This is post #18 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 #6: Peacemakers Read/Pray/Converse & Learn.
Today’s Lectio Divina: The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it. 1st Timothy 2: 1-3, 8-10 (MsgB)
If your prayer is that our broken world will see true Christ-centered peacemaking at work, I have news for you.
It ain’t gonna happen until we, in the body of Christ, practice it fully on one another.
Here’s a bit of Bible trivia for you:
The English phrase “one another” is derived from the Greek word allelon which means “one another, each other; or mutually.” This word occurs 100 times in the New Testament and 59 of those occurrences are specific commands teaching us how (and how not) to relate to one another as fellow believers.
As I see it, peacemaking for the cause of Christ begins in the house of the Lord. It begins with you and me practicing the “one-anothers.” and unless you’ve been living under a rock the last decade or so, you’ll know how divisive things have become in the body of Christ. Just a sentence or two with political overtones can clear a room of Christians faster than any demon this side of Wichita!
So, friends, here’s my suggestion.
If you want to become a peacemaker for the greater glory of God, you must take the frightening step of inviting a few other Christians with a similar passion for peacemaking into your home, sit down, share a meal, pray a prayer of God’s blessing, and begin the healing process of true soul care as Jesus modeled it in the first century. You see, Jesus wasn’t afraid to sit with others who were different from Himself. This gift of diversity was obvious the moment He began picking men and women to become His close associates.
Andrew, Peter, James and John were fishermen (Matthew 4: 18-22). Thomas, Nathaniel and Philip may have been fishermen as well (John 21: 2-8). Matthew (Matthew 9: 9), also called Levi (Mark 2: 14), was a tax collector. Zacchaeus, another taxman was invited into Jesus circle as well (Luke 19: 1-10). Simon, the Zealot (Luke 6: 15) and most likely Judas, were engaged in politics and anarchy. Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:1-3) is presumed to have seven demons which Jesus expelled, and then, there was yet another Mary, the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet (Luke 7: 36-50). The Gospel writers mention many other men and women, not all by name, who gathered around Jesus, and apparently, the Master had no problem caring for each soul, as we find Him doing so effectively throughout the Gospel texts.
So, what about you and me?
Just imagine for a moment. Who might Jesus bring our way if we begin asking Him to gather together those who have a heart for Christ-centered peacemaking? Who might the Master gather around my table, particularly if I ask Him to bring those who not only think like I do but also those who are different from me as well?
In the Book of Revelation, we find this:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7: 9 (NIV)
So, let’s get practical here.
What should I do if Jesus begins gathering others to me who are followers of Christ, yet vastly different from me?
Here’s my suggestion for true Christ-centered soul-care.
- Allow Jesus (via the work of the Holy Spirit) to lead while I humbly host and facilitate.
- Take plenty of time to hear each other’s story, listening carefully before speaking.
- Allow a safe place where people can share their experiences with conflict vs. peace, with intolerance vs. acceptance, with contempt vs. love.
- Focus on Jesus, encouraging prayer with Him and communion with each other.
- Practice the one anothers (see the New Testament for 59 specifics).
- Continue meeting together on a regular basis for on-going love, support, and care.
Now, all of what I just said here is pretty simplistic, but in all honesty, I believe this list just might be the basic components of “successful” church life in the first-century. I tell you what, let’s try these six things for a year or so and we’ll circle back and see how things are progressing at that point!
Let me close with this word from our sponsor…
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness (peace), everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4: 6-7 (MsgB)
My Prayer: Jesus, gathering in Your Name, for the greater glory of God isn’t really rocket-science. Forgive us when we make it way more complicated than You want it to be. Holy Spirit, indwell and empower me to gather like-minded folks who desire to become peacemakers for the cause of Christ. But Father God, give me much grace and mercy for myself and others when people who are quite different from me start showing up. May the diversity be great, but the care of souls simple. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Questions to Ponder: Romans 12: 18 (NIV) says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” So, let’s be honest here. Where are my comfort zones when it comes to being at peace with other Christ-followers? And more importantly, where am I uncomfortable, and am I willing to give Jesus control over who He might bring into my life? Is true Spirit-directed diversity a goal here or am I more interested in staying safe and in control?
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.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!