dispense peace, "the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God".

Question: "Why did Jesus place this Beatitude, Blessed are the peacemakers," here, so close to the pinnacle, so close to the apex of the superstructure that he gives us? It's because Jesus is showing us what the Father is looking for. That has to begin with having peace with God. Someone would say, "Well, Michael, I have never been at war with God". Don't kid yourself. Every one of us were born at enmity with God. Every one of us, without exception, whether we are conscious of it or not, we are at enmity with God. And when we are reconciled to God, which only, only, only can happen through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, only then can we have peace with God, and the peace of God, and that is why John the Apostle can say in chapter one of the gospel of John, verse 12, "To all who receive Jesus, to all who believed in his name, he gave them the right, he gave them the privilege, he gave them the honor to be called the children of God".

And the Apostle Paul confirms this in Romans 8:14 when he said, "All..." Can you say all? "All those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God". Listen to me. If you are a committed believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you're living in obedience to his Word, you are a privileged person, period, end of discussion. Privilege of being called sons and daughters of the living God, sons and daughters of the King of kings. So, please, let's live like royalty. Am I right? This seventh Beatitude is an invitation for us to imitate our heavenly Daddy. It's an invitation for us to imitate our Father. What does that invitation look like? Listen carefully. To be dispensers of his peace that he has given us, to be the ambassadors of that peace that he has given us, to be messengers of peace that he has given us, to be envoys of peace that he has given us.

C.S. Lewis makes a profound statement. Here's what he said. "God cannot..." God cannot? God cannot. There's some things God cannot do. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself. He said there is no such thing. There is no such a thing. And that is why for our nation to have peace, we need to return to God, the God of peace. So, let me deal with this seventh Beatitude in three different ways. All of them begin with the letter T. The tariff for peace: there is a price, there is a cost for peace. Secondly, there is the truth about peace and the truth that must be there for peace to exist. The second T is truth. And the third T is the trophy of peace, the trophy of peace.

So, what is the tariff of peace? Let me tell you at the outset, through the years I have been involved in bringing two people at enmity with each other to be reconciled, of two groups of people to be reconciled. I've done that several times. I want to tell you at the outset the absolute truth: it is costly, it is pricey, it is painful. For one thing, you risk being hated by both groups. I've been there. Having been involved in trying to bring the peace of God, reconcile men and women, boys and girls to God, through Jesus Christ, I can tell you that that can bring rejection, that can bring alienation, that can bring false accusations, and that can bring misunderstanding. There is a cost to peacemaking.

First of all, you need to know that it costs God the Father everything. Because when he gave us his one and only begotten Son, he gave us everything. It cost him everything for us to have peace with God. Colossians tells us that Jesus made peace with his blood shed on the cross. That's the cost of peace. It cost God everything. Peace is costly even in our daily walk with God. When we sin, sin creates a barrier between us and God, not because we wanted a barrier or God wants a barrier. Sin does that, and that is why repentance and sometimes tears are the tariffs of demolishing that barrier. Sin between husband and wife erects a barrier between them. And asking for forgiveness and humbling oneself is the tariff that must be paid for that peace to reoccur in the marriage.

Sometimes the cost of peace is vulnerability. Sometimes the cost of peace is brokenness. Sometimes the cost of peace is bending of our pride. Sometimes the cost of peace is submission. In other words, peacemaking is the one thing you do like mercy. It makes you like the Lord. I'm going to say more about this in a minute. Now, we must be willing to pay the price. We must be willing to build bridges and pay for them. We must be willing to take the blame for somebody else's sin. For at that cross, all of our hatred, and anger, and bitterness has been vented against God. On that cross, God replaced our pain for peace through the shed blood of his precious blood. We are now able to be reconciled to God our Father and to each other.

No wonder Isaiah, through the eyes of faith, he can look down the road 700 years to the coming of Jesus Christ, and he could prophesy in 32:17, "The work of righteousness is peace". Jesus said in John chapter 16, verse 33, "I have spoken to you that in Me," in Jesus, "you may have peace. In the world, you're going to have tribulation". He never promised us a bed of roses or tippy toeing around the tulips. He promised us, "In the world you shall tribulation, but be of great courage; for I have overcome the world". And that is why those who have rejected Jesus, they have rejected his peace.

So, the first thing is there is a tariff for peace, the price. Secondly, there's truth associated with peace, without which that truth you cannot have peace. What is that truth? You know, you hear people talk about peace at any price? Oh, just let it go because, you know, make peace, you know. You know, peace at any price is really not the biblical peace. It's not biblical, and it's not the lasting peace, and it's not the peace of Jesus. When God's truth is compromised, we will get phony peace. You'll get some peace, all right? People might be able to stop fighting without righteousness and truth. Yeah, that's fact. You can stop fighting without righteousness or truth. But they cannot live peaceably without righteousness and truth.

When the truth, which is Jesus, is applied, he will not only put an end to conflict. He will also administer healing and love. The peace of God, which is based on God's truth and the truth of his Word, will not only stop war, but it will replace it with joy. The peace of God, which is based on his truth, will not only expose sin but produce goodness and righteousness. Until hatred resolved, fighting will only go underground. Until enmity is dealt with, fighting will only temporary be on hold. Until selfishness is confronted, confounded, and confessed, enmity will break out again and again and again. When James was describing the wisdom of God, the godly wisdom, James said about that godly wisdom, he said first, you've gotta remember, this is the list of priority now. First, it's pure, then peaceable.

Now, he learned from his older brother Jesus, you see? Purity of heart first, then peace. First pure, then peace, and that is why purity of heart came before peacemaking. Why? Because God's way of permanent peace is through purity, not compromise, not just pretending. The psalmist tells us, as he prophesied in seeing Jesus coming a thousand years later, he prophesied that in Jesus righteousness and peace kissed each other. The only measurements of God's peace, the only measurement for God's peace is upholding the truth of God's Word. Matthew 10:34, Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace into the earth, but I come to bring sword". Did you hear that correctly? Let me repeat it. "Do not think that I have come to bring peace into the earth but sword".

Those who are looking for contradictions in the Bible, "Hey, hey, contradictions, see, the Bible is contradicting itself. How can Jesus said, 'I did not come to bring peace but sword,' and then he says, 'Blessed are the peacemakers'? See? Contradictions". There are no contradictions because Jesus's peace is only for his children. Jesus is peace is imparted to those who love him and worship him and obey him, but for the rest of the earth, who have rejected him, they have a sword, they have a sword. His peace comes only for those who recognize that the sword of selfishness and pride had to be surrendered first.

To be a peacemaker on God's terms must be willing to embrace God's truth and righteousness, which the world opposes. Jesus never, never winks at sin for the sake of so-called peace. No. With the Samaritan woman, he lovingly confronted her with her sinful lifestyle. He lovingly confronted her about her confused doctrine of worship. With Nicodemus, Jesus lovingly confronted him with self-righteousness, his self-righteousness. And when it came to the Pharisees, he confronted them again and again about their hypocrisy. Why? Because the peace of God cannot exist without the truth of God. First of all is what? Secondly.

Thirdly, the trophy, the trophy of peace. Those who are peacemakers, their greatest trophy can be called the children of God. Why? Because they are reflecting their Daddy's character. They're like their Daddy, because they are their Father's children. Just like your heavenly Daddy is a peacemaker and a peace giver at a cost based on the truth. You, too, can bring the peace of God to others. God tells us that his children are the apple of his eye. Have you ever asked yourself what does that mean? It's in a Hebrew, Hebraic language. The apple of his eye is actually the cornea. It's the cornea of the eye. That's how God sees his children as the apple of his eye. They tell me it is the most sensitive part of the body, not just the eye. It is the most protected part of the eye.

Beloved, this is how God views his precious children. This is how God is sensitive about his children. This is how God is protective of his children. And the problem with us, who attack the children of the living God, unbeknown to them, they are actually poking their finger in God's eye. I know it's a figure of speech, but you understand. When the risen Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, he did not say to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting my church"? No, he said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me"? According to Psalm 56:8, God places the ears of his children in a bottle, which means there's not a tear that one of his children have shed that are not important to him.

I think I'm convinced now that God must have a bucket for me. I weep so much. But, beloved, don't ever take the privilege of calling God Father, Abba, Daddy, for granted. As we seek to be peacemakers, as we seek to reconcile men and women, boys and girls to God, you're going to find people who will misunderstand us just like they misunderstood Jesus. You're going to find people who will condemn us just like condemned Jesus. And in figurative speech, figure of speech, they will probably crucify us just as they crucified Jesus, and that is why the pinnacle, the pinnacle, the height, the apex of this superstructure that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us, which we'll see in the next message, "Blessed are the persecuted for Jesus' sake, the falsely accused".

While hatred blinds, love enlightens. While hatred victimizes, love victorizes. The people of war always throwing stones, but the peacemakers will pick up these stones and build a bridge. The people of the world will come with a sword. Oh, but the peacemakers will disarm them with love and put those swords into plowshares. The people of war will throw spears, but the peacemakers will put them into pruning hooks. The peacemakers do not avoid the battle, because they know they'll be given power to overcome, and we are overcomers.

Let me conclude by asking you a simple question. Do you have an internal war? Do you have a war in your home? Do you have a war at your work? Do you have a war at your community, nation? Your heavenly Father wants you to be like him, to be a peacemaker. Ask him today, ask him today, and he will answer, to help us pay the tariff for peace. Understand the truth about peace. And ultimately, look forward to the trophy of peace. He will reward you, he will reward you. It will take time, but he will reward you. He has never, ever, ever gone back on his promises. Amen?
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