Rewards of Peace

Listen to the Message

Daily Reading: (James 3:18, Proverbs 12:20, Philippians 4:6-7):

“And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

“Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.”

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace is a beautiful gift that Jesus has given to all believers.  There are also rewards that come with peace as well.  This just magnifies the truth that not only does all fruit we bear in our lives comes from abiding in Jesus (John 15) but also that we will be rewarded for the fruits that Jesus helps us to bear (Romans 2:6-7, Revelation 22:12).

Reward #1 Peacemakers reap a harvest of righteousness (Peacemakers will show the way to receive Jesus’ peace).Christ the Righteous One, gave us His righteousness and through His life in us, will sow or spread peace out of our lives. His peace manifested through us will lead others to the way of Messiah’s peace (which is salvation).

Reward #2 There is a reward of joy for the peacemakers.

Proverbs 12 is incredible because it paints the picture of the life of someone who is in Christ. Here is what is said about the righteous children of God leading to verse 12:

  • loves discipline, loves knowledge (verse 1)
  • favor from the Lord (verse 2)
  • cannot be uprooted (verse 3)
  • just plans (verse 5)
  • their speech rescues (verse 6)
  • their house stands firm (verse 7)
  • praised according to their prudence (verse 8)
  • care for the needs of their animals (verse 10)
  • their employees are blessed (verse 11)

Reward #3 Paul says in Philippians 4:7 that the peace of God transcends all understanding. Our thoughts can be surpassed with the mind of Christ that we have (1 Corinthians 2:16). What we must desire to have in a peace robbing moment is the very thoughts of God about us and our situation.

So the reward of peace (with God) is the capacity to receive spiritual truth from God that surpasses our limited finite wisdom in all situations that will guard our hearts (affections and passions) and minds (understanding, judgment, conscience) of the favor position we have in Christ Jesus.  Peacemakers have the reward of joy, as the life of Christ in us spreads peace. This leads others to the way of Messiah’s peace (which is salvation).

What If I Told You…

Daily Reading: James 3:1-2:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”

James 3 has been used incorrectly to dissuade believers to see themselves as they truly are, which is teachers.

What if I told you that we are all called to preach and teach the gospel, every single one of us (Mark 16:15; Hebrews 5:12).

I believe that if you have been saved, then you know enough to tell others about Jesus. In fact, it’s sort of expected:

By this time you ought to be teachers … (Hebrews 5:12).

(1) The Christian meetings were open, unstructured and informal; and anyone wishing to be heard could rise and speak (see 1 Corinthians 14:26-40).

(2)Some of James’ readers, perhaps many of them, had come out of Judaism; and the characteristic of many of those was described by Paul in Romans 2:17-24.  The Judaizers what they were trying to do was to attempt to graft the forms and ceremonies of Mosaic law upon the church. They were mixing the Old Covenant with the New Covenant and you can’t do that. As theologian Macknight said: “These teachers of the Law in the Christian church were the great corrupters of Christianity.”[3] Paul likewise addressed stern words to this group, thus, “Some … have turned aside unto vain talking, desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm” (1 Timothy 1:7).

Greater judgment … is reminiscent of Jesus’ declaration that hypocrites making long prayers for show, and at the same time devouring widows’ houses, would also receive “the greater condemnation” (Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47). These people were leading people away from the grace of Jesus Christ.

Not all of us are gifted to teach (1 Corinthians 12:29), but all of us are qualified to teach. You are not qualified because you went to seminary or teaching school. You are qualified because Jesus the Teacher lives in you (Matthew 8:19). And you are qualified because his Spirit teaches you all things (John 14:26).

The word for teacher (didaskalos) is sometimes translated as master. Jesus was called master or teacher on many occasions and in a Jewish context that meant something special. A master was revered like an Old Testament judge.

In Jesus’ day to be a master or teacher was to be one who dispensed law and passed judgment. James is telling us not to aspire to be one of those religious-types like the Pharisees who delight in condemning others living their lives and teaching according to the Law. Jesus did not come to judge people but to love people (John 12:47).

The text progresses to talk about the destruction the tongue can inflict. However, on the flipside of the destruction the tongue can bring (James 3:5-6), knowing that you are a teacher, a few words that brings forth the glad tidings of Jesus Christ can bring life to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).