Oct 12, 2007

God is doing a work in me, talking to me about being a Biblical Peacemaker.
For some time now, oh I guess since July, He has been preparing me for this~ but I couldn't see it until the other day. As it dawned on me how all of the scriptures I have been meditating on fit together into the bigger picture, I realized that this bigger picture was Biblical Peacemaking.

Some of us in the body are better at this naturally than others I suppose, or at least that's what people say. I find that the very best Peacemakers that I know are really the most humble people that I know; they do not get offended easily, they do not prefer themselves over others, they suffer not a wrong done to them, they forgive readily and easily, glorifying God is *really* their chief aim.... I am blessed to know a few people whose faces I see in my mind as I write this.
I know all of them well, and know their lives stories that wove them into the tapestry thier lives are today.

Thier lives were not all easy street~ you know, the old rebuttle "Well, I'd be some great Peacemaker too, if..." it usually ends with if I hadn't been walked on all my life or if I didn't have to deal with so & so, and on and on the excuses flow. I know that sounds harsh, but there really is no other explanation for it.

God has shown me throgh His word that we(believers)really have no excuses, in His book, for not pursuing with all of our might Biblical Peacemaking...

This e-article, entitled "Checking your own heart" is a good resource,I think, for first removing the log from your own eyes...the link for it is http://www.peacemakers.net/peace/heart.htm if you are interested in checking it out sometime. Here are a couple of sciptures:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34, yet also, check yourselves~ "From whence {come} wars and fightings among you? {come they} not hence, {even} of your lusts that war in your members?"James 4:1~ first. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5. Also,2 Peter 1:1-11 and Proverbs 6:12-19.

Ephesians 4:22-5:21 says it best,for me:You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a man is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 4:22-5:21

There is so much in that bit of scripture: putting off the old you, putting on the new you, putting off the listed thought lives & behaviors, mimicking Christ, always giving thanks, bringing to others what is helpful for them, soeaking to them in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs... how many times have I,in the surprise of sudden realization that I have been thrust unawares into conflict,reverted to naturally(bu my sinful nature)responsing in the ways the 'old me' would have responded,and sinning in being more concerned right off the bat about defending myself, not about God's glory foremost, and by using a multitude of words to complete such task~ not all words that are helpful to the other person,not often brought in love if it is in the heat of a conflict(and it usually is,if I'm not being very careful to submit *all* things to Christ,especially conflicts...)

I know this is kind of a long post,but necessary to confession(for me) is sometimes to look at all sides to get to the root of the matter(I do, after all, work out my sanctification on these pages in some ways, meditating on God's word and checking my heart, considering,reflecting...

It is good to do so. Also, to refelct on scriptures about how to bring soemone else *their* sin in a Biblical Peacemaking way, in love and only using words that are helpful to the person... in the online article Biblical Principles for resolving
confict, http://www.peacemakers.net/peace/resolving.htm,the author sites the folowing scriptures:

Matthew 18:15: "Moreover, if your brother should commit an act of sin, be going, show him his sin with a view of convicting him of it and bringing about a confession between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have won your brother over."

Luke 17:3: "Be taking heed to yourselves. If your brother commits an act of sin, reprove him at once. And if he repents, forgive him."

Galatians 6:1: "Brethren, if, however a man be overtaken in a sin, as for you who are the spiritual ones, be restoring such a one in a spirit of meekness, taking heed to yourself lest you also be tempted."

1 Timothy 5:19-20: "Against an elder do not receive an accusation before a tribunal, except it be upon the authority of two or three who bear testimony. Those [elders] who are sinning, in the presence of all be rebuking, in order that the rest may be having fear."

James 5:13-20 "...Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

I have also learned much from Martha Peace's book for wives, The Excellent Wife. There is a chapter in this book explaining how to help others overcome sin, while watching yourself from also falling into sin while trying to help them.
Another good resource from our churches book table is The Peace Maker by Ken Sande. I have a lot to learn about this subject, so I look forward to sharing more with you as I walk through this obligation to Christ to become, through the process of daily sanctification,a better Biblical Peacemaker.

<3 Stacey

No comments: