Blessed Are The Peacemakers
Written by Michael Kelsey   

image of dove 

As we revive our church newsletter, we decided to have the first issue address what’s happening at Central Church in the realm of Biblical Peacemaking.  For a number of years now, we have been teaching and sharing the importance of--as much as it depends on you, living at peace with one another.  There are ongoing efforts to

share what the Bible has to say about getting along and encouraging one another in our relationships.  It is good, though, to remember that this effort isn't only for somebody else, or for somebody who hasn't heard it...it's also for us.

 

We forget, or need to be reminded - over time
Why do we have to review what the Bible teaches about living in peace with each other?  There is the simple fact that we forget.  In time and the business of life the need to remember Jesus told us that His being seen in the world as the Son of God is dependent on us living at peace with each other (John 17:22-23).

 

Every day we begin our struggle anew with temptations and trials in our lives. The illustration of gardening is fitting here.  An untended garden becomes a field as various seeds are blown onto the soil and begin to take root.  Before long, the area is indistinguishable from the wild vegetation round about.  To keep the area clear and free for the desired harvest, a continual effort must be exerted to weed out undesirable plants and feed and nurture those we want to grow.

 

James 3:18 says “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  In order to sow righteousness and make peace, we need to know what that entails and we need to continue to put it in practice so that our tools and our understanding don't rust or fade.  Maintenance of our ability to have peaceful relationships requires an ongoing effort.

 

Circumstances and situations are new or change - over time
Every conflict that occurs in our lives is different.  Some of them you see coming and you have an opportunity to think through how best to glorify God in your response.  But, sometimes a person comes around the corner and lays you out, or catches you off guard, and your response is immediate and nothing to be proud of.

 

Often we have conflict with people that we don't know very well.  Our viewpoints and ways of working together are unfamiliar.  However, sometimes we encounter  a circumstance or situation that we've never faced before with those closest to us, and this new challenge causes us to forget what we already know about each other and about how to be a good steward of conflicts that arise.

 

Applying principle to difficult and unexpected situations may require a review of what you already understand, or you might need to dig even deeper to figure out what God would have you do with things get rough.  Getting help can also be valuable.

 

How to take the step in front of you
In anything you want to do, the next step is always necessary in order to get there - wherever there might be.  So, maybe you're new to responding to the conflicts you encounter with Biblical solutions.  Or maybe you know some of these things, but have become rusty by not putting them into use when the opportunity is presented to you.  Or perhaps a particular conflict came along and caught you off guard and you don't quite know how to handle this one.  What can you do?

 

The Bible teaches that, ideally, we should be able to turn to any Christian brother or sister to help us when we are facing conflict in any of the relationships in our lives (1 Cor. 6:5).  Central has a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18) and many members have received training in Biblical conflict coaching and mediation.  There are church members with Godly wisdom who could be a help when we are searching for answers.  Talking and praying with someone can give perspective and find options to address the issues we face.

 

There are also opportunities to receive training in Biblical Peacemaking to equip ourselves for conflicts and to be ready to assist others who might seek help.  There is currently a Sabbath School class looking at these principles.  Dan Kiernan is teaching this class in the Fellowship Hall during the first quarter of 2015.  Later in the spring there are plans to have a Peacemaker Weekend that will include training on Friday evening and all through Sabbath.  As more of our church family become acquainted with these principles, it will become easier to find someone to walk with you through a conflict as you act as a steward of the opportunity placed before you.

 

Let's all seek peace in 2015. "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." James 1:19-20

 

As we revive our church newsletter, we’ve decided to have the first issue address what’s happening at Central Church in the realm of Biblical Peacemaking. For a number of years now, we have been teaching and sharing the importance of, as much as it depends on you, living at peace with one another. There are ongoing efforts to share what the Bible has to say about getting along and encouraging one another in our relationships. It is good, though, to remember that this effort isn't only for somebody else, or for somebody who hasn't heard it. It's also for us.


We Need to Be Reminded
Why do we have to review what the Bible teaches about living in peace with each other? There is the simple fact that we forget. It’s easy to get caught up in the business of life, and that’s why we need to be reminded of what Jesus told us. He will be known to the world as the Son of God if we live at peace with each other (John 17:22-23).

 

Every day we begin our struggle anew with temptations and trials in our lives. The illustration of gardening is fitting here. An untended garden becomes an untamed field with various seeds blowing onto the soil and taking root. Before long, the area is indistinguishable from the wild vegetation round about. To keep the area clear and free for the desired harvest, we must continually weed out undesirable plants, and feed and nurture those we want to grow.

 

James 3:18 says, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” In order to sow righteousness and make peace, we need to know what that entails and we need to continue to put it in practice so that our tools and our understanding don't rust or fade. Our ability to have peaceful relationships requires an ongoing effort.


We Need to Be Prepared
Every conflict that occurs in our lives is different. Some of them we see coming, and we have an opportunity to think through how best to glorify God in our response. But, sometimes a person comes around the corner and lays us out, or catches us off guard, and our response is immediate and immature.

 

Often we have conflict with people who we don't know very well. Their viewpoints and ways of working together are unfamiliar. However, sometimes we encounter a circumstance or situation we've never faced before with those closest to us. This new challenge causes us to forget what we already know about each other and about how to be a good steward of conflicts.

 

Applying principle to difficult and unexpected situations may require a review of what we already understand, or we might need to dig even deeper to figure out what God would have us do when things get rough. Asking for help can also be valuable.

 

We Need to Take the Next Step
As with anything we want to do, we get there one step at a time - wherever there might be. So, maybe we’re new to responding to conflicts with Biblical solutions. Or maybe we know some of these things, but have become rusty by not putting them into use when the opportunity is presented to us. Or perhaps a particular conflict came along and caught us off guard, and we didn’t quite know how to handle it. What can we do?

 

The Bible teaches that, ideally, we should be able to turn to any Christian brother or sister to help us when we are facing conflict (1 Cor. 6:5). Central has a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18), and many members have received training in Biblical conflict coaching and mediation. There are church members with Godly wisdom who could be a help when we are searching for answers. Talking and praying with someone can give perspective and provide options to address the issues we face.

 

There are also opportunities to receive training in Biblical Peacemaking to equip ourselves for conflicts, as well as to assist others. There is currently a Sabbath School class looking at these principles. Dan Kiernan is teaching this class in the Fellowship Hall during the first quarter of 2015. Later in the spring, there are plans to have a Peacemaker Weekend that will include training on Friday evening and throughout the day on Sabbath. As more of our church family become acquainted with these principles, it will become easier to find someone to walk with us through any conflict.

 

Let's all seek peace in 2015. "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

 

 ~~~

 

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