Category Archives: Christian Living

Are You a Peacemaker?

March 1st. On this day in history, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is composed of trained volunteers who are sent to other countries to provide assistance and to promote a mutual understanding of each other as nations.

Olive Branch
The olive branch is a symbol of peace in many cultures.

Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker. By His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary, Jesus satisfied the wrath of God for our sin, making a way for us to be at peace with God. Because we, as believers, have peace from Jesus.

As recipients of His peace, He then sends us to out to be peacemakers: “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20.21, CSB).  As peacemakers, we show that we are like our Heavenly Father. Jesus said,Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5.9, CSB).

In what ways can you be a peacemaker?

Perhaps you can pray about how you might help people reconcile. It’s tragic to me how often I hear about close family members who haven’t spoken to one another in years. While the Bible clearly says that it’s wise to not insert yourself into the middle of a fight that is not yours (see Proverbs 26.17), sometimes the Lord might ask you to talk to one of the two and see if they might be willing to move toward reconciliation. If they are, perhaps you can serve as an intermediary, working to bring both sides together in hope of resolution.

Or perhaps you can be a peacemaker by refusing to enter into a fight that someone is trying to start with you. Instead of bowing up in pride and retaliating in kind, perhaps you would take a higher road, and calmly pursue peace with the person. Jesus said: “Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him to the court, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison” (Matthew 5.25, CSB).

The Enemy of our souls loves to stir up trouble and cause fights. But the Lord loves peace and desires for us to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2.2, NKJV).

Lord, make your people an army of peacemakers. Start with me. Amen.

 

 

“Can I Live?” – An Appeal to Women Considering Abortion

Several years ago Nick Cannon made this video, sharing his story. If you are a young lady or woman who is wrestling with the decision to abort, please watch this video and please find a crisis pregnancy center near you for help and wise counsel. You can search for the nearest crisis pregnancy center HERE. If you are someone who has had an abortion, most crisis pregnancy centers are also equipped to help you with post-abortion care. Here’s an encouraging article from ministry. of Billy Graham, HERE.

 

Stop Studying Your Bible!

I hope the title of this post got your attention! It’s not that I am against Bible study… indeed I am not! But I am concerned that in American Christianity we have elevated the pursuit of knowledge through “Bible study” to a level that the Lord did not intend. You see, just as your body needs a balanced diet of the various food groups, so does your spiritual life need the balanced intake of spiritual disciplines.  I mean it’s good to have fruit in your diet, but eating fruit while neglecting other food groups would not be wise in the long run. It’s the same with spiritual disciplines.

When it comes to engaging with God’s Word, Bible study is one of several disciplines. I fear that too many Christians study their Bibles to the neglect of simply reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture, meditating on God’s Word, praying about God’s Word, and seeking to apply God’s Word.

Yes, study your Bible. But make sure you don’t neglect the other disciplines of the Word.

MEDITATION: ISAIAH 43.18-19 (JANUARY 2019 SCRIPTURE MEMORY)

For the month of January, our Scripture Memory passage at Harvest Jacksonville is one of great hope… of new beginnings… of promise…  Isaiah 43.18-19.

Although I usually prefer to memorize Scripture in the KJV or NKJV, I actually memorized verse 18 years ago in the NIV (1984), so I will stick with that translation for this passage:

18 Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.