Since our Heavenly Father is “the God of peace” (Hebrews 13:20) and our Lord Jesus Christ is the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6); it stands to reason that as His Children we should be PEACEMAKERS.
Matthew 5:9 NIV78 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Jesus said that the world would know we are the adopted sons of God not by our prayer life, our mission programs, the size of our congregations, or our scholarly ability to understand His Word, but by living our lives as His peacemakers.
1 Peter 3:8-9 NIV - Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
2 Timothy 2:24 NLT - The Lord’s servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people.
Therefore, isn’t it the logical path of the Gospel, that the Lord God should give to Christ, and by extension, His Body, the precious MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION…
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NIV - All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
There is a difference between being peaceful and being a peacemaker. Peacemakers do not sit on their hands; on the contrary, they are often in the middle of the conflict, seeking to reconcile others, and sometimes being victims of collateral damage. Peacemakers are often risk takers, willing to enter the fray with an expanded heart. For The Gospel is a Gospel of PEACE…
Romans 10:15 NKJV - And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
The RISEN Jesus, the Eternal Voice who spoke the Universe into existence, and sustains it by His Mighty Word is the same Jesus who is even right now preparing Heaven for you and I…
John 14:1-2 NKJV - “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
This RISEN JESUS can bring PEACE to every moment of your day. No matter what may come your way, YOUR LIFE IS IN HIS HAND!
1 Peter 5:7 AMP - Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV - For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
As we then live and walk in PEACE, because we are under the authority of the PRINCE OF PEACE, the naturally supernatural outflow of Grace will be (and must be) Peace. It is who we are supposed to be! Unfortunately, we are now living in an Age in which a false spirit of Division and Violence has been unleashed. We must walk in the Ministry of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and become the PEACEMAKERS of our Age who Minister in the OPPOSITE spirit of our times.
Matthew 5:9 NIV - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
One of the most important blessings and steps along the Christian Journey is that of a PEACEMAKER. We are called to bring the King’s Peace to the world. This is much more than NO WAR or HOSTILITIES. The King’s PEACE IS THE ELIMINATION OF THE CONDITIONS THAT MAKE WAR POSSIBLE. PEACE is more than a state of CALM TRANQUILITY, for that can be induced for a brief period of time by false assertions, medications, or even lies. NO, the King’s PEACE is a STATE OF TRANQUILITY born out of GOD’S RIGHTEOUS ORDER and WHOLENESS being manifested in our lives and that of our families, society, and the nations.
As we begin the Year of Our Lord 2017, I want to remind you of the Progression the Lord has been sharing with us through His Word and by His Spirit.
In 2014, our theme was…
Last year, 2016…
Now, as we begin 2017, and will continue last year’s theme of ministering with The Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you to consider our vital need for the “Breath of Heaven” to breathe upon all of our ministry endeavors…
As we have stated on many occasions, following Christ does not require a suspension of rational thought or reasoned consideration. In fact, I believe that the same God who gave us the ability to utilize reason and logic expects us to use these abilities for His glory and the enrichment of the ministry. With that said, however, please remember that just as our Faith began with a miracle, so it continues by the supernatural outflow of the Almighty God. Ultimately, He must do His work and it is a supernatural endeavor that we must not only recognize, but also embrace.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5 NIV - For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Romans 1:16 NKJV - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
We have no love without His Love. We have no Anointing without His Anointing. We have no Ministry without His Ministry. Therefore, everything must be done His Way, for His Glory, to fulfill His Purposes in the Earth. “Not to us, not to us…but to Him be all glory, power, and praise!” Our Lord Jesus Himself said…
John 20:21 NLT - “…As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
This weekend, I am in Southern California for the Dedication Ceremony of my grandson, Greyson. J I apologize that I will not be with you today, but I am very grateful for the prayerful support of the Cathedral Congregation in all of our ministry endeavors. Dr. Rebecca Skaggs will be bringing a powerful message from the Word of God this morning.
We are at the beginning of 2017, a brand new year; a year that has never existed before. This new year will contain about 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,536,000 seconds. Think about that, over thirty-one million individual moments. Moments of laughter and moments filled with tears; moments of unexpected blessings and moments of unanticipated trials. There will be days of birth and days of death, yet each day will be filled with the Moments of Life.
We really have no idea what looms just over the horizon. None of us are intelligent or Divine enough to predict with any certainty what the next moment will bring, much less thirty-one million moments from now when we prepare for another turning of the calendar.
As Christians, therefore, our hope and stability must never rest solely in the things we know or do not know. Rather, our strength rests in The One we know. I am not sure of every thing, and I understand some things, but I am certain of only a few things: the importance of family, the necessity of friends, and the great mercy and yes, mystery of the God who loves us.
Herein lies my hope, the same Jesus who walked the Earth, cleansed the lepers, open the blind eyes and deaf ears, caused the lame to walk, and the dead to rise…THIS SAME JESUS OF EVERY YESTERDAY, IS THE SAME IN EVERY MOMENT OF TODAY! The same Jesus who walked into the isolated Disciples, cowering in fear, and facing an uncertain tomorrow, can walk into your life today and speak, “PEACE!”
All our yesterdays and every today, are in His Hands; every moment, known and unknown, understood and perplexing, joy and sorrow, despair and hope…EVERY moment is in His Hand. But not only our yesterdays and today…but BECAUSE HE LIVES, ALL OF OUR TOMORROWS ARE SAFELY RESIDING WITHIN HIS BOSOM, HELD NEAR HIS HEART, AND SUSTAINED BY HIS MIGHTY POWER!
Hebrews 13:8 AMP - Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).
Happy New Year!
Isaiah 6:1 NIV - In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Happy New Year, my dear friends. As we approach this coming year with all of the uncertainties and challenges it will hold, may I ask you a rather simple, albeit metaphorical, question: What do you See? In other words, What is your Perspective?
DO YOU SEE A DEAD KING OR A LIVING GOD?!
“In the year that King Uzziah died” - King Uzziah of Judah had a long and distinguished reign, beginning when he was only 16 years of age, and for the most part, he ruled as a good king for 52 years (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chronicles 28:5). Uzziah was a strong monarch and military leader, an energetic builder and planner (2 Chronicles 26:8), whose life ended tragically (2 Chronicles 26:16) because he presumptuously entered the Temple of the Lord and burned incense on the altar. Because of his sin, he was stricken with leprosy and lived in isolation until his death.
So to say, “in the year King Uzziah died” is to say a lot. It is to say, "In the year a great, powerful, and wise king died.” It is to say, “In the year that all I knew changed. In the year my world changed.” But it is also to say, "In the year a great, powerful, and wise king who had a tragic end died." Isaiah had great reason to be discouraged and disillusioned at the death of King Uzziah, because a great king had passed away, and because his life ended tragically. Where was the LORD in all this?
Isaiah is saying, “It was in this year, when everything changed, when my security was removed, when all I had known was taken away, it was then that I SAW THE LORD, AND HE WAS SEATED UPON A THRONE!” Oh, Precious Ones, Atheists say there is No Throne. Humanists say that Man is the governing authority; but the Word of God declares that THERE IS A THRONE AND THE LORD GOD IS SEATED UPON IT! He is Sovereign, High and Lifted Up, and His Glory Fills Creation. On this New Year’s Sunday morning, what do you see?
If this is the case, then Beloved, may I encourage you to lift Your Eyes a little Higher, to SEE a little further, and to LOOK a little closer. FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HIGH AND LIFTED UP and is clothed in glory! UZZIAH MAY BE GONE, BUT THE LORD IS SEATED UPON THE THRONE!!
Psalm 121:1-2 NIV - I lift up my eyes to the mountains--where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Happy New Year!
Dr. Tobey Montgomery