A Peacemaker’s Pleasure and Power

By | September 21, 2016

pleasurepowerlargerWhere does a Peacemaker Find the Power to Persevere in Conflict?
Answer: Through Complete Dependence on Jesus.

What motivates you on a day to day basis? Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (). What would it look like if God’s glory was our energy for living? Just as food sustains us, empowers us, and gives us pleasure, Christ-followers should be sustained, empowered, and motivated by the food of doing God’s will and accomplishing his work.

A Christian’s life goal increasingly becomes the mission of displaying and magnifying the cross of Christ (, ). Whether facing plenty or want, a vision for God’s glory is what enables us to pick up our crosses daily, deny ourselves, and follow Jesus (). Like Paul, we want others to see Christ through us (). Maturity means we find increasing joy in God becoming greater and greater and our own desires becoming lesser and lesser (, ).

What tough relationships has God called you to persevere in? Where are there opportunities in your life to pick up your cross and follow Jesus? Jesus persevered and endured the cross with joy, because God’s glory had so captured his heart (, ). We who are united to Christ are called to mini-deaths in just the same way (). Jesus exclaimed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (). Seeing God’s glory displayed in the world can come in many ways. We pray His kingdom come, His will be done, and ask Christ to rule in our hearts (, ).

Where can you give yourself in service to God and others? Peacemakers desire to bear fruit, like trust in the Lord, repentance, obedience, and the fruit of the Spirit, displaying God’s power in impossible situations. When patience, love, joy, and peace seem impossible, we display God’s glorious grace by showing that the surpassing power comes from him, not us ()! Humanly impossible situations become the crucible in which we learn to persevere in love. We come to an end of ourselves and are forced to surrender and rely on God, allowing Him to mold us.

Have you ever stopped to consider that God’s power is displayed by our dependence on him? God is most glorified by dependent creatures. Actually, independence and self-sufficiency are just illusions. In Him we live and move and have our being (). Apart from Him, we can do nothing (). But through Christ, we are more than conquerors, accomplishing things of eternal significance (, )! Make no mistake about it, God is pleased to bring us to an end of ourselves to make us rely on Him ()! (See also Westminster Confession of Faith: V,5.) Spiritual strength is the amount of grace I depend on in my weakness! So let us boast in our weaknesses so that the power of Christ can be made known ().

Peacemakers understand that results and outcomes are in God’s hands. Our job is to trust and obey our heavenly Father, even if we don’t get our way. Into God’s hands we commit our spirits (, ). We seek obedience and leave the results to him (). Peacemakers entrust themselves to a faithful God, knowing that God is good, sovereign, and all-wise (, , , , ).

Picture God delighting in the fruit of his children. While sin grieves God, obedience delights God’s heart (, , Tim Challies: Do Not Grieve, , ). And while our fruit may not be perfect, our imperfect efforts are viewed by God under the perfect obedience of His son ().

May God give you the grace to persevere in love and obedience today.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

 

photo credit: HORSES ON WATERGATE BAY via photopin (license)


34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. (ESV)


2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (ESV)


21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (ESV)


23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (ESV)


11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (ESV)


30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)


Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV)


12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (ESV)


17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (ESV)


6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (ESV)


42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (ESV)


10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
(ESV)


15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (ESV)


But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (ESV)


24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ (ESV)


I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)


37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (ESV)


13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV)


For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (ESV)


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)


Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. (ESV)


46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. (ESV)


18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (ESV)


19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (ESV)


And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (ESV)


For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (ESV)


28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (ESV)


33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (ESV)


And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (ESV)


30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (ESV)


24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, (ESV)


For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you. (ESV)


14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (ESV)


17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. (ESV)