Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
The Silly Season - but the Lord is near
by Erik Momsen
The pressure cooker lid is on. The temperature is rising. The pressure builds. The steam is gushing. The pressure cap is placed and trouble is brewing. I am speaking about something more than the average pot of soup. It's the silly season. Just add a little alcohol to that pot and all hell could break loose.
It's the time of the year when people have worked long and hard for ten months and are growing weary. Many are longing for that mystical 'end of the year holiday' and just hanging on. It is the time to beware of flash fires and explosion of the human kind and the call is on us to "stand firm in the Lord" (Philippians 4:1).
The question is how to stay cool and composed while the rest are going mad. Paul in dealing with a dispute between two woman, Euodia and Syntyche, gives us a few vital points.
2. I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. 9. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:1-9)
- Settle disputes by agreeing in the Lord. Both defer to Him.
- Others are to help these woman. Not instruct them or force them.
- Paul praises these woman - "they have fought the good fight with me".
- Remember their names are in "the book of life". This should solve many problems between believers.
"Rejoice in the Lord always"
Joy in the Lord is not superficial but "a depth of the soul" thing.
It is not dependent on outer success but upon the residence of the Holy Spirit. "The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17)
The 'joy of the Lord people' rejoice because they have the presence of God as a real presence in their lives. Jesus says; "That my joy may be in you." (John 15:11)
"Let your gentleness be evident to all." (v5)
"Make it clear to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them." (The Message - Philippians 4:5)
"A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)
"The Lord is near" - either He is coming soon to judge or He is close by to help. Both are incentives not to be involved in disputes. He dislikes disunity but is also available to help in any and every situation. Our greatest need is for the forgiveness and changing of our sinful and destructive patterns.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer"
- Prayer is the antidote to anxiety - prayer, petition (being in want) with thanksgiving.
- These prayers will bring the peace of God upon you.
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praise shape you worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life." (The Message - Philippians 4:6,7)
- Instead of worry - fill your minds with these positive things ... "whatever is true, ... noble, ... right, ... pure, ... lovely, ... admirable ... excellent or praiseworthy."
- Use some of the good things in Paul as an example to encourage you.
- Major on the good aspect of people's lives - not the bad. This will change your attitude towards people. Any good coach has to get the best out of his players. He looks for their strengths.
THINGS TO REMEMBER IN THIS SILLY SEASON
- People are stressed.
- It’s easier to start a fight than make peace.
- Keep peace by watching your words.
- Make peace because of the Lord - His judgement, His joy, His ability.
Date Added: 2010-12-20
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