This is post #5 of a series entitled Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace. We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here you’ll find very practical and biblically-sound advice on building bridges instead of walls, offering hope instead of despair. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Click on the link below to listen to the podcast version of this blog!
Truth #2: Peacemakers Find Themselves in Christ.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the Kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 13-14 (MsgB)
In our previous blogs/podcasts we found Jesus, in Matthew’s Gospel (see Matthew 24: 3-12), warning His disciples that in the time prior to the second coming of Christ, confusion will be the order of the day. Lies and half-truths will flood the scene, coming even from men and women who represent God Himself. Hatred will traffic our planet and through it all, the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being will occur. Many, apparently, will allow their hearts to grow stone cold. Or as Eugene Peterson translates it:
Overwhelming spread of evil will do (us) in—nothing left of (our) love but a mound of ashes.
That’s pretty bad news, isn’t it?
But, thanks be to God, in today’s Lectio Divina, we find some really good news in Jesus’ very next sentence:
Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved.
That’s a word that you and I can take to the bank!
I just thought of another question.
So, Jesus, when You say…
“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end.”
What exactly is the “it”?
You see, Jesus, if I’m to be completely honest with You, one of the biggest obstacles to faith throughout my 68 years of doing church in America has been my focus on doing the “it” (what I do for Jesus) at the cost of embracing the “who” (the One I need to be following)!
Make sense? Let me explain.
Sadly, in this fallen world in which we live, so much of our identity as human beings comes from the work we do (i.e. the what). For example, when someone first meets me and they ask me to tell them something about myself, I naturally pull out the first identifier that comes to mind.
“Well, my name is Marty Boller, and uh, well, I’m a pastor, and uh, I’ve been doing that for over thirty years!
But here’s the truth.
The work I do for Jesus, while consuming so much of my last 30+ years, is quite honestly, only a very small segment of who I actually am. As a matter of fact, over the last ten years as I’ve taken more time to slow down, allowing Jesus to show me who He actually sees me to be, I know that my “work” for Him as a pastor actually only scratches the surface when trying to answer the question of who I am.
As one author puts it, “We are human BE-ings, not human DO-ings.”
You see, sadly, so many of us in church life focus on the question…
Jesus, what do You want me to be doing for You?
…rather than the much more important question…
Jesus, who am I in You?
So, for those of us who desire to become peacemakers for the cause of Christ, please allow me to introduce you to our second truth:
Truth #1: Peacemakers Understand the Times in Which We Live.
Truth #2: Peacemakers Find Themselves in Christ.
You see, while becoming Christ-centered peacemakers is a high calling indeed, please know that even on our best days of doing such work; it is just that…a work, a calling.
So, when Jesus tells His friends to “stay with it” until the end, know that the Master isn’t talking nearly as much about the “what” we do for Christ, but rather, the “who” we become as we draw closer and closer to One who truly matters.
More on that next time.
My Prayer: Jesus, I’ve been following You for most of my 68 years of life. I’m so thankful that You’ve never left me nor forsaken me. Yet, sadly, I realize that it’s easy for me to lose track of the original purpose of why You called me in the first place. As I see it, You are not as interested in the “what” I do for You as compared to the “who” I become in and through You. Holy Spirit, please help me keep that important perspective in front of me as I “stay with it” to the end. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Questions to Ponder: Where have I allowed my work of “doing” good things for God override Jesus’ invitation to me “being” all He wants me to become? Am I willing to slow up my busy activities for God, move myself closer to the Master, and learn to listen to Him as He shares His desires for me and my life? What might Jesus be inviting me to become right now?
So, how are you experiencing God’s presence as you are becoming a peacemaker for the cause of Christ?
Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace.
We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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