1 Peter 3:11 “They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”
Continuing Pastor Kyle’s message: He suggested three approaches in relational battles, when resolution is not possible. (1) Dump the secret stash and drop the schemes. The reason why is stated by the prophet in Jonah 2:8: “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” The 1828 Webster’s dictionary properly defines the word “idol” as anything on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. That’s why 1 John 5:21 says; “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” and 1 Corinthians 10:14 instructs us: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” Why are idol affections sinful? The 1828 Webster’s dictionary goes on to say that an idol is anything which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures. The Apostle Paul gives us further detail in Colossians 3:5 saying: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” The Apostle James explains the life application consequences of earthly idols and our egotistic schemes because of them in James 4:1-2: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” Because of our hidden agendas of watching out for number one, we master the art of deception and dishonor God. We know that nothing on earth is supposed to control us, yet many idols exist. Bottom-line: Our personal stash of stuff does not honor or glorify God. Lose the idols.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
(2) Pursue restoration. Don’t feel that you need to defend yourself; let God (who knows and sees all anyway) do His work. We may never see eye-to-eye with everyone in every situation, but we can work towards making it a better situation. The Apostle Matthew tells us in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Make peace, not war. How? (3) Make peace through forgiveness. It starts when you stop engaging in the conflict. Let go and let God. Fighting with people decreases the quality of life. Funny thing is that in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:21-35, we believe that we ate the one who owes only $100, when the truth is that God sees us as the one who owes $1,000,000,000. We don’t see the astronomical magnitude of our sin and the depth that God went to forgive that debt through the price of Jesus; atoning sacrifice to pay for it. God tells the redeemed to do the same to their fellow man. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Forgive as you have been forgiven.
Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Know that God lavishes His love, mercy and grace upon us in Jesus Christ. Follow him.
In Christ, Brian