Sunday, December 13, 2009

Living in a Larger Story Part 4 - Conflict

To listen to the audio of this message click on the title above. You can also subscribe to the podcast through Itunes.

Living in a Larger Story Part 4 – Conflict
Northshore Vineyard Church
Speaker – Crispin Schroeder
Text – 2Cor:1-6, 1 Peter 1:6-7

2 Cor 3:1-6 (The Message Bible)
1-3Does it sound like we're patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we're not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.
4-6We couldn't be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It's written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

1 Peter 1:6-7
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 comment:

  1. I’ll never hear the words “Run Forest, Run!” the same way again. 8^) Conflict. Even the word itself makes me cringe. Only because of all the times I responded in the wrong way, to say the least. The truth is my nature now is to avoid it because of my nature to avoid pain. With that said, I am getting better at accepting the fact that God wants me to rely on him in those inevitable times. And really, the “Work in Progress” is that it’s how I respond to those inevitable conflicts more than the conflicts themselves. Nice that you pointed to I Peter to remind us that the perseverance, the trial, the refining, in effect the total process is of immeasurable worth if, as you so appropriately said, we “…don’t waste our suffering.” Wow Bro, that’s a great statement. I do believe that every “downer” in our lives, every one of them - you know, the ones that suck with a capital “S” and that we don’t like talking about - can be used to bring glory to God, and a bit of His Kingdom in heaven to earth now, IF we filter it through the eyes and will of the Father. Often that is made known, manifested if you will, when we comfort those who are now going through that crap which we have survived. I love the tandem nature of the fact that Jesus himself said we WILL have trouble in this world, and then you brought it back to hope. Hope. I love that word. I love its meaning. Thank you God for hope! It sustains me and all those who believe when the world around us is "going to hell in a hand basket." And as I have said many times, through personal experience and of course the times it is biblically supported, without hope we really have nothing. And that hope usually comes easier in the fellowship of “Community.” If it doesn’t, we need to ask ourselves what the heck we’re doing wrong. You’ve said before that the healing often comes before the changed life. Amen. Meeting the broken where they are, with the love that we know passes all understanding.... And isn’t it interesting to acknowledge that all conflict leads to some sort of transformation, whether one wants it to or not! And whether that’s “good” or “bad” is again, largely dependent on how we choose to respond. May we have the grace of God to respond in a manner that brings glory to God, through Christ, and then not in our own power, education, or logic, but rather through the consoling, comforting, counseling power of the Holy Spirit. Hey, I know I’m working on it… daily. 8^) I think you hit another good point that during that conflict, when our circumstances are going down the freaking toilet, may we have His grace to trust Him. He hasn’t let us down in the past. He won’t now. But sometimes it takes a while to see that. Especially when we look back after time has passed, and realize that the bad can be used for good in His Kingdom. Another reason to continue in Community, within the Family. Peace. TA