Posts Tagged 'conflict'

Pondering Peacemaking

Peace_MG_0261

What does it mean to be a peacemaker?

Of course, I know Jesus’ words on the subject: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

But HOW?

With all the rancor seen in the world today, with so many people at odds with others, how can I be a peacemaker?

Perhaps it starts with me.

Instead of looking to foster peace between others in conflict, I should first address the conflict within me.

Why am *I* upset? What is it that moves me, shakes me, disturbs me?

Why am I NOT at peace with so many events happening around the world, in my community, and in my own life?

Could it be that I’ve lost sight of my Father?

Could it be that I’ve forgotten who I am, and Who has me?

I *am* a child of I AM.

THAT is my identity. That will always be true, whether I remember it consistently or not. I have been adopted into God’s family.

When I focus on the conflict I see, I absorb that conflict. I didn’t think I was that empathic, but — surprise, surprise — apparently, I get upset when I see those who are upset.

When I focus on the Father who sees all sides of the conflict that I witness, I am able to be at peace.

I remember Whose I am.

I AM.

Out of the Ordinary: Offense or Defense?

Out of the Ordinary: Offense or Defense?

Luke 11:14-23

A famous Methodist evangelist named Peter Cartwright was known for his uncompromising preaching. However, one day when the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, “Old rough and ready,” came to Cartwright’s church, the elders warned the Pastor not to offend the President. In those days, the President had great power to influence a denomination for good or bad. Content, that their Pastor would not say anything to discredit their church, the elders retired to the back of the sanctuary.

When Cartwright got up to speak, the first words out of his mouth were, “I understand that President Andrew Jackson is here this morning. I have been requested to be very guarded in my remarks. Let me say this: “Andrew Jackson will go to hell if doesn’t repent of his sin!” The entire congregation gasped with shock at Cartwright’s boldness. How could this young preacher dare to offend the tough old general in public, they wondered.

After the service, everyone wondered how the President would respond to Cartwright. When Andrew Jackson met the preacher at the door he looked at him in the eye and said, “Sir, If I had a regiment of men like you, I could conquer the world!”

The States Of Spiritual Warfare

Confrontation ~ Luke 11:14-16

  • 14 here, Jesus confronts a demon, driving it out
  • 15 instead of rejoicing, people accuse Jesus of **evil** the world is NOT on God’s side, and they’ll even accuse the Godly of being against God
  • 16 why are they testing Jesus? Who’s the authority? When our worldview is challenged, we don’t appreciate it: who are YOU to say that to me???

Confusion ~ Luke 11:17-20

  • 17 infighting is unstable
  • 18 WHY would the devil ever drive out the devil? This is an nonsensical accusation, and Jesus calls them out on it:
  • 19 if confronting evil is EVIL, then what is it when your own side does it?
  • 20 if confronting evil is GOOD, then why refuse to recognize that Jesus is God among you?

Conclusion ~ Luke 11:21-23

  • 21/22 make no mistake: we’re at war with the kingdom of darkness cf. Colossians 1:13 “God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”
  • 23 which side are you on? Not Lord’s side versus the Devil, but offense or defense? cf. Isaiah 5:20

Matthew 16:18: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

The only weapon the Devil has is the LIE. If the Adversary can get your eyes off of Jesus, and onto anything else, you’re on the defensive, and being pushed further into the darkness all the time.

The only way to combat a lie is with THE TRUTH. It’s time for us to go on the OFFENSE – and make no mistake, the truth often is **offensive** to those who would rather live with a treasured lie.

Pearls from Philippians: Contending Companionship

Pearls from Philippians: Contending Companionship Sermon Audio Here

Philippians 4:1-9

In Boxing, “The importance of a good stance cannot be stressed enough. A good stance provides balance, and is a key to both attacking and defensive techniques. Boxers should be able to throw a punch without losing their balance.”

What’s Our Stance in Circumstance?

Stand Firm With Your Faith Family ~ Philippians 4:1-3

  • 1 STAY IN THE LORD because of love, joy, and want; deep desire to have us all be together in Christ
  • 2 agree=Phil 2:2 (be one in spirit and purpose) we do NOT all need to think the same thoughts; but we DO need to remember we’re part of the same family, and our different points of view do not need to estrange us from one another
  • 3 notice HELP: sometimes it takes the intervention of others to help us see that being one in spirit and purpose is an INTENTIONAL CHOICE. Some days, I feel just plain disagreeable. Other days, I’m worse! Those who love me are kind enough to remind me that I need a little help to be more like Jesus. That’s our job as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Choose To Rise To Challenges ~ Philippians 4:4-7

  • 4 CHOOSE: joy, repeatedly
  • 5 CHOOSE: reasonableness
  • 6 CHOOSE: thankfulness in prayer
  • 7 RESULT: God’s peace will mount a guard over your heart (the answer to the strife at beginning of chapter)

Philippians 4:8-9 “think on these things” means ”to take an inventory” of these attributes. STOCK UP and USE THEM in your life.

Lent: Our Peace

Lent: Our Peace Sermon Audio Here

Romans 5:1-11

I’ve been noticing new construction around our town. Have you ever considered all the parts that go into the construction of a permanent dwelling? Jesus said He’d prepare a place for us – we haven’t “moved in” yet, but what do we already have right now?

What Parts of Peace Do We Have?

Present Terms of Peace ~ Romans 5:1-5

  • v1 NOT “we must make peace” but “realize that you already HAVE peace”; this is not a call to cessation of conflict with God – this is an encouragement to let us know that God has already granted us peace because of our being made just according to HIS will
  • v2 access INTO grace? Faith is a VERB here; when we USE our faith, we enter into the grace we’ve been given. Example: a builder constructs a house to specifications, but we have to walk INTO the house to take possession of what we own “on paper”
  • v3/4 suffering leads to perseverance, and then character, and then hope
  • v5 we hope for God’s love; our hope is REALIZED because of the presence of the Spirit; once we recognize our hope, we give God glory in response

Perfect Timing for Peace ~ Romans 5:6-11

  • v6/7 “right time” Kairos; God’s timetable, not ours
  • v8 God gave us what we needed BEFORE we knew we needed it: Christ’s atoning death
  • v9 Jesus’ sacrifice fulfills God’s covenant with us
  • v10 Every blessing we have is because we are connected to Christ. His death paid our price; His Resurrection pulls us into Eternal Life
  • v11 “have now received” Both PRESENT AND FUTURE

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. ~Exodus 17:6

God stands before us in our times of trouble with His solution. He has already provided everything you need for peace; you just have to recognize it.

In This Corner…

In This Corner Sermon Audio Here


Ecclesiastes 7:15-23
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the main event, in the category of the meaning of life here on planet Earth, presiding over this match we have the Holy Spirit, the King of Kings and the Father of All, (pause) Now in the red corner, with a professional record of with numerous wins in the lives of fools, from the heart of the Adversary but living in countless minds all over the world, please welcome the Concept of Wickedness! (Pause) The opponent in the blue corner with a professional record of the Ultimate Win, through the work of the Son of God, and found in the lives of the saints, from before the beginning of time, please welcome the Concept of Righteousness!”

How Do We Live in the Midst of Struggle?

Find Your Sweet Spot In The Middle
Ecc. 7:15-23 We have to get out of the corner!

  • v16/17 – Don’t be holier than thou, or a smart-alec, and don’t be mr. wicked; live in the middle (which is where the fight is!)
  • v20 don’t pretend to be perfect, we all know better
  • v23 we know we’re going to fall short; don’t obsess about it

Bring Your Best To The Conflict
Rom. 12:3-8 Don’t just show up; TRAIN

  • v3 sober judgment w/ faith; admit weakness and strengths
  • v4/5 we are a TEAM – not just individuals (wrestling points)
  • v6/8 prophesying = proclaimer of divine concerns
    • serving = service as attendant, aide, or assistant
    • teaching = regardless of setting
    • encouraging = urge strongly, appeal to, urge, exhort
    • contributing = to give WITH (larger than ourselves)
    • leadership = exercise a position of leadership
    • mercy = be greatly concerned about someone in need

Let’s USE our spiritual gifts in the midst of life’s struggle! When all is said and done, the Fight has ultimately already been Won by One!


Pastor Ed Backell

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