[PC-USA] 2020-01-01 - Best Effort

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An Advent devotional I was reading in the Presbyterian Today (November December issue 2019) magazine was describing different ways to be a peacemaker. Specifically, this refers to when we are “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” as described in Philippians 2:12-13(NLT)-in our thoughts, conversation, working relationships, and working with challenging people and situations. Those sum up many of the circumstances in which we find ourselves needing to be the peacekeepers, which can leave an opening for God to work through us. As I consider the focus on the non-violent methods brought up, I think about how difficult that can be-particularly when situations repeatedly present themselves in any of the ways mentioned above. How do we keep from crossing that line from what God wants us to do and keep from becoming a doormat to someone or causing them to stumble? There are times we must stand firm, which does not always lead to accord with others. Long-term, the answers are right in the word God left for us to know him.

Romans Chapter Twelve (verses fourteen through eighteen, as shown below) has a lot of information that helps us navigate through the challenges placed before us. Verses fourteen through eighteen ask us to use kindness when it does not feel natural. Why? Because he wants the best for us and for those who may be struggling as we are. It talks about being there for others at difficult times and celebrating with them in good times. Being there. People want to know they are being heard. People want to know their joys and sadnesses matter for their own sake and for the sake of others, too. God wants us to know we matter, and after we have felt our heart change and we understand its significance, we are then charged to find our own way to convey it to others-the way he designed us specifically to share him.. When we are prayerful to him about this, he will help us in being slow to speak, hearing others and still wanting the best for them even when we are in disagreement with them, showing us how to be willing to consider other thoughts and opinions while still being true to him and ourselves, and how to do our best to be in one accord with what is right and true. When we follow God’s lead, it will be easier. It will not be easy though-just easier. Personally, I find the complications living presents are simplified by my trust in God’s provision over my life. And the longer that relationship has continued, the more sense things make-even when they don’t. I leave the results up to the Prince of Peace. And how can we call ourselves his children, if we do not give our best effort to be peacemakers when we serve the Prince of Peace? The victory is His-he just asks us for the effort, our best effort.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:8-9 NIV)

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:12-13 NLT)

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it be possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:14-18 NIV)

“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. (And don’t think you know it all!) Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:14-18 NLT)

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So, we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6 NIV)

[email deborah]  cfpraydeb@gmail.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted

[email deborah]  cfpraydeb@gmail.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted


All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted

[email deborah]  cfpraydeb@gmail.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted


All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted

http://www.cfdevotionals.org

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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.


CFD | January 2020 | Jan's Devotions | Yesterday's Devotion | Devotional Topics