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TroubleMaker or PeaceMaker

"12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14 For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, 15 He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. 16 He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. 17 When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. 21 The whole building, being put together by Him, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord. 22 You also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit."
Ephesians 2:12-22

Good Morning Beloved,

It is such a tremendous joy to have all of you with us today.
Thank you for joining us.

In the culture in which we live, it is certainly no secret, that there will always be wars, disasters, fires, floods, droughts and tornadoes. In this earthly life, there are always unexpected losses, unforeseeable tragedies, injustice and inequalities. The point is, on this earth, suffering will happen. Sometimes, it is explainable, however, more often than not, these events are beyond explanation, they are indescribable. So the real question of faith is not "Why do we suffer?" but rather "How do we handle suffering?"

How do we respond to the hurting, the broken? How are we responding to the least, the last, and the lost? That is what this rich passage in Ephesians 2:12-22,from the Apostle Paul to the people at Ephesus is all about. Paul wrote this letter to encourage Christians to hang in there, when life becomes hard and the pain is unbearable and real. Our peace is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father,

Thank for the love that You have given us. As the world is struggling find peace with one another, to love one another, Lord, we just pray that love of Your church would become manifest in the world around us, that they would take notice and see the unity, the sweetness of compassion and fellowship that is possible. May they see us, and know it is only Your love in us, and its what the love of Jesus Christ can do. Father, we pray that they will be drawn to that love and may that love knock down the barriers of division, that are so prevalent today. May we become the answer to Christ's prayer, that the world will be one, as You and He are one.

Father, we pray this in the name of the One, who showed His love for us, while we were yet sinners,
Jesus Christ

Can we find inward peace with self.
Colossians 1:19-20, gives us some insight on this. "For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven."

When I am struggling, when I am hurting. When I am feeling the pain, and worrying about the cares of tomorrow and fearful about what may come next, I focus my mind on this verse of scripture in Colossians 1. I remind myself, that Jesus was holding the whole world in His hands when he was on the cross. And that included every one here, and those around the world. He held all the world, in His hands.

That is faith, that is why even in the midst of pain and sorrow, we can experience Christ's great courage and incredible strength. Because our faith is grounded in the blood of the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. When you really want to experience inward peace with self, you only need to come to Jesus, and kneel before the cross. It is there, you will find it!

We can change the things we can. We can invite. Welcome. We can include everyone into the body of Christ. We can fight suffering. Injustice. Prejudice. Inequality and discrimination. We can stand up for justice in the marketplaces of the world. We can help take care of others. But the real starting place is finding inward peace with self. Until you start with inward peace you will never have long term spiritual and emotional health. That is why so many people smile and laugh in public but then pay for it when they return home and are alone. It is what I call “The public smile and the private crash.” Sometimes, their anger rises out toward the very people they love the most. I revisit the cross every week. Every day. Sometimes depending on the circumstance you may have to revisit the cross every hour of the day. To be a Peacemaker you have to Inward Peace with Self.

Can we find outward peace with others?
"You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?"
Matthew 5:43-47

This is the second step in the process. If you want to ever really have peace with others, then you have to complete step one, finding inward peace with self, is imperative in finding peace with others. The kind of love and peace the Bible talks about comes from the Greek term "teleios", is where we get the word "total." It is translated as "complete" and sometimes translated as "perfect" love. "Mature, Complete, Perfect, Total Peace."

So what exactly is Jesus is talking about? Jesus is teaching, that when you show only your friends love THEN you are really not doing anything different than what even the pagans and Gentiles, and non-believers do. But when you show "teleios." It is that outward expression to others of that inward and spiritual peace that you have found in Christ.

Now, peace with others can often be more than a little tricky. This week while working in my yard, sheers and began to prune the flowers in the backyard. Did you know that after the flower peddles fades, and turns brown, they still consume water and minerals that the rest of plant needs to continue to grow and produce other healthy blossoms? Unless you have an "Heirloom" variety or hybrid rose there are sharp thorns all long the stems of the bush. Isn’t it amazing the way God made something as beautiful as a rose, but yet it has to be handled very carefully and with lots of love and care.

That is basically the way I see people who are difficult to get along with. You just have to cut back the dead and dried parts, however, watching out for the thorns, to behold the astonishing beauty of new blossoms and enjoy its delicate fragrance. So, the next time someone is grumbling, complaining, being negative and showing a grumpy temperament. Simply turn to them and say, "You, are a beautiful rose." I'll be the first to admit, it takes a lot of work to stay positive around some people. And especially, with some people, you can’t do it on your own. You need help, the strength, the wisdom, and power that only the Holy Spirit can provide.

But if we can cultivate and develop habits of treating everyone the same, not just our friends but the strangers we meet. Not just the family, we enjoy hanging out with but also those in the family we don’t always get along with, yes, including those people who just get on our last nerve. But it will take faith, patience and practice. In fact let’s practice right now. Let’s turn to the person sitting next to you and say, "You are a beautiful rose." Now, was that so bad? Anyone need me to call the emergency squad for them? I didn't think so.

In fact that was the easy part! Because, all the while, you're telling someone else that they are a rose, you're thinking about the thorns, brown peddles and dried up buds. It's always easier to point out the faults in others than to see and deal with them in our own selves, isn't that true? So now we are going to do what this verse from Matthew 5:47 is really trying to teach us. And that is to see the thorns in our own life. It was kind of fun to tell someone else they are a rose,because it was kind of an inside joke!

But now, the joke is on you! I want to encourage you to take just a moment and say to yourself, and include your name, "(____), YOU ARE A ROSE" too! Listen, wherever you are, whoever you encounter, God has put you in the specific with that particular person for a reason. Bloom where you are planted. Find inward peace with self, and outward peace with others!

"If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.” Romans 12:18 CEB
This falls into a little different category, because it raises the bar to a whole new level. Its very important that you understand your  history and doctrine. Because even Christians, as perfect as they are, (Wink wink!) even those who know Christ have not yet discovered the "telios" Christ. That being the "Complete, Perfect, Total Peace" of Jesus Christ.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Bethany Hamilton. In 2003, was surfing off the coast of Hawaii, when she was suddenly attacked by a tiger shark. The accident caused her to lose her left arm, however, this tragedy would not stop her compassion or competitive spirit. She returned to surfing, competing in some the toughest surfing completions. The 2011 movie "Soul Surfer" became an inspiration to millions, displaying courage, perseverance and faith in Christ no matter the suffering, embarrassment or even the loss. In an interview Bethany stated, "I’m looking forward to the future. I want to show the world that I still have a life, and that my life is filled with joy. I have an undying trust that God is taking care of me."

In Closing...

Did you know that God is taking care of you today? He is in the midst of the storm with those who survive, and also in the midst of the storm with those who do not. God doesn't cause their loss or suffering, however, He is in the midst of both storms of life, and death. Jesus Christ is our ever present help in every time of trouble. TRUE FAITH, is that in both life and death, "it is well with my soul." Beloved, the only way we can handle the suffering of this world, is by faith. Faith in Christ!

How is your "faith tank?" Is your faith over flowing or running low?  If its over flowing, share that encouragement with others and if by chance, its running low, then pray, pray and pray some more, for more faith until you receive it!

We have all been given a choice: We can either be the "Trouble Maker" or the "Peace Maker."
Often, without even realizing it, we set the atmosphere around us by what’s really going on inside of us. When we’re troubled, upset, agitated, we tend to pass that on to others.
And, the opposite is also true. When we’re happy and joyful, our souls are at peace, and so we pass this on too. So, to sum it up, we are either creating peace or causing trouble for the people around us.

Live by faith because you're going need it. Rejoice in the faith for faith in Jesus Christ will give you: Inward Peace With Self. Outward Peace with Others: And that extra special peace, so that you are able to live in this world, at peace with all people, even the "thorns"!

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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