Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Therefore, Rejoice in Them because They will Provide Opportunity for the Advancement of the Gospel, Part 2

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-6
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Insights: Yesterday we learned that our conflicts within the church can have an evangelistic outcome if handled correctly.  Now, please, do not take this last sentence to mean that we as the body of Christ should seek to have conflicts in order to be evangelistic.  Rather, a harmonious church is far greater at evangelism than a conflicted church.  What I meant by the evangelistic possibility is that if we in the church strive and seek after restoration and healing, then the lost world will see how we handled the conflict and realize their need for what we Christ-followers already have—A relationship with Jesus.  Well, what tool did God provide us with regarding this harmonious restoration?  The answer is prayer.  Verse six tells us to not worry about the conflict.  The reality is if we are not seeking the Lord, we have private conversations with the “villains” in our life.  These conflicts affect our sleep patterns.  They affect the way we work and relate to our family.  Yet, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote for us not to worry about anything.  Rather, we are to take our concerns to the Father in prayer and supplications with thanksgiving in our heart.  The prayer is for God to do a redemptive work in our hearts and change our love for the person with which we are in conflict.  The supplication is for that person to have a change of heart regarding us.  The thanksgiving part is the act of faith in regards to God’s answering of our prayers.  In other words, we are thankful because we trust the Lord to work the situation out for His glory.  Beloved, if we are willing to pray for those with which we are in conflict, guess whose heart changes first?  That is right, our own heart changes first.  So, Beloved, begin now, right this minute, praying for the person with whom you are in conflict.  Ask for God to be glorified in the restoration of the relationship.  Seek His will and allow that gentle spirit from verse five to permeate your life; and then, let’s watch the lost world be amazed at our heart change for one another.  And may God then take those astonished lost people and bring them into His family.

  1. Are you praying for the person with whom you are in conflict?
  2. Are you allowing the Lord to soften your heart towards that person?
Prayer: Father, I pray You bring about restoration and harmony between those with whom I am presently in conflict.  I am dependent on Your grace and mercy to change my heart and their heart to be one with You and each other.  Amen. 

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