Message Recap: Greater Purpose, Pt. 6

This week, thanks to a good word from Jeremy Annillo, we understand more deeply our greater purpose in the eyes of God as we continue on in our series. Jeremy is overseeing the Church Planting efforts down South. We are so thankful for him and his family.

Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

This morning, as we continue in Greater Purpose, we are looking at the character of Shealtiel (Matthew 1:12: After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel; 1 Chronicles 3:17: The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son…).

Shealtiel wasn’t known for any of his own accomplishments, but instead only for his relationship to his son and his father. If we draw purpose and identity from others, rather than God, we will set ourselves up for a skewed perspective.

Even when your life feels unnoticed, God has a plan and purpose for it. We can’t see it from his eyes, but it’s best to trust that He knows best. And He does – He is God!

1 Corinthians 7:17-20: Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

1 Corinthians 10: 12-13: So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Let us boast in humility about what God is doing in and through us, without comparison to others. Every part of the living body has purpose; no part is dispensable, no part is insignificant. Our greater purpose is being realized by the Creator, no matter how we feel in this moment. Would it be enough to go completely unnoticed by all the world, and to be seen as faithful by our God? Let us be people that answer, truthfully, with a “yes”.

We have a part to play in the second coming of Jesus, whether we are known like David or unknown like Shealtiel. God sees us, and we are greatly significant in Heaven’s eyes.

Biblical references: Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Matthew 1:12; 1 Chronicles 3:17; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; 1 Corinthians 10: 12-13. 

Questions:

  1. Where are the places you are living for God in the unseen?
  2. Where is it hard to live what seems an unnoticed life and need to be reminded of your audience of one in Jesus?
  3. Jeremy asked the question, “Would it be enough to go completely unnoticed by all the world, and to be seen as faithful by our God?” What are the things keeping you from honestly answering yes to this question?

Message Recap: Greater Purpose, Pt. 4

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This week, we continue on in our series based on characters from the genealogy of Jesus, highlighting specifically the bravery of Jehoshaphat. Firstly, being brave doesn’t mean not being scared, it means doing the right thing even when you are scared. Let us be people that are marked by bravery, that lead brave lives.

2 Chronicles 20:1-3: After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

How do we stand with bravery? And, what does it look like for us, individually, to be brave in this season?

  1. Seek God in the midst of fear
    1. Being brave doesn’t mean feeling courageous.
  2. Remember the character of God
    1. In order to know His character, it is critical that we spend time with Him. We need to have a personal relationship with Him to understand more deeply His character and His will for us.
  3. Petition God for help
    1. When you have no idea what to do next, that’s the moment to ask.
    2. The enemy is set on you not asking. He hates when you turn to God, especially when no one is looking.
    3. The God of the universe has invited us into communion, to talk with Him, and to petition. He wants us to ask!
    4. He isn’t separate from reality, but He is greater than reality.
  4. Stand and worship God in the battle.
    1. Bravery often looks like standing, staying, waiting.
    2. It looks like worshipping before you even know the outcome of a situation; before you know where you are victorious.
    3. He doesn’t need to prove anything to us, but He invites us to discover that He is God, and that He is a good God.
  5. Watch God fight the battle
    1. 2 Chronicles 20: 22-23: And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.

Often, instead of these things, we choose in our haste, to:

  1. Ignore fear, and attempt to make our own way
  2. Question the character of God
  3. Worry and wait for something to change
  4. Run away
  5. Wonder where God was in our time of need

Our invitation is to encounter God, and act bravely. It has everything to do with His strength, and nothing to do with our own.

Biblical references: Matthew 1:7-8; 2 Chronicles 20:1-3; 2 Chronicles 20:22-23

Questions:

  1. Where are the places that you need to seek God in the midst of fear to make you brave?
  2. Where in your life do you need to stand and worship in the battle?
  3. What aspect of the character of God do you need to remember in your current circumstances?

 

Sermon Recap: Words of Hope

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Thank you to our worship leader, Josh Callahan, for sharing today’s message! It is such an honor to sing praises with you each week, and to hear your wisdom for this sermon, “Words of Hope”.

Last week was Easter – a fun and celebratory service it was at Mosaic – and this week, we narrow in on the 40 days that Jesus was with us on earth after His death and Resurrection, and the Pentecost (which occurred 50 days after the Resurrection). Jesus, before leaving His disciples on Earth, called them – and us, His disciples today! –  into hope. But what is “hope”, from a heavenly perspective? What does Jesus mean by calling us into eternal hope?

Ephesians 2:12: “…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Until Jesus, we weren’t part of the promise. This changed everything!

Ephesians 1:16-18: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Hope, in the Bible, is the expectation of good; our eternal salvation.  

Romans 8:24-25: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Hope’s synonyms include: anticipation, belief, desire, and expectation.

Acts 27:18-25: Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.'” Just as was promised, the men lived (and the boat did not). 

To break it down:

  1. There’s a storm.
  2. We react.
  3. We expect doom.
  4. We receive a word from God.
  5. Hope is restored.
  6. Salvation!

A word from God brings hope. But, that is not to say we don’t face hopelessness sometimes (disbelief, doubt, fear, mistrust), and these are very real emotions. We are sure to have trials and tribulations; this is a promise of the Bible. John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Physically, we live in a fallen world. But! Jesus has already conquered it; this is where we lie in the midst of “already but not yet”.

Romans 8:6: “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” The enemy is powerful in the world, but he has no say over the things of heaven. That authority belongs to Jesus. The enemy wants us to have worry and anxiety; he wants us to focus on the here and now, but Jesus wants us to set our sights on the things of heaven – he wants us to hope!

Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

John 14:1-3: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Not everything we hope for will be bestowed upon us, no matter how much we hope. But, we can place our hope in Jesus – in our place seated at the right hand of the throne of God – and we will receive as promised. Ultimately everything we hope for in this life will cease to exist. But hope allows us to live a more full life – Jesus wants this for us!

Rather than fall into the pattern of reacting to the storms of our lives, let us start with hope, and live accordingly:

  1. Hope
  2. Storms
  3. Word from God
  4. React from the place of hearing from God
  5. Salvation comes
  6. When we expect doom, remember #1.

2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Hope serves a purpose greater than its end result; it gives us the freedom to live now. Hope gives us a more fulfilling life.

Spiritual practicals to maintaining hope:

  1. Spend time in the Word, and you will find encouragement to keep hoping.
  2. Ask God for His presence, and you will feel peace.

Mental practicals to maintaining hope:

  1. Set your mind on the hope that is already inside of you because of the Spirit.
  2. Embrace change. Robert E. Quinn says: “You go through deep change or slow death. There is no alternative.”

Physical practicals to maintaining hope:

  1. Go – give hope away! There is certainly enough to go around. This is part of our calling as followers of Jesus. We have the hope of the world living on the inside of us. 2 Corinthians 3:12-18: “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Similar to Jesus, let us be unpredictable in our adventure but predictable in our character. Let’s take risks, rooted in hope that Jesus is with us! There is nothing to lose when all of our hope is in Him.

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*Ed. Note: The above photo is *not* what we mean by taking risks rooted in hope. We just thought it looked cool. 

Sermon Recap: Don’t Steal

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If you’re just finding this site, or it’s been a while since you’ve visited, it might seem that today’s title is jarring. Why are we discussing the act of stealing? We have jumped into sifting through the 10 Commandments – week by week – and here we pick back up with the weekly Sermon Recap with Commandment number 8: Thou Shall Not Steal. It seems simple enough, right? Let us dive in with Lead Pastor Andrew Bach for more insight.

The motivation to obedience is unique to Christianity because of the uniqueness of Jesus. Jesus is the only thing leading us to obey out of our identity rather than for our identity. In Jesus, we get to obey freely from a place of acceptance rather than an imprisoning place of obeying for acceptance. As we look at the Laws of God, we have to remember that the Gospel is news in the past tense; Jesus has already accepted who we are.

Exodus 20:1-2: “And God spoke all of these words saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.'” 

The preamble emphasizes this point: I, God, am your rescuer, and you have already been rescued. Now, here is what freedom looks like: His Law. We obey His commandment not so we can be free, but rather so that we can live free.

Exodus 20:15: “You shall not steal.”

Stealing: taking something for yourself that doesn’t belong to you. Stealing is offensive to both the individual and it’s offensive to humanity. It is human to have things under our care, and it’s what makes us feel human. Stealing is trampling on the care-taking rights of another human being; they lose a part of the world that was theirs to care for.

Genesis 1:26-29: Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.'”

There are two types of stealing:

  1. Wrong taking:
    1. There’s the obvious: breaking into cars, taking candy from a store,etc.
    2. (And the not so obvious): stealing time, which looks like not paying bills on time, being a poor employee on the clock, etc.
  2. Wrong keeping:
    1. Ephesians 4:28: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
      1. According to this passage, you fall into one of two categories: you are either a thief or a radically generous person. Everything we have belongs to God, and He has given us these things not to own but to steward.
      2. Are you doing what God wants you to do with His money of which He has made you a steward? The Bible says everything belongs to God.
      3. It is sinful to steal, and it is sinful to work out of greed. However, it is honoring to God to work in order to give.
    2. Malachi 3:8-10: “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
      1. Are you looking for a way in, to give to God what is His, or are you looking for a way out?

Ephesians 4 gives us three options:

  1. You can steal
  2. You can work to live
  3. You can live to give

If you live to give, then your entire life becomes an expression of grace. We want to not be remembered for what we had, but for what we gave.

We steal because we don’t trust that God will provide what is best for us.

Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” 

The key to not stealing is to trust God, and choose to trust Him rather than to choose comparison. His invitation says, “Trust me. I’ll be your helper”. And, he is worthy to be trusted, because He gave us the most precious gift in Jesus Christ so that we might find life and contentment and hope in Him.

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Join us on Sunday as we continue to discuss God’s Law!

Psalms and Proverbs

A photo by freestocks.org. unsplash.com/photos/EssPg6x5QeY

This week, we had the incredible honor of hearing from Renae Burford, speaking about the condition of our heart and how to keep it carefully. Specifically, we dove into Proverbs 4.

Throughout this series – Psalms and Proverbs – we have been reminded of this truth: however our current situation looks, and however it turns out, God is who He says He is.

Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” 

Friends, we are made to make it for the long haul. God did not create us for a sprint of faithfulness, but a marathon of faithfulness. To make it to the end as loving, believing people, we must guard and watch over our inner persons.

The determining factor of the life you experience has everything to do with your heart, and the truth that flows from it. The world tells us that what we produce is a correlation with our circumstances. In truth, your circumstances have nothing to do with your productivity or our sense of fulfillment; rather, your productivity and how you enjoy it is directly related to the condition of your heart. Because of this, we have to keep our hearts, and guard them because they are so precious.

Luke 6:45: The good person our of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks.” 

When we talk about the heart, it can feel abstract. So, practically, what do we need to do?Thankfully, the Bible provides guardrails that are as relevant today as they ever were:

Proverbs 4:20-22: “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” 

John 15:7-8: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” 

Ephesians 3:17: “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love…” . Jesus is the Word of God, made flesh.

Romans 10:10: “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confessed and is saved.” 

A heart of good condition comes from knowing the Word of God. To know the Word is to have a holy fear of God, and those who fear the Lord lack no good thing.

Returning to Proverbs 4:23, we look at our verse of interest: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  Vigilance, defined, is the careful state of keeping careful watch over potential dangers.

There is danger around us that has so many faces, but it is rooted most deeply in unbelief of the heart.  A lot of us hold on to unbeliefs and the world reiterates those and perpetuates them as being factual. Eventually, the unbelief crowds out the belief; we become bitter, distracted, frustrated, and resentful. But, the longer we live and choose to take care of our hearts, the more we produce and the more we enjoy doing it.

Where is it that we fail most in taking care of our hearts?

  1. We procrastinate.
  2. We spend time perfecting our facades than we do getting to the root of our unbelief.
  3. We do the work. And, the more we work, the easier it becomes. Know the Word of God, because those places of unbelief will be more readily identifiable.

What are your deeply rooted unbeliefs? Where can you ask God for help in your unbelief? How do you remove unbelief? Believe! Ask God to increase your belief, for apart from Him, we can do nothing.

The way to experience and enjoy producing fruit with Jesus for the entirety of your life is to own your own heart. Invite Jesus in and let him take hold, and not any one else or any other circumstance. The very mission of Jesus was and is your heart. Keep it carefully, because you are worth it, and he wants you to experience abundant life through belief.

A photo by Aidan Meyer. unsplash.com/photos/lkSwboL_rDM

Join us on Sunday to hear the first of our next series! 

Sermon Recap: Relational Resolves, Pt. 3

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Thus far, we have taken a look at two relational resolves, by which we as members of the church choose to relate with others: Honor and Healthy Conflict. Today, we break down Relational Warmth, and how to apply it practically and lovingly in our lives.

Our third relational resolve encourages us to decide in advance that we are going to be warm to others. Specifically, this looks like enthusiasm, affection, and kindness in engaging every person we encounter. God’s kindness is abundantly toward you. It is unchanging. It is mighty and ferocious and huge, and therefore we are called to love and warmly engage others greatly as His children.

He loves to meet our disappointment with His kindness, and He loves to meet our failure with His kindness. For you, specifically and intimately, His arms are wide open, and He desires to overwhelm you with kindness.

Luke 15:1-6 tells the Parable of the Lost Sheep, a depiction of the kindness of Jesus: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” 

His affections are toward you. It is out of His abundant kindness that we are encouraged to be warm to all others.

Colossians 3:12-15: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32.

1 Peter 3:8 furthers yet the importance of biblical warmth, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble”. 

As believers, we are being carried through the process of sanctification, to look more like Jesus every day. To have the process of sanctification working in us means that we have the power and authority to love others outlandishly. Being warm with other people  is the calling on our loves by the will of God. Being relationally warm is more than a suggestion; to have a calling by God over our lives is grand beyond measure! We put on the clothing of relational warmth because we have first received it immensely from Jesus.

We live in Seattle (though this notion of coldness toward others certainly is not limited to Seattle alone), where indifference tends to characterize relationship. When did being cold become trendy? When did being “nice” become synonymous with being “boring”? This isn’t true at all! Being nice doesn’t mean we are boring; rather, it means we are clothed in the Spirit, representing kindness and affection and enthusiasm toward everyone. We, as people of God, reject the idea that the Seattle Freeze is the norm, and instead hold ourselves to a standard of heavenly norm.

As with our other relational resolves, there are 4 Practicals for Relational Warmth:

  1. Acknowledge people
  2. Use eye contact
  3. Use physical contact
  4. Practice inclusion

We haven’t done anything to earn God’s warmth toward us. Therefore, we are open and welcoming to others in return, because it is a gift that has already been given to us. We choose to put on relational warmth because of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are His chosen ones, holy and beloved, called to live as Jesus lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 

We are called to aggressively, purposefully, intentionally love others, because this is exactly how we are loved by Him.

Need to do some catching up? Check out our sermon recaps about honor and healthy conflict on the blog!  

 

Sermon Recap: Relational Resolves, Pt. 2

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In this sermon, lead pastor Andrew Bach discusses a challenging, but important and biblical relational resolve.

As a church, we – Mosaic – landed on 5 relational resolves to help us become the body of Christ as Jesus calls us to be. These Relational Resolves have principally guided how we relate with people, and they have helped tremendously to set our culture as church.  However, these are more than just points of discussion for aspiration; we live them, constantly looking to Jesus for strength and wisdom to do so.  Every so often, we need to review these, and decide again that this is indeed how we will relate with others.  In the first sermon, we discussed honor. Today, we discuss healthy conflict, a biblical calling for us as His people.

This discussion, though perhaps less sweet than others, is important, because there are ways that God intends for us to engage each other in healthy conflict and ways that God does not. If a part of Mosaic’s culture is healthy conflict, then we have a chance at long term relationships.  However, unhealthy conflict is a quick way to division and broken relationships.

As a people that love Jesus, we have to make a resolve.  We will have healthy conflict.

The Bible speaks about this in detail, because God knows that people have varying perspectives, and therefore have conflict. His intention for us is conflict characterized by grace and patience, in order for relationships to grow and exemplify Him.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV.

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him. Luke 17:3-4 ESV.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26 ESV.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV.

We know the Bible has a lot to say about healthy conflict. Here, Andrew provides principles for us to understand how to practice what we preach.

  1.  The goal of healthy conflict is Authentic Unity.
    1. Specifically, this means that we don’t just pretend to ignore the differences we encounter. Instead, we work through them, together, to the glory of God.
    2. The goal is more about being unified than it is about you being right. Body of Christ: we must work together to accomplish the purposes and plans of God. It’s not about you proving your right. Rather, it matters that we stay together.
  1.  The person is not the problem.
    1. Our battle is never against people. Ultimately, your problem is not with this person.
  1.  Truth must be spoken in love. 
    1. We cannot be afraid of conflict. We have the hard conversations, from a place of desiring unity, and we trust and hope that conflict will always lead to the best possible outcome in the end.  Therefore, we don’t shy away from speaking the truth.
    2. Seek to understand rather than to be understood. To speak in love, recognize how you communicate through tones, facial expressions, and word choice.
    3. Assumptions matter. Ask questions. Actively listen.
    4. Understand what heavenly Love is, exemplified by Jesus. Love is not flattery, and love is not making sure people feel good. This is hard, but to make others feel good is the easy way out. Understand that healthy conflict is loving, and discipline the delivery.
  1.  Forgiveness is a matter of the heart, and forgiveness has no limit.
    1. We are commanded to forgive.  This is one of the most powerful aspects of our relationship with Jesus.

Practice Healthy Conflict, for the goodness of God and His people.

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17 ESV.

In healthy conflict, we follow the process found in Matthew 18:

  1. Approach the person alone
  2. Approach the person in a small group
  3. Approach church leadership

All 3 steps are taken with these 2 important truths in mind:

  1. The church is a unified body
  2. Forgiveness has no limit

Just as Jesus forgave, we must follow suit and forgive others as well – with love and authenticity.

HealthyConflict2

Check back soon for more Relational Resolve series recaps!