The scope of this study was prompted by the call of Governor Nikki Haylee to join in prayer June 13, 2015.
Psalm 133:1-2 How good and pleasant it is when God's people dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.
The church in America is caught up fighting with Non-believers on various issues, and the church itself is caught up in quarrels inside its own fold. It is not very attractive to the one's we wish to extend God' grace and reconciliation through Christ . There are many that are seeking God, and his truth, but fear to look for him within the church.
I was a young girl in school and wanted to find God. I had a friend that invited me to church but I was told to stay away from her because her denomination was wrong. I would hear Christian friends speak of their former church and the fight that caused a split. Needless to say, I stayed a sinner for a long time. My mentality was "better to have fun sinning, than to get saved and live a life of fighting with people about who was more right."
Our purpose as believers, is to tell the truth of Jesus to the world. He transforms the heart that was sinful, and makes it permeable to divine love. We have to love our brothers and sisters in faith in order for the world to see the difference of light and darkness.
1 Peter 1:21-23 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
So why do we have fights and quarrels? James, in the new testament gives us an answer.
James 4:2 Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
James goes on to say that we should humble ourselves repent and mourn. Draw near to God. He did Not call the world to repent of its sin in this writing. He was speaking to believers. He then says:
James 4:11-12 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
There is a difference in faith in knowing we are saved and faith or assurance (because of head knowledge or cultural teachings) that we are right. The amount of faith that your way is the only way does not compare to the quality of faith that you have that you are forgiven and redeemed in Christ. Quality trumps quantity every time.
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
If you are wise in doing something you think is from God, do it in love for others to see, and they will want to emulate your good life.
Ephesians 4:1-6 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
This post is meaty with scripture, but I have faith God's word will do a much better case for "arguing" for peace than I. Sometimes I hear a good sermon on the radio, and go to google to find more about them or a book. The search results never fail to bring up experts in the Law of Christianity that have a 100 point bullet list of why they are not a Christian, and most of these bullets are based on the Person's denomination. It infuriates the author if said person has been endorsed across denominational barriers and they will use that as reason not to trust those people either.
We are not going to win the world to Jesus if we are constantly trying to win the world to our denomination. So if you are local here in South Carolina, or if there is a similar event planned near you, did you first look to see who was behind the planning? Did you intend to go and pray that God would convict the sinners of their destitution? Would you consider asking the Lord to show you your motives, so that you can receive what you ask for in faith?
This book takes a fresh look at the Good Samaritan, and will prick your heart to desire to reach across the table and extend Christ' love.