What is the source of quarrels and conflict?” (James 4:1)

 

headbutt

 

We have plenty of conflict in our world today. Conflict over ideals. Conflict over the handling of those ideas. Conflict of who said what and who should have said something else. 

 

When it all boils down, we just want our own way, huh?

 

Then how do we live?

 

Be encouraged.

 

This is the very time that we can be a great contrast to the world. Through Him, we can love one another. It’s obviously, not happening on the media or in our politics, but we’ve been given a greater grace. In other words, no matter what, we’ve been given the aid of divine favor

 

We don’t look up to the mountains or to our government for help. Our help must source from the Lord. His Presence and Power resides within us and is greater than anything surrounding us.  

 

Be encouragers. 

 

In such a climate, encouragers will serve as magnets to the discouraged.  While others are skeptical and distrusting, the Spirit-thriving individual will stand out like an anomaly. Pure Christianity is perfect suited for such a time as this. 

 

We’ve talked about peace, joy and love. Now, let’s live it out. Let’s be more intent upon prayer than protest.

 

Find your strength deep within His Presence.

 

Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian evangelist who’s served several prison terms for the cause of Christ states this well:

 

“Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying for years that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in freedom.”  This is not what we pray!  We never pray against our government or call down curses on them.  Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under.  Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, “The government will be on his shoulders”  (Isaiah 9:6.)

 

God has used China’s government for his own purposes, moulding and shaping his children as he sees fit.  Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

 

Don’t pray for the persecution to stop!  We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure!  Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.

 

This is true freedom!”

 

 

No matter how we voted, we must live united as Kingdom citizens. Jesus lived in the midst of a volatile political climate and yet there are very few places in which He even mentions a current event (see Luke 13:1-5; 31-32).

 

So here is my blessing upon you today:

 

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

 

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As a parent, you long for the days that are calm without the challenge. Now that I am out of the daily grind of parenting, I can reflect more clearly on truths that I wish I had better practiced

 

1.  My goal should have been to train them to be heaven-focused, not self-focused. My goal was not to keep the peace.

 

Out of weariness and lack of real understanding, I often gave in to my daughters’ selfish whining. If I had taken note that fulfilling their pleasure was actually the source of more conflict, you can be assured that I would have thought through my responses a bit better.

 

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?” (James 4:1)

 

2. My goal should have been to keep looking at things above, not to make their childhood better than mine.

 

Granted we are to “do to others what you would have them do to you”. Yet, sometimes, this really isn’t our motive. Instead, we do for our children as we wished it had been done for us. Such motive is self-centered and not helpful for you or the child. The better way is to practically teach them how to keep redirecting their thoughts to things which are true, honorable, right, pure and lovely.

 

3. My goal should have been to help them spend wisely, not merely spend upon themselves. 

 

If an allowance is solely for the purpose of giving a child spending money for themselves, then we haven’t taught any spiritual principles. Helping a child understand to save a portion for tithe, gifts, and a “rainy day” are far more strategic. Allowing it to be only for their own whims only reinforces a selfish motive to “spend it on their own pleasures.”

 

Time is also of essence here. Using your own free time wisely gives you the authority to speak into the way they use theirs. If you feel that your children are wasting their time, you might look into the way you use yours before you address their problem. 

 

Can you restrict their internet time in a clear conscience if you don’t moderate your own?

 

Do you model surfing the web or watching movies instead of teaching them how to interact with others?

 

Do they see you setting aside time for His word? 

 

 

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves…You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to.” (James 4:1-3 The Message)

 

Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? (James 4:4 NASB)

 

So then, how do you teach your children to be a friend of God, instead of the world?

 

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