Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Pandemic Perspective – Part 21 Division

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Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.

Conflicts are all too common. They have been around since the beginning of time as Genesis 4:3-13 reminds us that when Cain became jealous of Abel he killed him in an outburst of anger. Many centuries later, when the United States was divided by a Civil War, President Lincoln wisely referred to the biblical admonition that “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. In Amos 3:3 God posed the question, “How can two walk together, unless they are in agreement?” The truth is that they can’t. They must be in one accord in order to effectively work together. I wonder if the greater damage that this virus has inflicted on us is not just death but division. Everything has become a divisive issue. Take wearing or not wearing a mask. Our nation is not only divided over this but it has become a divisive issue to the point people are killing each other over it. In Matthew 12 Jesus was accused by the religious Jews of being of Satan because He healed a man who was both demon-possessed as well as blind. The crowd was not only amazed but they asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” To which Jesus said, “any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” So where is the church at?  Are we united or divided? Sadly, we seem to have forgotten that we are on the same side. Have we forgotten that everyone in the world is part of the human race? Even though we have different nationalities and races, we are all created in God’s image. As Christians it is critical that we remember we are part of the same kingdom. This is true regardless of what we look like or feel like, even though we may have opposing views when it comes to politics we are still called to live like Jesus and treat others with dignity. At the end of the day, we are all on the same team and if we are going to play like we are on the same team then we have to look to God’s game plan. We see this in Ephesians 4:3 where it instructs us, “you should endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. You must find a way to function in unity and harmony with one another.” But how do we do this when we have differing opinions? By walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh and allowing the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s peace to permeate our lives. As we allow God’s Spirit to control us, He will create an atmosphere of peace in all that we do and say. So, who is in control of your life God’s Spirit or self? Are you being controlled more by your political agenda or the Almighty? How do you know? What do you spend more time talking about politics or the Prince of Peace? When it comes to peace I believe there are three kinds of people, peace-breakers, peace-fakers and peace-makers. We live in a world full of peace-breakers. Did you know that in all the years of recorded history, the world has been at peace just 8% of the time? Over that period, 8000 treaties have been made and broken. Because of this it has been said that “Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stops to reload.” Then there are the peace-fakers those who pretend to pursue God’s peace plan but in reality they are just putting on a mask and playing the part of a peacemaker while masking their real motives. In Jesus sermon on the mount he said in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Note that Jesus is not calling us to be peace-keepers, but peace-makers. But some of us are predisposed to having peace at any cost, and in an effort to avoid conflict we will cave or even appear to cooperate. Yet it’s just a pretend peace. Real peace-makers do what it takes to establish and maintain peace. Instead of escalating conflict they work to extinguish tension and usher in true peace. Are you going after and guarding peace? Warren Wiersbe said, “Hatred looks for a victim, while love seeks a victory. The man of war throws stones, but the peacemaker builds a bridge out of those stones.” God is not the author of confusion or conflict; He is the author of peace because Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. As Christ works through you, He will be the peacemaker, bringing order and effective results in every situation. Are you allowing this pandemic to divide? How much world news verses Good news are you consuming? Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for a vaccine to division because the antidote to conflict is Christ. So, let me ask you who or what is controlling your thought life, who or what is controlling your tongue, who or what is controlling your emotions, is it the media or the Master?

 

 

 

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