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BONUS BLOG: Christian, Don’t Miss This (clearly not for United Methodists only)

January 10, 2021

I hope and pray you’ll be glad you didn’t miss this. Paul E. Black is a real life colleague and friend who wrote the “Dear Friends” introduction to all that follows. I’m only highlighting two parts and then getting out of the way and letting the two of them speak — 

Dear Friends:
After the week we all have experienced with the violence at the US Capitol, combined with our own struggles with the pandemic, I share with you a post from an American gentleman living in Great Britain named Paul David Tripp. This is not posted for discussion and comments will be turned off from the outset. I have spent too much time deleting inflammatory posts and bouncing a couple of members in this group when warnings were not heeded.
From Paul David Tripp:
As I witnessed and reflected on 2020 and the events of January 6, 2021, I’ve had moments of tears for our country, but more profoundly, for the church that I love that is so broken, angry, and divided.
In this fallen world, the church of Jesus Christ should be a beacon of love, grace, unity, patience, mercy, and peace.
How are you handling your political disagreements with your brothers and sisters in the Lord? Have you given way to the temptation to say or post divisive things? Has your reactivity clouded your witness?
As I reflected on this moment that we’re in, these passages came to mind. May they challenge and encourage you as you seek to live out your calling to an ambassador, reflecting the character of the King who has drawn you near by grace.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.
– Philippians 4:5
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:44,45
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
– 1 Peter 2:11,12
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden … let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:14, 16
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
– Ephesians 4:29
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
– Ephesians 4:31,32
…set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
– 1 Peter 1:13-16
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
– 1 Peter 3:10-12
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
– Galatians 5:22,23
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
– 1 Peter 5:6-11
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
– John 18:36
Amen. Or as another real life friend and colleague Scotty Smith loves to say, “So very Amen.”

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