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Did you remember to read your Bible?

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 5

Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here:

[Download not found]

Genesis 12-14

Matthew 5:1-26

Being a peacemaker in a vindictive world

Our World Needs Peacemakers

In the movie, Miss Congeniality, starring Sandra Bullock, Sandra plays an uncover cop in a beauty pageant as one of the contestants while trying to keep the young ladies safe from someone that wants to blow them up. It sounds like an action/thriller plot, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s more of a comedy. While the movie does make light of beauty pageants in general, over and over again, the ladies wish for world peace and that’s not a joking matter. Our world needs peace and God calls us to be peacemakers.

Desperately Seeking Peacemakers

Our world today is full of violence and in desperate need of peace. Being a peacemaker does not mean that there is no conflict or that we avoid conflict in our lives. It doesn’t mean that we appease, accommodate, or give in. We don’t look the other way, pretending everything is okay when it isn’t. When Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, He was identifying those who diligently work to bring people to God and to each other. The truth about peace is it can only be found in Christ.

Shalom

The Hebrew word for peace is shalom and it is often used as a greeting or departing word that expresses a desire for the other person to experience the full presence, peace, prosperity and blessings of God. It’s a word that implies harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare.

What if we went through life with the true desire for others to experience exactly that? Would the headline news have nothing to report? Would there be less road rage? Less mass murders? Less rapes? Would there be less domestic violence? Less children in foster care? Would there be less division and racial hatred? Would there be anyone hungry or homeless?

Conflict is a Part of Living in a Broken World

Conflict has been a part of this world ever since Cain killed his brother, Able. Since then, there has been conflict between tribes and nations, and in our own time between unions and management, students and school administrations, or even within families. Even Christians don’t always agree and as a result churches split, denominations draw lines in the sand, and Christian couples end up divorced. As long as we are broken sinners, there will be conflict. Satan wants nothing more than to ruin the testimony of Christians so he stirs up strife and contentions. Conflict is simply a part of living in a broken and sinful world.

The Root Cause of Conflict

To understand this Beatitude, we need to go to the root cause of conflict among ourselves. The Bible has much to say about conflict. In Galatians 5:15 Paul warns, “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” When he writes about the works of the flesh, along with flagrant sins such as immorality he mentions such sins as enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, and the like (Galatians 5:19-21).

When James asks, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?” (James 4:1), he is writing in the overall context of a discussion of the razor-sharp tongue (James 3:6–4:2).

In the Old Testament, Solomon addresses the misuse of the tongue when he writes, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

It is often the sinful use of our tongues that causes conflict. But the tongue is only a weapon in the battle of conflict. The real problem is our heart. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). It is because of our own pride, anger, and jealousy in our hearts that we speak cutting and hurtful words to someone. And it is because we nurse hurts from other people and harbor bitterness and resentment in our hearts that we engage in verbal conflict.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

But Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Jesus didn’t need to command us to avoid conflict or to protect our own tranquility. That’s what we do naturally. He didn’t need to command us to stick up for ourselves and our opinions and make sure everyone knows that we are right. We do that naturally too. Naturally, we are self-centered sinners and when you get two or more self-centered sinners together, eventually there will be conflict. Jesus, instead, blesses the one doesn’t do what’s natural. He blesses the person who brings true peace to others.

Taking the initiative to be a peacemaker

Can you think of a person you know who is a peacemaker? My younger sister has always been one. And I have always been the opinionated sister – the one who spoke – then thought. Thankfully, as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to mostly think first but when I’m really upset, the words fly out faster than the brain works. But as I think about Kathy, I’d so much would rather be like her. Always ready to build the bridge to peace.

But the reality is when conflict arises its hard to consider the full presence, peace, prosperity and blessings of God much less have a heart-felt desire for the other person to experience the same. We get caught up in how we were offended, hurt, taken advantage of, laughed at, or gossiped about and thoughts of harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare are no where to be found.

To be a peacemaker, then, means we hear the hurtful words or witness the hateful actions of others without becoming resentful, or retaliating. I do want to note that when a person if physically abusive to you or threatens your life and safety, you need to take every action to ensure your own safety. Outside of life-threatening abuse, we have the responsibility to be a peacemaker and take the initiative to restore broken or damaged relationships, even when the major cause of the rupture lies with the other person. And it especially requires taking the initiative when you are the one who has caused the damaged relationship. So how can we be peacemakers that God blesses?

Before we can be a peacemaker, we must deal with the sinfulness of our own hearts

Because the root cause of conflict is found within ourselves, to become peacemakers, we must begin with ourselves. We must ask ourselves, “Why do I make cutting remarks to another person? Why do I make demeaning remarks about them?” We must also ask ourselves, “What causes my resentment toward that person?” or “Why do I continue to nurse hurts by that person instead of forgiving them? What is it that causes me to be envious or jealous of that person?”

In order to even ask those questions, we have to admit we have those attitudes. But because we know they are sinful, we tend to live in denial that we even have them. It is easier to blame the other person to admit our own sins. So, before we can be a peacemaker in our world, we need to deal with the sinful passions of our own hearts before we can deal with conflict of any kind with others.

Take time alone with the Holy Spirit and look back over each of the The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10), and prayerfully and carefully ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you compare with each of the traits. Am I poor in spirit? Do I mourn over my sin? Am I truly meek before God and with respect to other people? Do I truly hunger and thirst after righteousness, not only in my conduct, but also in my heart? Am I merciful toward others who sin against me because I am aware of how merciful God has been to me? Do I seek a singleness of heart toward God based on the fact that I am no longer my own, but rather am Christ’s possession? 

If we ask the Holy Spirit these questions with with a sincere desire to know where we stand, He will reveal to us the areas of sin in our won hearts. Confess the areas of sin that He reveals and ask for His forgiveness. Only then can we have a deep sense of humility that will enable us to be peacemakers.

Being a peacemaker is not an option, it is a commandment

Being a peacemaker when there is conflict with someone else is not an option for God’s people. It is God’s commandment. We are to strive for peace with everyone (Hebrews 12:14). The word strive is a translation of the Greek word diōkō. It is a very intense word and is most often used for the word persecute. Paul uses it in Philippians 3:12, 14 to say, “I press on” to portray perseverance even in the face of a discouraging response from the other person, or persons. In 2 Timothy 2:22, he encourages Timothy to “pursue [diōkō] . . . peace.” Peter, quoting from Psalm 34:14 writes, “let him seek peace and pursue [diōkō] it” (1 Peter 3:11). All these expressions convey an attitude of seeking after something eagerly, earnestly, and endeavoring to acquire peace where there is conflict with another person.

Paul says in Romans 12:14-21. “Bless those who persecute you” (verse 14). This statement is such a contradicting one from the world’s point of view. Instead of retaliating, we are to bless. It is easy to read this teaching from Paul and think it does not apply to us, because we do not suffer actual persecution. But we should not ignore the principle of the teaching: We are to bless anyone who mistreats us in any way. Their mistreatment may be hurtful words or hurtful actions, but whatever they are, we are to bless the other person.

In other words, God does not ever want us to repay evil for evil (verse 17); nor are we to avenge ourselves in any way (verse 19). Instead, we are to leave vengeance to God. This does not mean that we pray for God’s judgment on the person, but rather we entrust our situation to Him who judges with perfect justice. We can only do this when we trust that God has perfect plan for us and that He will work all things out for out good.

Peacemakers listen to the other side of the story

Sometimes is seems of if quality listening skills are a rare commodity. Yet, if we are going to be peacemakers, we must remember there is always another side to the story and ask them. Any conversation that revolves around conflict is difficult, but don’t wait and let bitterness and anger fester inside. Go to the other person as soon as possible (after spending time with the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart before Him) – with an open mind that truly wants to hear their side. Listen with a spirit of prayer and a desire for resolution and peace as they share.

Peacemakers are willing to say, “I’m sorry.”

Another thing to being a peacemaker is to be willing to say, “I’m sorry.” If you recognize a part of the conflict that is your fault, own up to it and ask for their forgiveness. It is very hard to admit to others our faults but we need to remember that we are no more perfect that they other person is. Sometimes conflict is nothing more than a simple misunderstanding. Other times it goes much deeper. Rarely is conflict a one-sided issue where only one person is in the wrong. A peacemaker is willing to humble themselves and admit to their part and work toward restoring peace.

Anyone can say, “I’m sorry.” But how do you know when a person truly is sorry? I person that is truly sorry, will have a change in behaviors and actions. They will want to change the behavior that caused the conflict. If that behavior is an established pattern of behavior, it might not change immediately, but you should see the effort of them changing and over time, successfully overcome it.

Being a peacemaker requires love, humility and honesty

Lastly, there are times when a peacemaker needs to humbly step in help the other person acknowledge sin in their life that has caused the conflict and point them back to God so they can find peace with Him. It isn’t done with pride or accusation but with a Christ-like love and a desire to see the other person have a restored relationship with God.

When the conflict was the result of something you did or said, it takes humility and honesty to be a peacemaker and admit you were wrong. Before trying to make it right with another person, spend time with God, confessing and repenting and seeking His forgiveness. Then, in humility and love, you can seek out the other person and ask for their forgiveness.

Peace has to be made and Peacemakers take the initiative

Its impossible to go through life without conflict. So the next time conflict comes remember that Jesus is softly saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peace doesn’t just happen because we wish it were so…peace has to be made and peacemakers take the initiative, as the obediently follow God’s commands to seek peace. Be the person that works to restore peace – not the one that stirs up tensions and strife. Bring harmony, wholeness, and welfare to others. Be the person who desires for others to experience the full presence, peace, prosperity, and blessings of God.

And yes…we really do want world peace.

#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

Click here to listen to our devotions on Spotify be sure to follow us.

Visit our three retail experiences:

Bible study and Self Care Resources
Christian Tees, Bags, Mugs & More
We are an affiliate of CBD. We earn a commission on any purchase you make when you enter the store through this link. However, your CBD price is the same. Visit CBD for Bibles, Bible studies, gifts & more

Tee of the Week: All Things New

The new year brings the reminds that God makes all things new – including us as we place our faith and trust in Him. Just as a caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly, God takes our old sinful beings and makes us a new creation in Him. Based on Rev 21:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. These two designs are on t-shirts, long-sleeved tees, mugs, bags, tumblers and more. Click the links to see all the available products in these two designs.

All things New
All Things New

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% off our speaker fees as our gift to you if you book any 2022 event with us by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: CHRISTMAS2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937



Visit our YouTube Channels for Christian playlists and our short animated devotionals.

Animated Devotionals

Contemporary Christian Music Playlist

Southern Gospel Playlist

Just Hymns


God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars

by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on
  • Conversation Starters
    • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
    • Romance Builders
    • Relationship Builders
    • Personal reflections
    • Date ideas
    • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
Barnes and Nobel logo
walmart logo


 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.


Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


See our other recent posts:

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 
Follow us on:

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Being Peacemakers in a Vindictive World

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 5

Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here:

[Download not found]

Genesis 12-14

Matthew 5:1-26

Being a peacemaker in a vindictive world

Our World Needs Peacemakers

In the movie, Miss Congeniality, starring Sandra Bullock, Sandra plays an uncover cop in a beauty pageant as one of the contestants while trying to keep the young ladies safe from someone that wants to blow them up. It sounds like an action/thriller plot, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s more of a comedy. While the movie does make light of beauty pageants in general, over and over again, the ladies wish for world peace and that’s not a joking matter. Our world needs peace and God calls us to be peacemakers.

Desperately Seeking Peacemakers

Our world today is full of violence and in desperate need of peace. Being a peacemaker does not mean that there is no conflict or that we avoid conflict in our lives. It doesn’t mean that we appease, accommodate, or give in. We don’t look the other way, pretending everything is okay when it isn’t. When Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, He was identifying those who diligently work to bring people to God and to each other. The truth about peace is it can only be found in Christ.

Shalom

The Hebrew word for peace is shalom and it is often used as a greeting or departing word that expresses a desire for the other person to experience the full presence, peace, prosperity and blessings of God. It’s a word that implies harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare.

What if we went through life with the true desire for others to experience exactly that? Would the headline news have nothing to report? Would there be less road rage? Less mass murders? Less rapes? Would there be less domestic violence? Less children in foster care? Would there be less division and racial hatred? Would there be anyone hungry or homeless?

Conflict is a Part of Living in a Broken World

Conflict has been a part of this world ever since Cain killed his brother, Able. Since then, there has been conflict between tribes and nations, and in our own time between unions and management, students and school administrations, or even within families. Even Christians don’t always agree and as a result churches split, denominations draw lines in the sand, and Christian couples end up divorced. As long as we are broken sinners, there will be conflict. Satan wants nothing more than to ruin the testimony of Christians so he stirs up strife and contentions. Conflict is simply a part of living in a broken and sinful world.

The Root Cause of Conflict

To understand this Beatitude, we need to go to the root cause of conflict among ourselves. The Bible has much to say about conflict. In Galatians 5:15 Paul warns, “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” When he writes about the works of the flesh, along with flagrant sins such as immorality he mentions such sins as enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, and the like (Galatians 5:19-21).

When James asks, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?” (James 4:1), he is writing in the overall context of a discussion of the razor-sharp tongue (James 3:6–4:2).

In the Old Testament, Solomon addresses the misuse of the tongue when he writes, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

It is often the sinful use of our tongues that causes conflict. But the tongue is only a weapon in the battle of conflict. The real problem is our heart. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). It is because of our own pride, anger, and jealousy in our hearts that we speak cutting and hurtful words to someone. And it is because we nurse hurts from other people and harbor bitterness and resentment in our hearts that we engage in verbal conflict.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

But Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Jesus didn’t need to command us to avoid conflict or to protect our own tranquility. That’s what we do naturally. He didn’t need to command us to stick up for ourselves and our opinions and make sure everyone knows that we are right. We do that naturally too. Naturally, we are self-centered sinners and when you get two or more self-centered sinners together, eventually there will be conflict. Jesus, instead, blesses the one doesn’t do what’s natural. He blesses the person who brings true peace to others.

Taking the initiative to be a peacemaker

Can you think of a person you know who is a peacemaker? My younger sister has always been one. And I have always been the opinionated sister – the one who spoke – then thought. Thankfully, as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to mostly think first but when I’m really upset, the words fly out faster than the brain works. But as I think about Kathy, I’d so much would rather be like her. Always ready to build the bridge to peace.

But the reality is when conflict arises its hard to consider the full presence, peace, prosperity and blessings of God much less have a heart-felt desire for the other person to experience the same. We get caught up in how we were offended, hurt, taken advantage of, laughed at, or gossiped about and thoughts of harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare are no where to be found.

To be a peacemaker, then, means we hear the hurtful words or witness the hateful actions of others without becoming resentful, or retaliating. I do want to note that when a person if physically abusive to you or threatens your life and safety, you need to take every action to ensure your own safety. Outside of life-threatening abuse, we have the responsibility to be a peacemaker and take the initiative to restore broken or damaged relationships, even when the major cause of the rupture lies with the other person. And it especially requires taking the initiative when you are the one who has caused the damaged relationship. So how can we be peacemakers that God blesses?

Before we can be a peacemaker, we must deal with the sinfulness of our own hearts

Because the root cause of conflict is found within ourselves, to become peacemakers, we must begin with ourselves. We must ask ourselves, “Why do I make cutting remarks to another person? Why do I make demeaning remarks about them?” We must also ask ourselves, “What causes my resentment toward that person?” or “Why do I continue to nurse hurts by that person instead of forgiving them? What is it that causes me to be envious or jealous of that person?”

In order to even ask those questions, we have to admit we have those attitudes. But because we know they are sinful, we tend to live in denial that we even have them. It is easier to blame the other person to admit our own sins. So, before we can be a peacemaker in our world, we need to deal with the sinful passions of our own hearts before we can deal with conflict of any kind with others.

Take time alone with the Holy Spirit and look back over each of the The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10), and prayerfully and carefully ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you compare with each of the traits. Am I poor in spirit? Do I mourn over my sin? Am I truly meek before God and with respect to other people? Do I truly hunger and thirst after righteousness, not only in my conduct, but also in my heart? Am I merciful toward others who sin against me because I am aware of how merciful God has been to me? Do I seek a singleness of heart toward God based on the fact that I am no longer my own, but rather am Christ’s possession? 

If we ask the Holy Spirit these questions with with a sincere desire to know where we stand, He will reveal to us the areas of sin in our won hearts. Confess the areas of sin that He reveals and ask for His forgiveness. Only then can we have a deep sense of humility that will enable us to be peacemakers.

Being a peacemaker is not an option, it is a commandment

Being a peacemaker when there is conflict with someone else is not an option for God’s people. It is God’s commandment. We are to strive for peace with everyone (Hebrews 12:14). The word strive is a translation of the Greek word diōkō. It is a very intense word and is most often used for the word persecute. Paul uses it in Philippians 3:12, 14 to say, “I press on” to portray perseverance even in the face of a discouraging response from the other person, or persons. In 2 Timothy 2:22, he encourages Timothy to “pursue [diōkō] . . . peace.” Peter, quoting from Psalm 34:14 writes, “let him seek peace and pursue [diōkō] it” (1 Peter 3:11). All these expressions convey an attitude of seeking after something eagerly, earnestly, and endeavoring to acquire peace where there is conflict with another person.

Paul says in Romans 12:14-21. “Bless those who persecute you” (verse 14). This statement is such a contradicting one from the world’s point of view. Instead of retaliating, we are to bless. It is easy to read this teaching from Paul and think it does not apply to us, because we do not suffer actual persecution. But we should not ignore the principle of the teaching: We are to bless anyone who mistreats us in any way. Their mistreatment may be hurtful words or hurtful actions, but whatever they are, we are to bless the other person.

In other words, God does not ever want us to repay evil for evil (verse 17); nor are we to avenge ourselves in any way (verse 19). Instead, we are to leave vengeance to God. This does not mean that we pray for God’s judgment on the person, but rather we entrust our situation to Him who judges with perfect justice. We can only do this when we trust that God has perfect plan for us and that He will work all things out for out good.

Peacemakers listen to the other side of the story

Sometimes is seems of if quality listening skills are a rare commodity. Yet, if we are going to be peacemakers, we must remember there is always another side to the story and ask them. Any conversation that revolves around conflict is difficult, but don’t wait and let bitterness and anger fester inside. Go to the other person as soon as possible (after spending time with the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart before Him) – with an open mind that truly wants to hear their side. Listen with a spirit of prayer and a desire for resolution and peace as they share.

Peacemakers are willing to say, “I’m sorry.”

Another thing to being a peacemaker is to be willing to say, “I’m sorry.” If you recognize a part of the conflict that is your fault, own up to it and ask for their forgiveness. It is very hard to admit to others our faults but we need to remember that we are no more perfect that they other person is. Sometimes conflict is nothing more than a simple misunderstanding. Other times it goes much deeper. Rarely is conflict a one-sided issue where only one person is in the wrong. A peacemaker is willing to humble themselves and admit to their part and work toward restoring peace.

Anyone can say, “I’m sorry.” But how do you know when a person truly is sorry? I person that is truly sorry, will have a change in behaviors and actions. They will want to change the behavior that caused the conflict. If that behavior is an established pattern of behavior, it might not change immediately, but you should see the effort of them changing and over time, successfully overcome it.

Being a peacemaker requires love, humility and honesty

Lastly, there are times when a peacemaker needs to humbly step in help the other person acknowledge sin in their life that has caused the conflict and point them back to God so they can find peace with Him. It isn’t done with pride or accusation but with a Christ-like love and a desire to see the other person have a restored relationship with God.

When the conflict was the result of something you did or said, it takes humility and honesty to be a peacemaker and admit you were wrong. Before trying to make it right with another person, spend time with God, confessing and repenting and seeking His forgiveness. Then, in humility and love, you can seek out the other person and ask for their forgiveness.

Peace has to be made and Peacemakers take the initiative

Its impossible to go through life without conflict. So the next time conflict comes remember that Jesus is softly saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peace doesn’t just happen because we wish it were so…peace has to be made and peacemakers take the initiative, as the obediently follow God’s commands to seek peace. Be the person that works to restore peace – not the one that stirs up tensions and strife. Bring harmony, wholeness, and welfare to others. Be the person who desires for others to experience the full presence, peace, prosperity, and blessings of God.

And yes…we really do want world peace.

#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

Click here to listen to our devotions on Spotify be sure to follow us.

Visit our three retail experiences:

Bible study and Self Care Resources
Christian Tees, Bags, Mugs & More
We are an affiliate of CBD. We earn a commission on any purchase you make when you enter the store through this link. However, your CBD price is the same. Visit CBD for Bibles, Bible studies, gifts & more

Tee of the Week: All Things New

The new year brings the reminds that God makes all things new – including us as we place our faith and trust in Him. Just as a caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly, God takes our old sinful beings and makes us a new creation in Him. Based on Rev 21:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. These two designs are on t-shirts, long-sleeved tees, mugs, bags, tumblers and more. Click the links to see all the available products in these two designs.

All things New
All Things New

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% off our speaker fees as our gift to you if you book any 2022 event with us by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: CHRISTMAS2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937



Visit our YouTube Channels for Christian playlists and our short animated devotionals.

Animated Devotionals

Contemporary Christian Music Playlist

Southern Gospel Playlist

Just Hymns


God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars

by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on
  • Conversation Starters
    • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
    • Romance Builders
    • Relationship Builders
    • Personal reflections
    • Date ideas
    • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
Barnes and Nobel logo
walmart logo


 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.


Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


See our other recent posts:

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 
Follow us on:

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Leadership in Ministry

Success In Ministry isn’t the same as Success in the World

What Is Success in Ministry?

You have this calling God has given you. Whatever that role is, it is one of leadership – whether you’re a small group leader, deacon, church staff, pastor, or CEO of a ministry organization. If you’re new to this calling, how would you define a successful ministry? If you’ve been in ministry a while now, think back to when you just started out. Is ministry what you imagined it would be? If not, how is it different? Here’s a few things the Bible tells us about leadership:

  • Matthew says that a leader must be confident, but James tells us that a leader must be humble.
  • Mark teaches us that a leader must be a man of action, but Luke teaches us that a leader must be a man of prayer.
  • Luke says a leader must have a strategy, and James says a leader must submit to God’s will.
  • 1 Timothy says that a leader must rule, and Matthew and Mark say a leader must serve.

Leadership in the Corporate World

In the corporate world, successful leadership is measured by the “big office,” the bigger paycheck, the perks, the ability to delegate to others, and the luxury of others being at the leader’s beck and call. Success in the world is synonymous with glory, fame, riches, and power. Leadership in ministry is often hard, stressful, and looks very different than leadership in the corporate world. And if you want to guarantee that Satan will target you with his fiery darts, then leadership in ministry is just the job you’re waiting for.

In ministry, the best leaders are those who understand their calling is one of service, not glory. It’s a position in which we serve through teaching and guarding doctrine, leading missions and evangelistic work, loving all people, discipling God’s people, effectively managing resources in a Godly manner, strategically plan for the future through the leading of the Holy Spirit, and we do it all with compassion, empathy, and sympathy. Often, we take on the burdens of others and feel their pain. This is what it leadership in ministry looks like, because if we lead like Jesus, then we lead by serving.

Sometimes leadership in ministry means being alone

Christ Walks into the Garden

In Mark 10:32, Mark wrote: “And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.

Why is this verse significant? Because Jesus is coming towards the end of His ministry and the road He was walking on would lead Him to the cross. But notice that Jesus was walking ahead of the others. He didn’t put his disciples out in front as a shield. He led the way – even though the way ahead would end in torture and a very painful death.

Yes, Jesus led the way, but he was out front, alone on the road with the others following behind– reluctantly. In John 11, Jesus is on his way to raise Lazarus from the dead. His disciples knew that going posed a threat to Jesus because the Pharisees were already plotting Jesus’ death. So, they tried to talk Jesus out of going. Then in verse 16, we read, “Then Thomas (called “Twin”) said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him.” Often in ministry leadership, we find that those we lead do follow, but they follow reluctantly. Reluctant followers will usually be the voices that try to talk us out of the path we are on. They can be discouraging nay-sayers. They can make us doubt if we’re on the right path. So, we find ourselves walking ahead, alone on the path.

Sometimes in ministry, we have to go alone. Sometimes that means we lead the way and others follow. And sometimes it means that we are alone with no one but Holy Spirit walking with us. Leadership can be lonely.

Are you prepared to go alone, if necessary, to be a leader in ministry?

Leadership in ministry takes courage

In Mark 10, this is the third time Jesus tells the disciples that his ministry led to the cross, not a coronation. Basically, he tells them that he will be “handed over” . . . “condemned to death” . . . “made fun of” . . . “spat upon” . . . “scourged” . . . “killed”! And yet – Jesus is out front – leading the way.

Think for a moment about a commander in the military. He issues orders and the soldiers under his command carry out the orders, even if it costs them their life. But Jesus is our commander and he has promised to go before us wherever we go, even when it is through the valleys, the fire, the shadows of death. Even there we do not need to be afraid because he is with us.

Leadership in ministry takes courage. Why? The more effective you are in ministry leadership, the more you will draw the attention of Satan and he will attack you and your ministry in every way possible. It takes courage because sometimes God asks us to do the impossible and to be obedient can cause others to try to stop us or they will ridicule, discourage, or try to change our plans.

So if you are on the road with Jesus, where would you be? Would you have the courage to walk alongside of him? Would you continue following him? Or would you go back home? It’s important to know where you stand because ministry is hard. It’s a spiritual battle every moment of every day. We can often be like Peter and declare we’d never leave the Lord’s side but when it’s all laid on the line, would we stand on trail with Jesus or deny him?

Being a leader in ministry takes courage.

Leadership in ministry is not about position and power

After Jesus’ very frank discussion about what lies at the end of the road, the disciples finally understand that Jesus’ kingdom isn’t going to be an earthly kingdom but a heavenly one. So two brothers, James and John, make a request to Jesus. In verse 37, they ask, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” If Jesus was going to sit on a throne in Heaven, they wanted to be sure they had the best position in the heavenly court and a position that would give them power.

Jesus responded that they didn’t really know what they were asking. There are no first, second and third places in the kingdom of Heaven. Anyhow, those positions are already occupied by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus then asks them a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They eagerly agree and Jesus foretells that they will indeed do so. But what do the “cup” and “baptism” Jesus was talking about mean?

Metaphor of the “cup”

At a royal banquet given to honor a king, it was customary for the king himself to hand a cup of wine to invited guests and ask them to drink of it. So, in religion, the cup became the symbol of a life experience that had been handed to him or her, or passed on to them, by the Lord God. In this instance God had handed Jesus the “cup” of the cross. So he was asking James and John if they were willing to lay down their life for the gospel – and eventually they would.

Each of us called to ministry must be willing to accept the role handed to them, or passed on to them, by God the Father – and to give it all we’ve got – Just as Jesus gave His all – even to the point of death on the cross.

Metaphor of the “baptism”

The other metaphor – baptism – means “dip” or “submerge.” It was not unusual for a Jewish person to speak of a family member or friend as being “submerged” in an experience of life – for example, “submerged in grief.” Jesus was saying, “Whatever God asks you to do, submerge yourself in that experience – to the extent that you go all out to accomplish the task.” Thankfully, Jesus did go all out to accomplish His task because if He didn’t we’d have no hope of eternal life.

How submerged are you in the ministry you’ve been called to do? Do you go all out to accomplish the task?

You can expect conflict when serving in ministry leadership roles

As you can expect, when the rest of the disciples heard about James and John’s request, they were not too happy about it. Jesus had to pull the team together and help them get their act together. Here Jesus is – on the road leading to his death – and the disciples are arguing over who’s going to be the greatest in His kingdom. Mark records Jesus’ response:

And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Many times in ministry conflicts arise, whether over doctrine or style of worship, or even the color of the carpets. Sometimes we just have to stop and get the flock together and help them get their act together. The family of God shouldn’t include sibling rivalry among our spiritual brothers and sisters, but rather unity.

The Point of Leadership in Ministry

The whole point of ministry is not position and power. It’s not about glory. The point of ministry is to lead like Jesus. It’s about serving God’s people and Jesus told the disciples that is why He came – to serve – by giving His all and laying down His life.

called to serve

If you’re not willing to serve, you’ll never have a truly successful ministry. You might lead a large mega church, but you’ll just be a leader like any other corporate leader. Jesus calls us to serve. He calls us to be last.

If you are in ministry for what you can get out of it or for what it can give you, then you’re in ministry for the wrong reason and you miss the whole point of ministry. Whether your ministry is leading a small group or children’s class, deacon, serving on a committee, playing an instrument, office staff or pastor – you’ve been called to serve others, not to be served.

What’s your motivation to lead in ministry?

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Our Newest Download! The Path to Sin Worksheet

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

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The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

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John 3:16

Does Jesus loves you? Just look to the cross. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

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Let’s Get Ready for Fall, Ya’ll!

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We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

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Rituals are not a Requirement for Salvation

Rituals cause Conflict in the Early Church

After Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, they reported to the church on what God had been doing in Asia, especially in the Gentiles coming to faith in Christ. While they were there, some men from Judea came to Antioch and wanted to add to the requirements of salvation saying that the Gentiles couldn’t really be saved if they did not follow the practice of circumcision that God gave to Moses. Circumcision was a sign of the covenant made between God and Abraham, but it couldn’t save him. Abraham had to believe the same as we do. Rituals, regardless of what they are do no save us and when we add to God’s plan, conflict occurs. A debate ensued between Paul and these Judeans that ended with them sending Paul to Jerusalem for clarification.

Paul brings the conflict over rituals to the Jerusalem Council

Jerusalem, at this time, was still the center of the Christian movement and the apostles and elders were there. So Paul brought his case of rituals being required for salvation to the Jerusalem Council. Given that Christianity has its roots in Jewish history and customs, it is understandable that the church had to grapple with this issue as it transitioned from Old Testament Covenant to the New Testament Covenant. Isn’t the same true in our churches today. When make traditions and rituals and then attempt to change them, churches will split over them.

Peter addresses the conflict over rituals

After “much dispute,” Peter stood up and presented the Council with four truths:

1. God had chosen Peter to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles

We find Peter’s call to spread the gospel to the Gentiles in Acts 10:1-43. This is where Peter has the vision of clean and unclean food items that are lowered on sheet from heaven and God instructs Peter to “kill and eat.” Peter replies with “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” The voice speaks to Peter again and says, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” Shortly before this vision, Cornelius, a Roman centurion has a vision of his own and voice tells him to send men to Peter and bring Peter back to his home. He does so. The men arrive at the house Peter is staying at and explains why they are there and Peter goes back with them and preaches Jesus to Cornelius’ entire household.

If God gave instruction that what he cleansed should not be called common or unclean, then the Gentiles have the same rights to salvation that the Jews do and God was offering the free gift of salvation to all mankind.

2. The Gentiles believed and they placed their faith in Jesus.

Peter tells the Jerusalem Council that the Gentiles in Cornelius’ home believed – just as the Jews did. In fact, that is why Peter was sent to them. We find at the beginning of Acts 10 that Cornelius was a devout man who feared God and prayed to God always. Cornelius and his household had already chosen to believe. Peter was sent to disciple them.

Philip had already been in Caesarea and preached the Gospel there.

If we look backwards in Acts a little further we find that Philip had already been in Caesarea preaching to the Gentiles. Perhaps this was when Cornelius and his household placed their faith in Jesus. But there probably were not many strong Christians in Caesarea at the time and Cornelius was hungry to know more about God. So he had been praying. We don’t learn until verse 33 exactly what he had been praying for. He told Peter, “So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”

There was not a LifeWay Christian Bookstore where Cornelius could run down to pick up so he could read about God. There wasn’t a Christianbook Distributors where he could order a Bible to be sent to him. He needed someone to tell him about God and he was praying for God to send that person. God nominated Peter – and Peter went.

3. When the Gentiles believe, they received the Holy Spirit

In verse 44 of Acts 10, it says that while Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. The result of Peter preaching to Cornelius’ friends and family was they all believed and then they received the Holy Spirit – just as the Jews had. They had not been circumcised between believing and receiving. There had been no rituals performed. Peter was still speaking. He hadn’t finished his sermon. But the Holy Spirit showed up. And I think that’s the point Peter is making. Rituals were not a part of the Gentile salvation experience in Caesarea. The believed, placed their faith in Christ, and the Holy Spirit showed up.

4. The pattern of Gentile conversion was the same as it was for the Jewish believers.

God was making no ethnic distinctions in the building of His church. The process was the same whether Jew or Gentile. Whenever we attempt to add rituals or anything else to the gospel, we can expect conflict. Anytime we attempt to make salvation about what we do and not what Jesus did, then we are guilty of trying to earn salvation. But salvation is a free gift. Jesus paid the price for our sins and our redemption is His free gift to us. Salvation = Jesus + nothing. There is absolutely nothing we can do on our part to earn salvation. We just have to reach out and accept God’s gracious gift by placing our faith in Christ. Peter’s argument to the Jerusalem Council was that was exactly what the Gentiles had done. They believed. Therefore, they received the Holy Spirit.

No Rituals Involved

Based on these four things, Peter said the men that came from Judea and claimed the Gentiles had to be circumcised in order to be saved were testing God and putting a burden on the Gentile converts that which neither the Jewish fathers or the Jews of their day could bear (Acts 15:10). Since it is impossible to perfectly keep the law, Peter insisted that salvation is only through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ as a free gift – no strings attached. There’s no fine print. No rituals involved. We simply believe and accept Jesus’ forgiveness of our sins and place our faith in Him.

Salvation is not acquired through rituals but is received Only By Grace through Faith

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”

Rituals such as circumcision, baptism, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, or any good works cannot save anyone. It is only by placing our faith in God’s gracious sacrifice of Jesus that we become a Christian.

Salvation is only through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ as a free gift – no strings attached. (Eph 2:8-9, John 14:6) Rituals such as circumcision, baptism, Lord’s Supper or any good works cannot save anyone.

.

click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify and be sure to follow us.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 15% off our speaker fees if you book by July 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: SUMMER2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

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Your contribution is appreciated and will help us grow and expand our ministry. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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Hem of His Garment

Feeling stressed, frazzled, overwhelmed, confused, or desperate? Whenever you feel like you’re barely hanging on, make sure you’re hanging on to the hem of Jesus’ garment.

Hem of His Garment

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

Canvas art and posters are available in the Teespring store. Many of our Christian Tees are also available at Teespring.

New in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints


Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

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Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

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Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

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…And World Peace

Our World Needs Peace

In the movie, Miss Congeniality, starring Sandra Bullock, Sandra plays an uncover cop in a beauty pageant as one of the contestants while trying to keep the young ladies safe from someone that wants to blow them up. It sounds like an action/thriller plot, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s more of a comedy. While the movie does make light of beauty pageants in general, over and over again, the ladies wish for world peace and that’s not a joking matter. Our world needs peace.

Desperately Seeking Peacemakers

Our world today is full of violence and in desperate need of peacemakers. Being a peacemaker does not mean that there is no conflict or that we avoid conflict in our lives. It doesn’t mean that we appease, accommodate, or give in. We don’t look the other way, pretending everything is okay when it isn’t. When Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, He was identifying those who diligently work to bring people to God and to each other. The truth about peace is it can only be found in Christ.

Shalom

The Hebrew word for peace is shalom and often used as a greeting or departing word that expresses a desire for the other person to experience the full presence, peace, prosperity and blessings of God. It’s a word that implies harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare.

What if we went through life with the true desire for others to experience exactly that? Would the headline news have nothing to report? Would there be less road rage? Less mass murders? Less rapes? Would there be less domestic violence? Less children in foster care? Would there be less division and racial hatred? Would there be anyone hungry or homeless?

Conflict is a Part of Living in a Broken World

Without Christ there can never be continual peace. Even Christians don’t always agree and as a result churches split, denominations draw lines in the sand, and Christian couples end up divorced. As long as we are broken sinners, there will be conflict. Satan wants nothing more than to ruin the testimony of Christians so he stirs up strife and contentions. Conflict is simply a part of living in a broken world.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

But Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Jesus didn’t need to command us to avoid conflict or to protect our own tranquility. That’s what we do naturally. He didn’t need to command us to stick up for ourselves and our opinions and make sure everyone knows that we are right. We do that naturally too. Naturally, we are self-centered sinners and when you get two or more self-centered sinners together, eventually there will be conflict. Jesus, instead, blesses the one doesn’t do what’s natural. He blesses the person who brings true peace to others.

Be the bridge to Peace

Can you think of a person you know who is a peacemaker? My younger sister has always been one. And I have always been the opinionated sister – the one who spoke – then thought. Thankfully, as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to mostly think first but when I’m really upset, the words fly out faster than the brain works. But as I think about Kathy, I’d so much would rather be like her. Always ready to build the bridge to peace.

How to bring peace in chaos

Anyone is capable of bringing peace in the midst of chaos with the help of the Holy Spirit. To be a peacemaker, one must find a way to bring those at odds to the negotiating table, put aside their differences and find a solution to the problem while remaining level headed and maintaining an inner sense of prayer throughout the conflict. A Christian peacemaker will listen for the inner voice of the Holy Spirit who is giving them wisdom and guidance to help bring about peace.

When chaos arises its hard to consider the full presence, peace, prosperity and blessings of God much less have a heart-felt desire for the other person to experience the same. We get caught up in how we were offended, hurt, taken advantage of, laughed at, or gossiped about and thoughts of harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare are no where to be found. So how can we be peacemakers that God blesses?

Finding peace begins with prayer

The first thing is to pray. Too often prayer becomes our last resort when we don’t know what else to do. Learn to pray first. Pray for God to give you wisdom for how to best handle the conflict. Ask Him to give you humility, a willingness to see the other person’s side of the story, grace to accept when you’re wrong, and a forgiving heart for where the other person is wrong. Pray for him to give you discernment and compassion. Pray for the other person as well.

Finding peace requires listening to the other side of the story

The second thing is to remember there is always another side to the story so ask them. Any conversation that revolves around conflict is difficult, but don’t wait and let bitterness and anger fester inside. Go to the other person as soon as possible – with an open mind that truly wants to hear their side. Listen as they share with a spirit of prayer and a desire for resolution and peace.

Finding peace requires being willing to say, “I’m sorry.”

The third thing to being a peacemaker is to be willing to say, “I’m sorry.” If you recognize a part of the conflict that is your fault, own up to it and ask for their forgiveness. It is very hard to admit to others our faults but we need to remember that we are no more perfect that they other person is. Sometimes conflict is nothing more than a simple misunderstanding. Other times it goes much deeper. Rarely is conflict a one-sided issue where only one person is in the wrong. A peacemaker is willing to humble themselves and admit to their part and work toward restoring peace.

Find peace requires love, humility and honesty

Lastly, there are times when a peacemaker needs to humbly step in help the other person acknowledge sin in their life that has caused the conflict and point them back to God so they can find peace with Him. It isn’t done with pride or accusation but with a Christ-like love and a desire to see the other person have a restored relationship with God.

Peace has to be made and Peacemakers take the initiative

Its impossible to go through life without conflict. So the next time conflict comes remember that Jesus is softly saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peace doesn’t just happen because we wish it were so…peace has to be made and peacemakers take the initiative. Be the person that works to restore peace – not the one that stirs up tensions and strife. Bring harmony, wholeness, and welfare to others. Be the person who desires for others to experience the full presence, peace, prosperity, and blessings of God.

And yes…we really do want world peace.


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