Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Success Strategies (Part 27)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:1-4 (NKJV)
We serve the 'God of peace' (1 Thessalonians 5:23). His Son is the 'Prince of peace' (Isaiah 9:6). In the Old and New Testaments, followers are told to 'Seek peace and pursue it' (Psalm 34:14, 1 Peter 3:11)--to turn the other cheek and forgive our enemies; to love them, bless them, do good to them and pray for them.*
These words look amazing on paper, but how do they look in your life? Have you followed God's Script(ure)? If so, you'll look more amazing in person. Without a doubt, your unusual behavior will grab attention. Because the world preaches unforgiveness. It practices war. It teaches revenge.
On ABC, it's a hit TV show. In movies, it's a favorite theme. In every case, the script writer is Satan. But as an actor, model and talent for Christ, whose direction do you think you should follow?
Consider John 17, our King's very public prayer before His crucifixion. Within it, Jesus prays for unity among His future followers. 'I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me' (v.20-21). Why? Unity is peace.
Because our outer peace will present such a remarkable witness to others--that they will believe in Jesus as their Savior. What could be a more important success strategy?
To Be Continued...
* 'To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also' (Luke 6:29); 'And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses' (Mark 11:25); 'And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him' (Luke 17:4); 'But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you' (Matthew 5:33).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies (2013) series.