If you’re into ancestry, then you’ve probably at some point documented your family tree to show who came before you (your ancestors) and who came after you (your children and other descendants).
If you’re thinking ahead, you will have left some blank spaces for children of children who will be born in the future.
For this article, we will envision the family tree of a family we will refer to as the Peace family. This is a fictional name but a real family — in the scriptures, the family is referred to as the family of God or the kingdom of God.
At the top of the family tree is, of course, God the Father. He is the Father of the family of God and the king of the kingdom of God. As the patriarch of the Peace family, God is the author of peace (see 1 Corinthians 14:33).
In the next box, directly below the Father/King, is Jesus Christ, “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Also known as the Son of God, Jesus came to earth about two thousand years ago on a night when a heavenly host of angels proclaimed “peace on earth” to herald the arrival of this representative of the Peace family.
During the years of His ministry, Jesus preached the message of salvation. Those who believed received “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) as they realized that their sins were forgiven and they were on a path that would lead to eternal life in the kingdom of God.
Two examples of new members of the Peace family were the woman who washed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair and also the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of His garment. In both cases, Jesus greeted them to the family by saying, “Thy faith hath saved thee and made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 7:50, Luke 8:48).
King Benjamin describes new members of this family as “the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters, spiritually begotten [by him]; for [all whose] hearts are changed through faith on his name are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters” (Mosiah 5:7).
As the family tree begins to be filled with new children of God, Jesus makes it clear that it is not His intention that His children would just sit back and enjoy their inheritance. Instead, He commissions them to “preach the gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15) and thereby make more children of God, further extending the family tree.
The same process of children of God being used to make more children of God continues down to today. As a result, each of us has a box on the great family tree of the Peace family, the family of God. And now, the responsibility is ours to preach the gospel of peace and continue to add to this family tree.
Do we need to be a preacher to preach the gospel of peace? No, the way we live our lives speaks louder than any sermon.
First, we need to let people see that we possess the peace of God in our own lives — the peace that passes understanding. If we’re constantly stressed out, frightened, angry, sad, etc., that’s not a very good advertisement for what a blessing it is to be a child of God. While all of those human emotions may come around from time to time, we can’t let them rule our lives.
The knowledge that God is in control of our lives, that we have the Holy Ghost within us and that we know where we’re going when we leave this life should be sufficient to allow us to experience peace in whatever we’re going through in life. Make it clear — to yourself and to others — that you believe that God is in control!
Another way to preach the gospel of peace is to follow the advice of Paul when he said, “if it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). There are times when it’s right to stand up or fight for what is right. But we don’t need to live in the arena for every interaction we have with others. Many more times than not, a peaceful solution can be identified if we make that a priority.
We can also be instrumental in bringing about peace between others. When someone complains to us about someone else, how do we react — try to diffuse the anger by explaining what the other person’s perspective may be or pour gasoline on the fire by agreeing that the other person is no good? Only one of those is what a peacemaker would do.
Although the family of God is not officially known as the Peace family, it is God’s intention that His children would live in peace. Promoting discord divides and diminishes the family. Being a peacemaker strengthens and even grows the family, allowing us to fulfil the Lord’s desire that His children would be used to make more children for the family of God.
We need more peacemakers (and Peace makers) among us today. Be a reproductive child of God who helps the family to grow. If you can do that, you will be one of the ones that Jesus referred to in the seventh beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.