Making Peace

God's blessing is related to a lifelong quest of seeking peaceful relationships in Christ.


Scripture: Ephesians 4:1, 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Peter 3:9

Transcript

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? I’m not sure I’ll wait for you to answer. I know a lot of you do. Bless your heart, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you once again looking at the Word of God.

We’re looking today at Ephesians 4:1, Paul said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” I beseech you, I Parakaleo, that’s a word that’s related to the favorite name of the Holy Spirit. He’s called, if you anglicized it the paraclete, the one called alongside to help, and that verb form is a very tender form, which means, “I’m not commanding you, I’m not even urging, I’m just pleading with you, I beseech you.”

Now here’s something then that’s deeply on his heart, and he says, “I beseech you, I’m pleading with you to do this. That you walk,” and that means live every day. We get our English word peripatetic from this verb form. It means walking around. That in all your walking around, all of the time, all day and all night, your lifestyle in other words, that you make your lifestyle worthy of the vocation, wherewith you’re called. “With all lowliness and meekness long-suffering forbearing one another and love” and so on. We’ll get into that as we go on here. Now, he says, walk worthy in your lifestyle now, it needs to be worthy of what God called you to do and this is a vocation, it is something that takes up the main stream in your life. What is your vocation?

Jake Stam was my friend for many years. Some of you, old timers will remember him as being the attorney that argued a case for the Gideons in the the Supreme Court, many years ago, he was a dear friend of mine. But I remember when I first met him, I said, “Well what do you do?” And he said, “You mean what do I do to put bread on the table or what do I really do?” Well, I said, “You better tell me both,” he said, “Well to put bread on the table. I’m an attorney,” but he said, “What I really do is I want to serve God and win people to Jesus Christ, that’s really my vocation,” said he. Vocation means, what really turns you on. What really is your main business in life. Your vocation.

Now, what is that calling? Well, you look up the different verses that have to do with calling. It’s a holy calling, it’s a heavenly calling, it’s a calling that results in eternal glory, he’s called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus. And in 1 Peter 2, the apostle Peter says, We’ve been called to follow His example, part of your vocation, that is to say your daily lifestyle is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s a big order, isn’t it? But it’s there, “Hereunto were ye called. Christ hath left us an example, that ye should follow His steps. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, who, when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously, who His own-self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.” An example, what kind of an example, “who did no sin,” that’s holy living, “neither was guile found in His mouth,” that’s transparent living, not trying to finagle your way through life. “When he was reviled, reviled not,” again that’s non-resistant living. You don’t have to answer back. Have you found that out? You get a nasty letter from somebody, you don’t have to answer it. File it in the round file, besides your desk there, file 13, forget it.

You don’t have to answer back, when people harass you or pick on you or disagree with you even, “revile not again.” When He suffered, He threatened not, a non-pressure kind of life. You don’t have to lean on people to get God’s work done. Have you discovered that? Some of you are in supervision, and we talk about breathing down people’s neck, as a form of speech that means you are really pressing them to get the work done.

Well, of course, enlightened management nowadays know that you get better results by leadership than by bossing, and you get better results by example than by just telling. You get better results in management by giving people a share in the decision rather than handing it down from above. All of you people who’ve gone to school, you know, all of that backwards and forwards. But he says you don’t have to threaten. You don’t have to lean on people to get God’s work done.

And then it said; He committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. He left the outcome to the Heavenly Father, a life of commitment. Now that’s called to Christ’s example. Well, that’s a big order, isn’t it? How do you do that? Well, you can’t do it in your own strength, but the Holy Spirit of God who indwells the believer can do that through you. He can give you a holy life and He could give you a life of love and non-resistance, and non-threatening and real commitment. Yes, He can. And you’ll turn out not to be a sanctified door mat, you’ll turn out to be a person of real value and a real significance. God never expects any of us to become human jellyfish, He does expect us to commit ourselves to Him so that He can work through us. There’s a difference, isn’t there?

And over in Peter, as well, he said, “Not cursing but blessing, hereunto were ye called. He said, “That ye should inherit a blessing.” Remember that? “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing but contrariwise, blessing knowing that ye are thereto called. That he should inherit a blessing, for,” because this is the reason for it, “He that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile, let him eschew evil and do good, let him seek peace and ensue it.”

You’re called to blessing. Oh man, that’s such as challenging concept. What destroys blessing? Conflict, self will, answering back, threatening, railing, criticism, okay? What produces blessing? “He that would see good days, he that would love life and see good days” it says, let him what? “Refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” Let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips. Blessing is related to whether or not the Holy Ghost is controlling what I say. That really shakes me up. Not rendering, railing, evil for evil be compassionate, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, pitiful, courteous, not rendering evil for evil.

Blessing is directly related to what the Holy Spirit does in controlling what I say. Not only that, but it’s related. You’re called the blessing, we’re talking about this, right? Blessing is related to my value system. Let him eschew evil, that means I choose not to participate in something I know is wrong, but rather to do good. I choose not to do that, which is wrong, and I choose to do that which is good. And that results in blessing.

See, we oftentimes have kind of a vague idea of the blessing of the Lord, and so we use the term indiscriminately. “Lord bless the missionaries, and bless the pastor, and bless me and bless Mrs. Sneed who is sick, and so on,” you know. But he says the blessing of God is related to how the Holy Spirit controls what you say. A sense of compassion, a practice of common courtesy, an exhibit of brotherly love and your lips refrained from railing and criticism and gossip. And then a value system that deliberately chooses good and chooses not to do evil. Let him eschew evil and do good. Then blessing. We’re still talking about blessing, aren’t we? He said, “Let him seek peace and pursue it.” If you want God to bless you, be a person who seeks to create an atmosphere and a relationship of peace between yourself and others and between other people and others. Let him seek peace and pursue it, why, because God is watching, the eyes of the Lord or over the righteous.

Oh, blessing. What does it involve? It involves what I think, it involves what I decide, it involves what I say, it involves my attitude toward people, it involves my way of managing my life, it involves the exhibit of courtesy and compassion and brotherly love. It involves a choice for good as over against evil, it involves a life-long pursuit of peace. Now, there are some people who are by nature agitators. When I was a little boy, I fell a victim to the urging, “Lets you and him fight. I’ll hold your coat.” Any of you fellows ever gotten into fisticuffs with another little boy, somewhere down the block, because somebody else agitated the quarrel? Oh yeah, I guess everybody has that experience.

“Let’s you and him fight, I’ll hold your coat.” There are always agitators, you be an agitator for peace instead of quarrels and conflict. Look for a way to create a peaceful atmosphere. I give you one hint, if you’re leading a committee meeting and people don’t seem to be able to agree on anything, back off a little, if you have a black board or a sketch board there in front of the meeting say, “Now let’s list the things that we do agree on.” I’ve often done this with good results. Back off from the discussion, just cut off the discussion for a moment and say, “Now let’s list the things we do agree on, on this matter. First of all, we agree on the problem, there’s not enough widgets coming out of the widget department, and everything is behind as a result or whatever the problem. We agree on the problem, yes. And then we agree on this and this and this and this,” and you list the points on which everybody, even in that committee meeting, that’s disagreeing, you list the points on which everybody can agree. You’d be surprised then how other points of agreement arise and before long, the atmosphere of conflict has been changed to one of acceptance, and thoughtful resolution of the problem. Now, that’s happened to me numbers of times. And I know that you people who are in management have long since learned that technique.

What I’m saying is, God’s blessing is related to a lifelong quest of seeking peaceful relationships in Christ. You want God to bless you? Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Blessing. Now he says, “Walk worthy of the vocation,” a holy calling, a heavenly calling a calling to eternal glory, a calling to Christ’s example, a calling to the blessing of God. Be worthy of it all. That’s what Paul is saying.

Holy Father, in Jesus’ name, we pray that will be worthy of the calling that you gave us in Jesus name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!



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