Month: October 2019

Called to Be Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.


Written by: Danielle Morgan

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are called to a standard of peace not just in the way you live your life but the way you interact with those around you.

What comes to mind when you think of peace? Is it lying on a beach somewhere with waves crashing? Maybe it’s curled up with a good book by the fireplace and a nice cup of coffee or tea? Or perhaps you’re a busy parent, and peace is just a few moments of silence where you aren’t attending to the needs of others.

Peace is such an interesting concept and something that we all strive for on some level. It may look different for each of us, but the overall concept is the same—being able to experience a level of freedom in our own hearts and minds while living in harmony with others.

The beautiful thing about following Jesus is that in our receiving of Him, we also receive His peace—His perfect and miraculous peace. Philippians 4:7 says that this peace—true peace–-“transcends all understanding.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that, with our relationship with God, we get to partake in His peace? A peace that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot humanly manufacture on our own?

And that’s the point—we can’t achieve the kind of peace we need on our own —the kind that Jesus modeled for us. We need Him to work it out in and through us.

I love how Jesus talks about Peace in the Sermon on the Mount, and how we are to take it a step further. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

So followers of Jesus are now given an assignment. Not only do we receive God’s peace when we receive Him, but we are called to be peacemakers and offer peace to others. We not only accept the beautiful gift He gives and allow it to change our lives from the inside out, but we are called to give it away—to pay it forward.

Regardless of your difference of opinions, beliefs, and even actions you have with others, peace should be extended through your words and actions. We are called to be peacemakers.

10.18Thought of the day: Think of your different routines and the individuals you interact with week-to-week. What are some ways you can be a peacemaker to situations and people you surround yourself with?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of Jesus and the peace that comes with Him. Help me to embrace Your peace and to experience the freedom and joy that comes from having a relationship with You. Help me to be a peacemaker in all of my relationships and in how I respond to the situations I’m in. Help others to see Jesus’ peace inside of me.

What Are Your Words Creating?

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.


Written by: Tiffany Robinson

We all see the world differently. Our background, experiences, and many other things help us create the world we see. A significant way we shape this world is through words. The world you walk around in right now is the by-product of the words you tell yourself and the ones others communicate to you. Everyone does not see the same world. The world Jesus saw was radically different than the Pharisees. The same is true for you and me.

When others’ opinions of right and wrong differ from ours, it makes us uncomfortable. To comfort ourselves, we can hurt others with our words and push our beliefs on them. What if we took the time to understand their perspective and background before we start spilling our opinions all over them? Until we can see into their world, it is hard to trust their opinions. Just like each of us was created with unique gifts and talents, we were given different stories and life experiences.

We can choose in these times to win the fight or win the person. Does my opinion matter more than this person? The answer is yes, and we can learn to love people and still disagree with them.

10.17Thought of the day: What are your words creating? Is it respectful to others and God? If it isn’t, how can you change that?

Prayer: God help us to speak life-giving words to ourselves and those around us. Please point out areas that we need to see to make sure we honor you and others with our speech. Amen.

The Purple Party

Mark 12: 30-31
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.


Politics and Jesus don’t exactly mix, at least not in the world we live in today. Even when Jesus was on this earth, politics and Jesus didn’t really mix. God created government not politics.

In today’s terms, He was an enemy of the state. He was the enemy of the Roman empire. He was a revolutionary and radical in how He would use His authority to change the world. He was sent to the cross for doing what a true revolutionary would: feeding the hungry, healing the sick, sheltering the poor and hanging out with those who didn’t always do the right thing. Jesus dying on the cross launched His revolution.

Politics generally involves two different parties–one red (Republican) and one blue (Democrat) with other labels like conservative, liberal, left-wing, right-wing, etc. The church is made of a blend of the two colors. The color is purple. In Bible times, purple would have been costly to produce and so this color was often associated with or symbolized riches, honor, and royal majesty. So, if Jesus had a political party and color, I would say the color would have to be purple. He is royalty. He paid a costly price to unify us with God. He also wants His church to be unified.

As Christ followers, we should stand out as thoughtful, fair-minded, loving, kind and subject to the sovereign authority of God. As members of the same church that started thousands of years ago, we have the opportunity and mission to make a positive, eternal impact on our world by doing what Jesus taught.

If you and I represent the purple party and are being faithful to the teachings of Jesus, we might find we are too conservative for our liberal friends and too liberal for our conservative friends. The question is: Are we treating the people we don’t agree with politically as Jesus would want you to? There is no red, blue, conservative or liberal, left-wing or right-wing in God’s kingdom. There’s just God and people.

It is possible to disagree with each other and still be kind to each other. We love God and others even when it comes to political differences. There’s not a single person we will ever lay eyes on He doesn’t love. He may not love politics, but He definitely loves all people.

10.16Thought of the day: Can you think of anyone in your life you don’t agree with when it comes to politics and have therefore not treated them as Jesus would have you?

Prayer: God: Our country and government leaders need You. We are a country divided for so many reasons. I pray for wisdom for our leaders and the courage to love those I don’t agree with the way You call me to. My hope is in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How to Deal with the Government

 

1 Timothy 2:1-6
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.


Written by: Robert Watson

It is really easy to complain about the government. As I write this, I am sitting in another country where there has been incredible corruption for as long as the people can remember. Last month I was in a country in the middle of elections and the media was full of accusations, smear campaigns, and everyone was on edge with opinions. As we gear up for an upcoming election year, I guarantee you there will be countless conversations, the majority of which will be in the realm of complaining.

Paul gives us a first and foremost instruction when it comes to government, and it isn’t complaining. It is prayer. Pray every kind of prayer including petitions (asking for things), intercession (praying on behalf of others), and thanksgiving (showing gratitude). The ultimate goal of these prayers is for those who are lost to meet, know, and follow Jesus (see verse 4). 

Government is not the hope of the world. Jesus is the hope of the world, and He alone holds the power of eternal life and death. So let’s pray that our government would be stable, that our leaders would have the wisdom to know the right things to do and have the courage to do them, and that the people would submit to those in authority so that we may pursue holiness and share the love of Jesus in our communities in “peace and quiet” (to quote Paul’s words above).

So here is the challenge for this coming election year: Pray.

10.15Consider committing to one of the following or create your own challenge:

  • Pray for those in government more than you talk about those in government.
  • Whenever you see an ad campaign (especially a negative one) let that be a trigger to remind you to pray.
  • Thank God for those who have done well in leadership and pray God’s continued blessing.
  • Pray for a specific individual in government and write them a note to let them know you are praying for them.
  • Pray for a specific person in authority to meet Jesus this next year and to experience transformation that can only come from Him.

Unity Through Jesus

Colossians 3:13-14
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.


Written by: Jimmy Leaf

Paul wrote the book of Colossians around 62 A.D. His call for unity among believers was to remind them of what was important: God and people.

In our time of increased information, news, and social media, we are so easily polarized in our philosophies. We have become unforgiving and unloving toward our neighbors because they do not share our same ideologies. We are so distracted by sharing our own opinions that we forget Jesus’ example was for everyone! This is what the world would have us do so our message of God’s love becomes lost in the jumble of our own toxic words.

“Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2

Friends, do not let your pursuit of being “right” diminish your ability to show God’s love. Even when others attempt to antagonize you into an argument, stand fast in God’s love and let God fight for you. 

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.” – Proverbs 26:4

10.14Thought of the day: Jesus, as an all-sufficient Savior, gave an absolute expression of love for us to imitate. Through the acceptance of His love we can be unified through Him. 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your example of how to love! Help me to keep my focus on You and what is important to You. Please bless me today with peace and wisdom. Amen!