Sunday, October 9, 2016

This morning at Gastonia First Wesleyan - Blessed are the Peacemakers

This morning the message at Gastonia First Wesleyan Church was about the 9th Beatitude found in Matthew 5.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."   Matthew 5: 9

Here is the Peacemaker's Pledge I made available at the close of worship:

                                  The Peacemaker’s Pledge                                                                 Gastonia First Wesleyan Church                                          October 9, 2016

As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict (Matthew 5:9Luke 6:27-36Galatians 5:19-26). We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ (Romans 8:28-291 Corinthians 10:31-11:1James 1:2-4). Therefore, in response to God’s love and in reliance on his grace, we commit ourselves to respond to conflict according to the following principles:

Glorify God — Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in the Lord and bring him praise by depending on his forgiveness, wisdom, power, and love, as we seek to faithfully obey his commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude (Psalm 37:1-6Mark 11:25John 14:15Romans 12:17-211 Corinthians 10:31Philippians 4:2-9Colossians 3:1-4James 3:17-18, 4:1-31 Peter 2:12).

Get the Log out of Your Own Eye — Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction, we will trust in God’s mercy and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts—confessing our sins to those we have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused (Proverbs 28:13Matthew 7:3-5Luke 19:8Colossians 3:5-141 John 1:8-9).

Gently Restore — Instead of pretending that conflict doesn’t exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will overlook minor offenses or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose offenses seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them. When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner (Proverbs 19:11Matthew 18:15-201 Corinthians 6:1-8Galatians 6:1-2;Ephesians 4:292 Timothy 2:24-26James 5:9).

Go and be reconciled — Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation—forgiving others as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences (Matthew 5:23-24, 6:12, 7:12Ephesians 4:1-3, 32Philippians 2:3-4)

By God’s grace, we will apply these principles as a matter of stewardship, realizing that conflict is an assignment, not an accident. We will remember that success in God’s eyes is not a matter of specific results, but of faithful, dependent obedience. And we will pray that our service as peacemakers will bring praise to our Lord and lead others to know His infinite love (Matthew 25:14-21John 13:34-35Romans 12:181 Peter 2:19, 4:19).

 Please study the Scripture passages, pray through the pledge, and then I hope you will commit yourself to be a peacemaker.

         This pledge is adapted from Ken Sande’s very helpful book entitled,                                  “The Peacemaker”  (©2003 Peacemaker Ministries. Used by permission,                                                     

NOW - the BIG question for next Sunday is simple: Who will you invite to church for our Friends and Family Sunday?

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