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.
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.
I don’t recall when I first heard of Voddie Baucham but we did have the privilege of seeing him live at the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis back in 2006. During that same timeframe I called him and talked with him about twenty-five minutes. He was gracious and I recall our conversation went very well. What I cannot recall is why I called him in the first place!
I started reading his first book, The Ever-Loving Truth, but did not finish it, which is nothing new in my world. This book, Family-Driven Faith, which I purchased through the Amazon Kindle Store and read over three devices (my iPad, my iPhone, and my wife’s Kindle Fire), was more engaging to me because of my interest in the subject matter. Two areas of interest drove me to read this book: (1) how to do a better job as the spiritual leader of my home and (2) how to more effectively lead our church to equip parents in discipling their children. Family-Driven Faith is the only book I have ever read that that I can recall addresses these two issues, and Baucham does so boldly and directly.
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. – Matthew 9.9
Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 11.1 (NIV)
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.
– Hebrews 13.17
Make a list of the characteristics of a great follower, then pray that the members of Harvest Jacksonville would follow the elders in a godly way.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
– 2 Timothy 4.1-2
Friday is one of the days of the week Pastor Brett devotes to study, and the day when most of his Sunday message is written. Pray that he would have wisdom and clarity. Pray also for God’s hand upon him.
—> If you have a chance to pray with someone today (spouse, children, or friend), make sure to pray for Pastor Brett and the message on Sunday. Try to make this a habit on Fridays.