Jesus Centered Relationships

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friends laughingCol 3:12-17 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you

The Carnegie institute states the 90 percent of all people who fail in their work fail because they can’t get along with people. Something in us makes relationships hard. Our gut instinct, annoyances, and distaste for conflict drive us to avoid, eliminate or control others. Those we deal with most often are often the most challenging. We wish they would change. But we can’t make them. If we force it, we probably aren’t following Jesus in that moment.

Shouldn’t we have better relationship through our relationship with Jesus? Theoretically yes, but we must be intentional about following His lead. Three things become possible when we center our lives on Jesus. I encourage you to pick on as a starting place to start today an experience the difference He makes.

Embrace Jesus’ Heart of Grace Towards Others.

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Peace in Life’s Hardships

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umbrella in stormThe existence of hardship is one of the universal proofs of our fallen condition of the world we live in and our own nature as human beings. Ongoing trouble is a life reality that we cannot control or stop. We must find a way to deal with it.

This is why Jesus & His message are so critical and powerful. Through Jesus we can have a life that rises above the fallen nature of this world. Through Jesus we can Choose real Joy in the face of Life’s hardships. But it requires intentional actions of the heart that play our in our habits.

Last weekend’s message focused on four responses to hardship that deepen Jesus’ peace in your life no matter what you face.

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Choosing Joy- Pursuing Peace

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sad facesLast week we raised the question without the answer… How do we stand firm in our peace in Christ when we have genuine disagreements amongst ourselves? One of the joy killers for Christ followers is tension between fellow believers. Sometimes low grade frustration over personalities or other differences push us apart or drive us to open conflict.

Here are the answers we discovered in Philippians 4.

Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 

BOTTOM LINE: Keep Your Heart Anchored in Jesus as Lord.

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CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?

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fruit of spirit chalkRom 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Rodney King’s famous plea in the middle of the 1992 LA riots seemed silly to me at the time. “Can we all get along? Can we all get along?!” Of course not. Haven’t you been paying attention? Under pressure people get pretty self-centered. In a mob setting all sanity is lost. Even the Bible notes that there will always be wars and rumors of wars.

Still we all know that all conflict is NOT equal. And some should be more easily resolved and avoided than they tend to be. Just think, haven’t you walked away from an intense conversation scratching your head and wondering how in the world did it get there? Why did I get so defensive? Why were they so intense. Too often it is our response NOT the actual situation that blows things out of proportion.

Perhaps Rodney King’s silly statement is needed when the situation itself is just silly!

1Corinthians 6:1-11 deals with a problem of Christians making a big deal of their struggles in the wrong arena. Many in that church were taking each other to civil court rather than just working things out. Keep in mind this was a pre-corporation, pre-insurance society. Real harm was done to each other AND to the reputation of Christ in the secular world as a result. Relationships were lost as was the credibility of the message that Jesus changes life & relationship.

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