My name is Daniel Samogyi as that
awesome intro was right there.
Uh, I have the honor and privilege
of serving here in North Hill
C with the teens in campus.
I think that's where you guys supposed
to clap teens in campus, but it's okay.
It's all good.
But yeah, so I'm a recent graduate at
Cal State Fullerton, and, uh, I know
this is tight in land right here,
but I do notice in the crowd that we
see, I see some anteaters, all right?
That's because we have some of our
UCI campus students here with us this
morning, so it's great to be with you
all, uh, for UCI to be here today.
Right now, we are continuing our
series titled the Upside Down Blessing.
There it is.
The upside down blessing.
And the idea of the upside down
blessing challenges conventional
thinking and highlights the paradox of
worldly values and spiritual values.
And with it, you know, it serves as
a reminder of what is truly value
and bless may differ from what is
glorified and celebrated in the world.
And then we are continually
reading from Matthew 5.
That's the, where Jesus gives
a powerful sermon on the mount.
And we're going to pick up in the
beatitudes as we've been doing.
And the Beatitudes, you know, this
is a series of teachings by Jesus
that outlines the attitudes and
characteristics that are considered
blessed or highly favored in God's eyes.
And as many speakers have said before,
you know, the Beatitudes, you know, it's a
very convicting, uh, passage in the Bible.
In my opinion, if you ask me what a
disciple is, I would just point to
Matthew 5 right there for the Beatitudes.
And it's, it's, uh, it's an interesting,
I wouldn't say it's a hard, but
it's very convicting to preach on
Matthew 5 during the Beatitudes.
Because it really helps check
my heart and where my heart is.
And as, uh, some of you who weren't
here, I know Campus wasn't here,
but last week Chris Galassi spoke.
He did a great job speaking about,
uh, blessed the pure in heart.
And speaking of that, the pure in
heart, I know he mentioned something
about, uh, what was it, mosquito bites.
I have a ton on my legs.
That means my feet were stinking
throughout the week, I guess.
So, uh, I have to do a
better job at doing that.
But today we're going to be
picking up in Matthew 5, verse 9.
And it reads, Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
You know, before I get
into this, I just, peace.
That's something we need.
I don't know about you guys, but I was
on the news, like, just watching the
news, and just seeing things, just about,
you know, the mass shooting in Maine.
Just thinking about how the people
there, the family there, they're just
unrested, they're at, not at peace.
So right now, if you can join me, if
you guys can join me in prayer, as
we, you know, we pray for the lesson,
but also for the folks in Maine.
Uh, Father God, uh, we're just
so grateful to, to be here.
It's really a privilege to be, uh, here.
Call your sons and daughters here
as we worship you today, God.
And God, as we, uh, go over, uh, Matthew
5, verse 9 about peacemakers, God, God,
I really pray that you just remove me,
God, and that you speak through me today.
That you minister at the
hearts of everyone here.
That, you know, whatever we are
in at life right now, that we can
just put that on hold and listen
fully to what you have to say.
God, I just pray for the people in
Maine who lost some of their loved ones.
God, we'll do this mass shooting.
You know, they're, they're grieving, God.
You know, we're all grieving,
but they're grieving right now,
too, for losing their loved ones.
They don't understand why.
But, God, I know that you will be there.
I pray that you give them an
extra dose of your Spirit.
That you comfort them.
You send your angels to
comfort them during this time.
And maybe during this time that
they, they will turn to you, God.
God, we love you so much.
In Jesus name, Amen.
So we see here in Matthew 5 verse
9, you know, Jesus emphasized
the importance of peacemaking.
And the concept here of the upside
down blessing is in the context of
being a peacemaker appears contrary
to the prevailing values in the world.
And let's think about it, in many
cultures, well, don't only think about
cultures, think about right here in the U.
Success, power, recognition, they're
often associated with assertiveness,
dominance, competition, and even conflict.
But peacemakers, however, they're, they're
often, they often choose a different path.
They choose a path of reconciliation,
empathy, you know, conflict
resolutions, but in a nonviolent way.
You know, this alternative approach
that, you know, that leads to a worldly
success or immediate recognition.
It won't always lead to that.
Which is why it's called
the upside down blessing.
So here we see here that...
You know, Matthew 5, verse 9, as I was
studying it out, honestly, there was like
three words that were just glaring to me.
Those three words were, blessed,
peacemakers, and children of God.
You know, with blessed, you know, I'm
gonna give you a short summary of it.
I feel like Marcel covered it
pretty well, but blessed, this
is not a superficial blessing.
It's all about the eternal
joy that is bigger than any
circumstance that we might face.
You know, another term for blessed
would be fortunate and happy.
And as Jesus was sharing this
blessing to the Jews, I feel like each
blessing kind of came with a gasp.
Just like, wow, he said that.
What does that mean?
You know, just, bless the poor in spirit.
Bless the meek.
Wait, why do I have to be weak?
Bless the merciful.
Why do I have to show people
mercy if they don't show it to me?
But if you look here at your beatitude in
the verse, this is the seventh beatitude.
And I want to stress seven,
because it's so significant.
In the Jewish culture.
For example, if you read in Genesis,
you know, there were seven pairs
of every pure animal in Noah's Ark.
So those who don't know Noah's Ark, uh,
God instructed Noah to go in the Ark.
As he was gonna flood the world, and he
was gonna have his family go in there.
And he also instructed Noah to
have seven pairs of each animal.
You know, the number seven also is the
seventh day of the week, which is Sabbath.
Which is we all love, because
that's a day of no work, we rest.
Also, including rest, is we also worship
God with all our hearts during that day.
But also, which is interesting, seven
is said to symbolize completion,
association with God or the covenant
of holiness and sanctification.
So we know that the number
seven here has powerful meaning.
So I assume that, you know, when they
were listening or even when they read
back on it, they were probably going
through each beatitude and they were
like, okay, there's one, two, three, four.
Oh, what's the seventh one here?
Oh, blessed are the peacemakers.
And in Jewish culture, this
is where Jesus, I think really
is intentional with his words.
Because in Jewish culture, peace is
actually the highest ideal of life.
Something to aspire for.
Peace is shalom, which is wholeness,
completeness, fulfillment, inner rest,
living without deficiency or lack.
I mean, doesn't that, you know, hearing
that right now, it just seems impossible.
But, you shalom in the
midst of crazy situations.
I don't know about you guys, but
who here can have a difficult
situation having shalom?
Maybe there's, yeah, a situation in your
life where you are not experiencing peace.
Maybe some of us today are
feeling not at peace with God.
Maybe not at peace with our
spouse or significant other.
With our children, our co workers.
Maybe not at peace with our finances.
But I want us all to have the peace
God's intent to have for all of us.
That's what God wants.
And the reality is, though,
peace does not come easy.
You know, I love how in Matthew 5,
verse 9, you know, in the New Living
Translation version, it says, God
blesses those who work for peace, for
they will be called the children of God.
You know, we have to work for peace.
That's why it's not easy.
It does not say blessed are
those if we hope for peace.
Blessed are those who keep the peace.
God blesses those who work for peace.
And, funny enough, thanks to Google
Docs, I was able to find an essay
I wrote in high school, in history
class, which was about peace.
And I re read it, and two
things stuck out to me.
One, my grammar was
terrible in high school.
I was just like, ooh, like,
Grammarly was underlining pretty
much every other word I had there.
But another thing that I found
interesting was the fact that I did not
know what peace was clearly back then.
And even today, there's some things
about peace I still don't understand.
But in my essay I wrote
that peace was this.
That, you know, if you guys know this,
this is the world peace right here.
And this was adopted big in 1960s
during the anti war movement.
And with that, peace, it was
like in the absence of war.
Or the absence of conflict.
But we all know that
that's not really peace.
There are many countries that
aren't at war with other countries,
and yet they don't have peace.
And to make it even more personal,
maybe there are weeks, if you're
fortunate, but let's say days,
that you didn't have any conflict
with your spouse, your significant
other, your children, your boss.
You didn't have any of that.
But yet, you still weren't
at peace with yourself.
Another thing I thought
about what that peace was.
I thought it was agreement.
I thought that, you know, peace
is the absence of disagreement or
conflict, then we would have peace.
Because we have disagreement,
there would be no peace.
That's what I put in my essay.
And if we got rid of disagreement,
then there would be peace.
But, you know, if we didn't have
disagreement, yes, it may bring a measure
of peace, but it wouldn't bring, you
know, peace that is actually everlasting.
You know, peace is not
the absence of conflict.
I hope you guys know that.
It's not the absence of conflict.
Peace is, is the presence of the living
God in the midst of our conflict.
It's the presence of Jesus
in the midst of chaos.
And I feel like the next one
too, this is the last one I
thought what meditation was.
I feel like we all tried
it, uh, what peace was.
And I thought it was just the
absence of stress and anxiety.
You know, I, I thought it was
just, you know, if I didn't have
that boss or class or that job.
If I can get rid of that
experience or situation I just had.
If I can just go on vacation
and get my Zen experience, then
maybe I can have that peace.
But really, that's not true.
All that right there, that's
just an escapism in the moment.
And here's the truth of what the
Bible says in Jeremiah 6, 14.
Peace, peace they say when they,
uh, they say when there is no peace.
You know, peace is never
found in the absence of.
It's actually the opposite.
Peace is found in the presence of.
And the peace that Jesus wants for us is
in the presence of him, you know, shalom.
But it doesn't stop there, of course,
when we talk about peace in the scripture.
It talked about a second part of the word,
which was maker, and a maker means to do.
So God calls us to do peace wherever
it is that we live our lives.
I feel like now that I hopefully
defined peace and maker for you at a
okay rate, I want to talk about what
peacemaking is and what it's not.
To start off, peacemaking is not passive.
You know, the kind of peace Jesus wants
for us is not by a product of inaction.
It's not peace by
happenstance or hopefulness.
You know, peace is an action word.
I mean, you can hope for
peace, yes, that's great.
But if you actually want peace,
you have to go work for that.
You have to do what it
takes to find that peace.
You know, it says, Blessed are
the peacemakers, for they will
be called children of God.
Like I said, it didn't say, Blessed are
the peace lovers, or the peace keepers.
It's people who are
proactive in promoting peace.
That's who are blessed.
Peacemaking also isn't appeasement.
It does not mean always giving in,
or standing for your own values.
It's, and I just think it's fitting how,
if you read Matthew 5, verse 8 again,
it says blessed are the pure in heart.
Once again, I just feel like Jesus was
intentional, intentional with his words
there because, I don't know, for some
reason, I know some of you guys who've
been in the faith longer, you guys know
that when you live a pure heart, for some
reason, it just rubs people the wrong way.
It just causes conflict.
You're just like, why?
Like, I don't understand why.
But what's funny enough is though, Jesus
was constantly stirring things up though.
It was mostly with church
goers, too, as well.
Because the way he was
living was offensive to them.
So, and Jesus did not appease the crowd.
Peacemaking, also, it's not avoidance.
You know, this is, alright,
I hope you don't mind.
This is like my therapy session right now.
I used to think I was a good peacemaker.
Alright, I really did.
But what I learned over, honestly,
the past few months, and even this
past few weeks here, is actually, I
was really good at avoiding conflict.
I was really good at peacekeeping
and peacekeeping and peacemaking are
totally different because being a
peacekeeper is about avoiding conflict.
It's about not, you know,
sharing what you really think.
It's about trying to keep
the status quo the same.
But peacekeepers, they step into conflict.
And, you know, maybe they create
it, but when they create it, it's
not because of, you know, out of
their own hearts they want to, you
know, ruffle feathers on purpose.
But it's because they want to have peace.
They want to make sure
everyone has the peace.
And when I say this, you know,
I think some of us here, maybe
we think we're good peacemakers.
Maybe you're like me.
Maybe you think so.
But after hearing this, maybe
you feel like you're not.
Because for me, I had to
take a deep look at myself.
And I had to realize, I'm
not really good at this.
If anything, I'm a coward.
You know, I, I, I feel like
I relate a lot to the Wizard
of Oz with the cowardly lion.
I feel like I don't have
courage for some reason.
And what's crazy is, and I say this
because Jesus said, you will know the
truth and the truth will set you free.
And it's a scary thought.
I think about some of the interactions
I've had with people in my life who are
experiencing trouble and to think about
how I wasn't a peacemaker for them.
Heck, I wasn't even a
peacekeeper for them.
I was a troublemaker, for the most part.
Because when we withhold the truth
from people, we're troublemakers.
And we're allowing trouble to grow
in someone else's life, and we
have a perspective that can help
them, and yet we do nothing and let
that trouble grow in their life.
As you know with conflict, if
we do not step in to it and
deal with it, it tends to grow.
And when it grows, it turns into a
bigger problem, and eventually we
just push that further down the road.
So peacemaking, it's not passive.
It's not appeasement,
and it's not avoidance.
What I think a peacemaker is, I think of
a person that initiates reconciliation.
You know, a peacemaker goes out
to mend broken relationships.
You know, they take initiative to
resolve disputes, they put themselves
in that situation, they want to heal
wounds, they want to foster unity.
You know, this means taking
responsibility for your own actions,
your words, your attitude, that may
have contributed to the problem.
Peacemaking, they're also, they also
promote harmony, peacemakers do.
They want to create an atmosphere of peace
where they have goodwill wherever they go.
They aim to unite people and
communities rather than sow division.
And promoting harmony is so vital and
component in building a relationship.
Whether it's personal,
professional, in here at church,
or outside in your community.
Because it helps create an environment
where people can work together.
effectively, conflicts are
minimized or resolved in ways
that benefits all parties.
Another thing about peacemakers
is big, they advocate for justice.
When you think about it, we, we've seen
it throughout history, with the Civil
Rights Movement, you know, Martin Luther
King, and outside of that, even before
that, you know, Gandhi, you know, true
peace often requires addressing underlying
injustices, which meaning stepping in
to that light and addressing issues.
You know, wanting to correct
wrongs and ensure fairness.
Which requires uncomfortability.
Probably set yourself
up for being a martyr.
As we see here with, you
know, Martin Luther King.
And even with Jesus.
And also peacemaking.
They live out the word of God.
I mean, peacemaking is an
outwork of the word of God.
It reflects the reconciliation between
God and humanity through Christ.
And seeks to extend reconciliation
throughout all humanity.
So what does that mean for us though?
What does that mean for us as
we're called to be peacemakers?
I think personally, there's three
ways to become a peacemaker.
We have to first know peace.
We have to know peace before
bringing it to anyone else.
We have to experience the peace because
peacemakers can't create peace to others.
If we don't start with
peace in our own hearts.
Ultimately, the only way to peace
is through a relationship with the
Prince of Peace, which is Jesus.
And when we know peace, when we live a
life for Jesus, we will live out what
Paul writes in Philippians 4 verse 7.
And the peace of God which transcends
all understanding will guard your
heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.
I mean, that peace becomes
the guarder of our own hearts.
That peace becomes the one that, no,
we're not going to let that in our hearts.
Because we want peace here, and
that's just going to cause you stress,
that's going to cause you drama,
that's going to cause you tension.
And when we experience that peace,
church, we have to bring that
peace to other people in our lives.
And that's our, that's my second point.
To be a peacemaker, we
have to bring peace.
I mean, how, but how do we bring peace?
Practically, I would say this.
If you are involved...
with conflict, right now, directly.
I would say, just make the first move.
Make the first move.
And by making the first move, it isn't
by going to the person and pointing
out all the ways they have hurt you.
The first move is humbly
acknowledging that, you know what,
I've played a role in this too.
You know, I've never been part of a
fight where there weren't two people
involved or multiple sides of the story.
And by saying that, I'm not trying
to excuse for what they did.
But you're just saying,
hey, you know what?
I realize I created some of this as well.
And I played a part in this.
And I want to apologize for that.
I mean, think about it.
Can you imagine?
Can you imagine in a relationship where
you're currently experiencing conflict
where if you just start off with that
conversation you're just first to go,
you know what, hey I have a role in this.
Can you imagine the
tone that would follow?
I mean, so make the first move.
Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
I mean, isn't that biblical?
That's straight out of the
book of James right there.
Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Cause what if it's possible
that you do not understand a
situation as well as you think?
What if there's a little bit more to the
story and you just say, you know what,
I'm just gonna sit here and listen.
I'm gonna listen, not for the
sake of refuting or rebutting
like it's a court case.
No, I'm gonna sit here, and I'm gonna
listen, and I'm gonna seek to understand.
So be quick to listen and slow to speak.
And also, I know this is a lost
art, at least for my, uh, You know,
my group of people, but let's be
agreeable even when we disagree.
I feel like the world is calling
us not to do that for some reason.
I don't know why, but to some of
the closest friends that I have
in this church, we don't see eye
to eye on a lot of things when it
comes to things outside of Jesus.
But yet, I still love them
and I know they love me.
So we can be agreeable.
And when we do that, we
get to reflect peace.
You know, I love that last part of
the verse here, Matthew 5, verse 9.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they will be called children of God.
Now, when we step into the role of
peacemaker, we will have that blessing.
You know, when we seek to bring peace
in whatever difficult situation we
are in, with others around, they're
gonna say, Wow, that person right
there, that person's a child of God.
That believer, that, that,
they reflect God's value.
You know, when I think about
reflection, I think about a
relationship with the parent and child.
I mean, parents, when you look at your
kids, you know, you see how they act, they
may have picked up some traits from you.
Whether it was your sense of humor,
whether it was your looks, I don't know
what it is, but it's easy for you parents
to look in the crowd and point out, oh
yes, that, that's my child right there.
Because they look like
me, they reflect me.
And what Jesus is saying here in
Matthew 5 verse 9, he's saying that
when you look like me, when you talk
like me, when you reflect my values,
when you bring peace in difficult
situations, people will not be able to
mistake that you are a child of God.
You reflect the values of the living God.
And I know we live in a culture that
they just want to divide us in all
kinds of ways, in different things.
But what if things weren't
different for us here?
What if we were a church that
really took this scripture to heart?
And knowing that every time I get
into one of those conversations
with people, whether it's about
politics, sports, you know, masks,
vaccines, I really don't care.
But knowing that, hey, I have my
own opinion, which is great, but
I also have a greater calling.
And that calling is to be a peacemaker.
I'm going to bring people together.
That's my calling.
If we did that as a church, oh
my goodness, I feel like we would
have more people in this room.
Saying that, hey, I came to this church.
I came to the OC church because there
was this person who was called a
Christ follower and they came into
my life and they brought peace in
my life when all I've experienced
was tension, drama, stress.
That's all I've ever experienced.
And I heard this is a place where
people who reflect God's value hang out.
I hear this is a place who
reflect Jesus come to worship.
That's what I feel like would happen if
we really lived out Matthew 5 verse 9.
That is the true blessing right there.
That is the upside down blessing.
It's being called a
child of God right there.
And I say it's upside down because
none of us, I mean we're all adults.
I know we're a child to someone,
but really when you say to
someone, Oh, you're a child?
It's kind of offensive,
especially to the world.
But here, as disciples, being called a
child of God, that is such a high calling
because we get to reflect the values.
People see that we are
reflecting the values of God,
and they're not mistaking that.
So let's be peacemakers.
Let's be peacemakers.
Let's reflect God and His values.
Let's be called His children.
So as I close out for some action
steps this week, you know, I really
want us to pray for the Beatitudes.
This really has been so powerful
and convicting for me, studying
this out, examining my own heart.
And I know I'm not going to live
up to the standards of it, but
it's great to always strive for.
Also, let's just pray that
we can become a peacemaker.
There's so much going
on in the world today.
This world is really, really dark.
We, we need to bring the light.
We need to bring the everlasting
piece, not this temporary piece.
So church, as I close out, like I said,
Matthew five verse nine, blessed are those
who are peace makers or let me go there.
Blessed are the peace makers for,
they will be called children of God.
I'm gonna close out in prayer
and then we'll have, uh, the
worship team come back, back up.
God, just, uh, I come to you so
grateful for, for your word, God,
for it to never to come back empty.
God, as, as we, uh, close out here,
God, as we're reflecting on the
Beatitudes and being a peacemaker,
God, God, I really pray that we get to
make the everlasting peace here, God.
That this world, they need people like
us to bring that peace, God, bring that
light, to bring your values here, God.
So God, I pray that, you know...
Not only throughout the week, but
throughout the rest of our life here,
God, that we get to, uh, bring that peace
to you, to you, God, and to each other.
God, we love you so much.
In Jesus name, Amen.