Being a Peacemaker

In the New Testament Jesus tells us that God blesses peace making people but Jesus never said it was easy. “Mom he’s picking on me!” Is one of the most common phrases around every family, (including ours) because it is easier to blame someone for our problems than to make peace with them. Sadly, jumping on the band wagon of pointing an accusing finger at people who are different than us at school or work ( or church) just feels so right. But today’s scripture warns us that God takes quite a different view. God says He loves it when we work to make peace and He offers us His friendship.

Instead of accusing others even if they are truly guilty, Jesus chose to begin the peace process by taking our guilt on Calvary. He died to bridge the friendship chasm between us and the Father, and He offers us His friendship whenever we are ready to make peace with Him.

Taking Time Each Morning

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] Psalm 145:13 ESV

Each morning I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little prayer for you

Aretha Franklin

While of course we know Aretha Franklin wasn’t talking about praising God she does make a perfect point about love. It has a wonderful way of forming our thoughts before we even start our day! Love for Jesus should be no less passionate than love for a husband or wife. And love means taking time – the very first and best moments of our day to choose to praise the Lord.

I love Psalm 145 because in it David wastes not even a single line without using it to give God praise. Though there are many different reasons David gives us for praising God today’s thought is just about one of them. God is kind. In 1 Corinthians 13 we usually remember that patience is listed as love’s first attribute but then forget that the Holy Spirit marries that attitude to kindness. Patience endures our failings but in kindness God actively seeks ways to do us good often in small blessings we just take for granted. Why not take a moment this morning to praise God for at least one of them. He has been faithful to help us in our baby steps of faith. Let’s thank him for such tender kindness and love even before we put on our make-up or in my case that would be my first cup of coffee! God bless and have a great day taking time with God.

An Answer in the Morning

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?  Mark 4:13 ESV

When I as a teenager we used to sing the Andre Crouch song, “Jesus is the Answer” with great abandon and joy. We were super confident that life was now simple and our challenges under control because we had met Jesus and He was our Savior. But now that fifty years have passed, I am discovering that the same Jesus who was the answer for my salvation has also been the Jesus who asks me some very uncomfortable questions, like today’s verse. “How will you understand?”

After five decades my answer is, “I have no idea Lord!” I am often baffled like Philip was when he asked Jesus, “We don’t know where you are going, How can we know the way?” Jesus rarely gives us an easy answer. He doesn’t outline three steps to healing, five keys to church growth or six choices leading to prosperity. Instead He comes each day and asks, “Which one was a neighbor? Will you also go away? Who do you say that I am? or Why are you weeping?”

Why does Jesus do that? My best guess is that when I know the answer, I will not be here any longer to tell you! But one morning when the mist is wiped clear from Heaven’s windows we are promised that will see our Jesus who asks every question and is Himself the answer; our Lord and our most intimate friend. That morning we will know as we are known and there we will see Him face to face!

For my younger readers who likely have no clue as to who Andre Crouch is I am posting a link to a live performance. I was blessed to have the chance to see He along with his sister Sandra and the band in Phoenix in 1972. This YouTube video doesn’t really convey the tremendous energy faith hope (and volume!) that ruled during those live concerts. Have a blessed day all.