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August 1, 2021 | Javan Shashaty
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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”—Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
A diffuser is astonishingly useful to modern life. In its various incarnations, this tool is used to distribute the light of a lamp evenly throughout a room, to ensure an entire area gets air conditioned or ventilated, and/or to spread a nice fragrance or soothing oil into a room. This device essentially takes in a substance like light or air and spreads it around in all directions.
A few years ago, my wife introduced our family to essential oils. It started with just a few that you would rub on your skin or drink for whatever reason. There was one she’d use when our kids had a tummy ache, one for healthy hair, and there were even a few we’d add to our tea. But everything changed once she got a diffuser. Now, she could add a few drops of ylang-ylang and lavender and the scent would permeate the entire living space, creating a more soothing and pleasant home experience. Or around this season, she’d add a little peppermint and pine to get into the Christmas spirit.
As we examine today’s verse, I want you to keep this image of a diffuser in mind. Why? Because that’s pretty much what Jesus is describing. You see, in Matthew 5:3-12 (The Beatitudes) as Jesus lists various qualities of those who are blessed in His kingdom, one quality He mentions is a peacemaker. Essentially, He’s calling for us to be peace-diffusers in the world.
The Greek word for peacemaker is eirēnopoioi, which means “pacific, loving peace; one who bravely declares the Word of God and the harmony of God, which makes someone whole.” So, it’s not just someone who is peaceable themselves, who has the wholeness of God in them, it’s also someone who lives in a way that promotes peace with others and invokes peace in others. It’s describing the believer as they transform from peace-receiver to peace-diffuser. And now, as one Bible commentary put it, “God is thus seen reflected in them; and by the family likeness these peacemakers are recognized as the children of God.”
To me, one of the key aspects in the process of going from peace-receiver to peace-diffuser is that it’s a natural byproduct of our study of His Word and our commitment to prayer. When we engage in two-way conversation with the Lord—growing in Him, getting to know Him better, understanding who He is, hearing from Him through the reading, study, meditation, and memorization of His Word, and responding to Him through intimate conversational prayer—our lives begin to change. Our speech, our attitudes, and the way we treat others changes.
As His Spirit begins to pour into us, it will also pour out of us. That’s why Paul tells us in Romans 8:14 (NIV), “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” His Spirit instills in us the peace of God that surpasses understanding and diffuses it into the world. So, in times of crisis, as many experience despair, dread, fear, and anxiety, we can bring the hope of Jesus and diffuse His peace into the lives of the people around us.
Consider that in Isaiah 9 Jesus is called the Prince of Peace and that in John, Jesus said He’d leave His peace with us. He came to earth to bring us into peace with God, and now He’s left us here with the Holy Spirit and sent us out to bring that same peace to others.
But, just like your air conditioner’s filter needs to be cleaned before the diffuser can send out clean, cool air, I believe, as children of God, it’s our job to regularly evaluate what we’re diffusing into the world. Our internal filter needs to be dusted off by the Word of God and washed in prayer to clear out the gunk and dirt accumulated from the world.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.