This is post #21 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 #7: Peacemakers Discern Where God Is Working and Join Him There.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Jesus defended Himself. “My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.” That really set (the Jewish leaders) off. (They) were now not only out to expose Him; they were out to kill Him. Not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was calling God His own Father, putting Himself on a level with God. So Jesus explained Himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what He sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes Him in everything He is doing.” John 5: 17-20 (MsgB)
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God. He is your life. Colossians 3: 1-3 (MsgB)
Earlier, in this blog and podcast series, we made it crystal clear.
You and I live in a very unique time. And our ability (or inability) to discern that uniqueness and know specifically what we should be doing and saying during this unique time is a vital component in determining the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the Gospel message in our generation.
You see, Jesus of Nazareth knew with certainty that He was living in a unique time, and He also fully understood the fact that His words and actions were a vital component to the work of God going on all around Him. That’s why when push came to shove and both His enemies and His friends were asking Him, “By what authority are You doing the things that You do?” (Mark 11: 28), He was fully prepared to reveal to them His modus operanti.
And, it’s here, in today’s Lectio Divina (John 5: 17-20) where Jesus removes the cloak of mystery, revealing an amazing core truth behind every word and every deed Jesus accomplished throughout His three-year ministry.
You see, many people read the Jesus stories found in the Bible, see the amazing things He said (i.e. the Sermon on the Mount, the parables, etc.) and the powerful works He accomplished (i.e. walking on water, healing the sick, multiplying food) and assume that Jesus did and said all these things because He had special privileges as the Son of God.
But here’s the rub.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, addressed this issue when he wrote about Christ:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2: 6-8 (NIV)
You see, Jesus, understanding the uniqueness of the times in which He lived, knew that the only way He could live His human life for the purposes of God, was to submit Himself in reverent awe to His Father, confining His words and actions in response to what He saw the Father doing.
Did you get that?
So, as we discussed last time, when it comes to a ministry of peacemaking, you and I, as followers of Jesus, have no legitimate reason to create our own ministry of doing such. In truth, it’s a waste of human energy to spend a lot of time trying to come up with creative ways to do good things for the cause of Christ.
Because God, our Father, known in the Scriptures as our Source of Peace (Judges 6: 24), and Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior, known in the Scriptures as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6), have already put into place the master plan of peacemaking.
Thus, you and I would do a much greater service to those peacemaking interests of God, if we’d begin each day, inquiring of God, our Father, and Jesus, the Son, questions such as:
“Who is on Your heart today, Father God?”
“What are Your words of comfort today, Jesus?”
“Where are You are working today, Poppa?”
“When are You wanting me to speak or act, Master?”
Now, I know this all sounds a bit simplistic, but here’s the deal.
As Jesus reminds us:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! Matthew 7: 7-11 (NIV)
You see, following God’s roadmap for peacemaking is not rocket science. It’s not supposed to be complicated. It’s designed for children. Children of God. Those who have been mightily impacted by the in-breaking of God’s peace, can now go out and freely give away what we’ve been freely given.
Now, before we close up this section of our series, join us next time as we discuss the secret sauce in all this…
The empowering, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
My Prayer: Jesus, my Savior, my Brother, my Master, I am, indeed, so very thankful that You modeled for all of us, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And if You, as the Son the God, had to rely completely on the cues You received from God, Your Father, so that You only did what You saw the Father doing, how much more important is that process for me? As You humbled yourself before God, I see that You were completely free to be who God had made You to be. May I live in that same freedom, knowing that God delights to show me His will. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Questions to Ponder: Micah 5: 4-5a (NIV) says… He will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will live securely, for then His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And He will be our peace. So, what am I doing today that is positioning me alongside God’s Shepherd? Am I experiencing His strength? Am I dwelling in His security? Am I partaking of His peace? And finally, am I welcoming others around me today to come be a part of His peace, for Christ’s sake?
So, how are you experiencing God’s presence as you are becoming a peacemaker for the cause of Christ?