When conflict arises, we oftentimes want to rush in and defend our position. Perhaps we even feel justified in blaming others. However, James 1:19 gives different advice for dealing with tension and disputes: “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” In other words, more can be accomplished through a calm approach to the situation. Scripture also suggests that we …
Pray. First, we should ask the Lord to guard our mouth and give us the right words to say (Luke 12:12). Also, we ought to request discernment with regard to the root issue and insight as to whether we might be at fault.
See with divine perspective. Our sovereign Lord works every situation for the believer’s benefit (Rom. 8:28). Not only does God use difficulties to teach us, but He also allows us to demonstrate the life of Christ by the way we respond.
Forgive. Even if someone has hurt us by causing the conflict, we should forgive. Jesus died to pardon all of our sin, and we, in turn, should forgive others. In fact, if we don’t, our lives will become burdened by resentment and broken relationships.
Respond. If we have done something wrong, we must apologize and ask forgiveness. We should express appreciation that the other person took time to share his concern. Then we ought to acknowledge his feelings and carefully consider his comments.
How do you respond to conflict? Pray for the strength to stay calm and do what is right—even during difficult, emotional situations.
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
The Greek word ginomai, translated “is made” in this verse, is most fascinating. It is rendered many different ways—“become,” etc., as well as “be made.” Most often it is simply translated “be.” It basically means “begin to be,” or “be caused to be.” It is even applied to the work of Christ in calling the universe into being. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). “Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).
It is frequently used also to denote the marvelous work of Christ in and on the believing Christian. As our text says, He becomes wisdom to us who lack wisdom; He is made our righteousness, although we were sinners; we who are unholy receive our sanctification in Him; and when we were lost, He became our redemption. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become [same word, ginomai] the sons of God” (John 1:12). All that Christ is, we are made through His great sacrifice for us.
Note some of the other things we are made in Christ, by His grace. We are “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We are “made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). “We are made partakers of Christ” and also “made partakers of the Holy Ghost” (Hebrews 3:14; 6:4).
In fact, when we receive Christ, old things pass away and “all things are become [same word] new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). These wonderful attributes are given to us and appropriated right now by faith and will be accomplished in full perfection when Christ returns and “we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM
“The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity.”
More than seventy years after Sheshbazzar had led the first exiles back to Jerusalem, according to the decree of Cyrus, the Lord stirred up Ezra, a priest, to conduct another company to the beloved city. Leaving all the ease and comfort of the land in which they dwelt, believing men and women joined together to return to the sacred place where their fathers had aforetime Worshipped the true God. The company started with the full sanction of Artaxerxes, the Persian king. Ezra, acting as his own historian, says—
Ezra felt that they must have the priests of the Lord with them. What can righteous men do without the ordinances of religion?
He begins well who begins with prayer.
Ezra 8:22, 23
Prayer is both shield and sword. Faith in this case bore herself bravely in refusing to com- promise the honour of God by begging protection of the Persian king.
He travels safely who has the Lord of Hosts for his convoy.
Care should always be taken that all that belongs to the Lord’s house should be exactly accounted for.
Thus with devout hearts they commenced a new and happy era for Jerusalem. Those who act with an eye to the glory of God shall receive honour at his hands.
My soul shall pray for Zion still,
While life or breath remains,
There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God, my Saviour reigns.
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 4:12)
I must take issue with those in the churches who insist that the worshiping saints do not get anything done but worship! Such an attitude reveals that they have not done their homework. The beautiful part of worship is that it prepares you and enables you to zero in on the important things that must be done for God.
Listen to me! Practically every great deed done in the church of Christ all the way back to the apostles was done by people blazing with the radiant worship of their God!
The great hospitals and the mental institutions have grown out of the hearts of worshiping and compassionate disciples. It is true, also, that wherever the church has come out of her lethargy and into the tides of revival and spiritual renewal, always the worshipers were back of it.
A survey of church history will prove that it was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers and the selfless servants. If we give ourselves to God’s call for worship, everyone will do more for the Savior than they are doing now!
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” Isa. 66:13
A mother’s comfort! Ah, this is tenderness itself. How she enters into her child’s grief! How she presses him to her bosom, and tries to take all his sorrow into her own heart! He can tell her all, and she will sympathize as nobody else can. Of all comforters the child loves best his mother, and even full-grown men have found it so.
Does Jehovah condescend to act the mother’s part? This is goodness indeed. We readily perceive how He is a father; but will He be as a mother also? Does not this invite us to holy familiarity, to unreserved confidence, to sacred rest? When God Himself becomes “the Comforter” no anguish can long abide. Let us tell out our trouble, even though sobs and sighs should become our readiest utterance. He will not despise us for our tears; our mother did not. He will consider our weakness as she did, and He will put away our faults, only in a surer, safer way than our mother could do. We will not try to bear our grief alone: that would be unkind to one so gentle and so kind. Let us begin the day with our loving God, and wherefore should we not finish it in the same company, since mothers weary not of their children?