June 29, 2012

Profile of a Peacemaker

1 Timothy 1:1-5

The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
—2 Timothy 1:7


The apostle Paul invested a lot of time and effort in the church at Ephesus. His preaching of the gospel and heartfelt pastoring had brought many people to trust in Christ and thus to live transformed lives. The church also spread to grow in several surrounding cities. But when Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he heard of controversies and conflicts in the Ephesian church. He dispatched his trusted colleague and spiritual son Timothy to address the problems troubling the believers.

In his second letter of encouragement to Timothy in this challenging ministry, he gives a wonderful picture of being a peacemaker (2 Tim. 2:22-26):

“Flee the evil desires of youth.”

“Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.”

Avoid “foolish and stupid arguments.”

Do not be “quarrelsome,” but “be kind to everyone.”

Be “able to teach”; do not be “resentful.”

Instruct opponents gently “in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”

Do you resemble this picture? Every one of us, not only church leaders, should be peacemakers. What parts of this description do you need to work on?

Lord Jesus, I want to be a peacemaker for you. Show me where I lack the character I need. By your Spirit, fill me with power and love to resolve the conflicts around me. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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