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Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us map out the biblical pathway to conflict resolution and do that before it happens. In so many arguments, as one person is making her point, the other person is formulating his response. He's not really hearing her point, he's preparing his counterpoint.
It's tactical gamesmanship, and they're keeping mental score. Well, hopefully that doesn't sound familiar. But if it does, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn to resolve conflict by following an example we see in Scripture. Today, practical help for everyone.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Well, grab your Bibles and turn to Acts chapter 15, and the title of my message is How to Resolve Conflict. We're gonna look at this story now in the Bible as two godly men have a conflict. Two men who love the Lord have a disagreement, and they were apostles nonetheless.
And we're gonna see some very important things from this. But we have some troublemakers that have entered this scene. They're believers in Jesus, they're Jewish, and they have a Jewish background, and they felt that one had to be circumcised before they could become a Christian. They were placing an unnecessary barrier on these new believers. So Paul and Barnabas are now a missionary team, and they're not happy about it. And they thought, we need to go back to the leaders in Jerusalem and get this resolved. So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. The apostles gave a ruling.
So basically they said, okay, we're not gonna require circumcision. To become a Christian, you need to believe in Jesus. Look at verse 11 of chapter 15. We believe that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved. Bottom line, it's Jesus plus nothing. It's Jesus only.
You don't need anything more than Jesus. What do you need to do to be saved and forgiven? You need to recognize you're a sinner. You need to realize Christ died on the cross for your sin. You need to repent of your sin, put your faith in him, and receive him into your life.
No works go along with that. It's not like, well no, you have to be baptized first. You should be baptized. Every Christian should be baptized. But baptism is not necessary for salvation. But baptism should follow salvation. So this is very clear what the apostles are saying. But sometimes we act as though we achieve salvation through our own efforts. I heard about a multimillionaire who was talking with someone and the person said, can you tell me the secrets of how you became a multimillionaire?
The guy said sure. When I was a very young man, I was dirt poor. There were tough times when I was motivated and energetic. So with my last dime, I bought an apple. I spent the whole night polishing that apple. And then I took it downtown and I sold it for 50 cents. I took that 50 cents and I bought five more apples and I polished them. And I sold them for $2.50. Then I bought more apples and more apples until I made $100. And then my wife's father died and left us $10 million. He didn't become a millionaire by polishing apples.
He became a millionaire because he received an inheritance. And we don't become a Christian by polishing apples, so to speak. Our good works. I did this.
I did that. It's all based on what Jesus did for us, not on what we do for Jesus. Right? But then once we are saved, we should want to please the Lord and honor the Lord and obey the Lord. So that's the ruling of the apostles. Okay, so let's come back to our topic.
How do we resolve conflict? Acts 15, verse 36. Sometime later, Paul said to Barnabas, let's go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preach the word of God and see how they're doing. Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with him. John Mark. Paul did not think it was a good idea or wise to take him because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
They had such a sharp disagreement, they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of God.
And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. So here's the conflict. Two men of God see things in a different way.
Mr. Encouragement, that would be Barnabas, wants to take his nephew, John Mark. Yeah, John Mark messed up. Yeah, John Mark bailed on them on an earlier trip.
But hey, let's give him another chance. Paul's reaction is no, we can't have that happen. We can't have someone walk away from us in the middle of one of these ministry trips we're taking. So they disagreed with it, the friction developed, and then they parted ways. So now let's answer the question, how do you resolve conflict? If you're taking notes, here's point number one. The person you're disagreeing with, don't talk about them, talk to them.
Don't talk about them, talk to them. Paul and Barnabas had this conversation face to face. And by the way, this is not the only time that Paul differed with someone. He said, I disagreed with Peter to his face.
That's kind of heavy duty. Peter and Paul having an argument? What would you do if you were there? What side do you choose? Peter?
Paul? It's like your parents fighting, right? You don't know how to react to it.
The battle of the titans, they had disagreements. And here's the thing, if you know someone who's a Christian, maybe they're doing something they should not be doing, and because you love them, you go to them, you're being a true friend. Because the Bible says, faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Open rebuke is better than secret love. Don't talk about them, talk to them. Don't post a comment on their post publicly for everyone to see. You have a relationship with them, text them directly. Call them directly. Better yet, sit down with them, because a true friend stabs you in the front, not in the back.
Go to them. And a lot of times we won't do this. We'll just let it fester and we'll become more angry. Now, by the way, on this particular argument, Paul was in the right, I believe. But you want to talk about these things because we'll gossip and spread information we don't even know if it's true. Matthew 18, 15 says, if another believer sins against you, go privately, point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses, you've won that person back. So I like to go to the person.
I'm going to get my facts straight. How many of you are married? Raise up your hand, you're married. When you're married, you're going to have conflict. Let me say a word to single people.
How many of you are single? All right, listen to this. No man and no woman is going to meet every one of your needs. If you're going to marriage, say, man, when I find that right guy riding on a white horse, he's going to change everything. One day my prince will come.
Stop watching Disney movies. Or the guy says, oh, I'm going to meet her one day on the beach. Just as the sun is setting, the golden hour. She'll come running to me on the beach in slow motion. Okay, however you meet, reality is going to kick in. And you're two imperfect people in a relationship.
And you have to work through these things because conflicts are going to come. I've had couples come to me and say, Greg, would you perform our ceremony? Would you marry us? Well, let me ask you, are you both Christians?
Oh, yes. How long have you known each other? Six months, okay. Have you guys had a conflict or an argument? Oh, no, we love each other too much. Yeah, no, go have an argument. You're going to have to learn how to resolve conflict. And that's so important. So when you're having a conflict in your marriage, you want to learn how to listen.
Listen to what your mate is saying. I know you have your counterpoint. I know you have your argument. I know you think you're in the right and they're in the wrong. But at least listen to them and hear what they're saying. Try not to let it escalate. Don't raise your voice. Don't insult them. Don't call them names. Don't say things like, you always.
Because they don't. Try to remain calm. Hear what it is they're saying and never fight in front of the kids. Ever.
Make that a hard rule in your house. Now, once you've heard them, you state your point of view. Hopefully they'll listen to you as you've listened to them. Now you need to try to find a compromise, perhaps.
Some kind of resolution. Ephesians 4 26 says, don't let the sun go down on your anger. In other words, don't go to bed mad at each other. Fight to resolve, not to win. If you go into it to win, you lose, even if you don't. If you go into it to win, you lose, even if you win.
The objective is to resolve, not to win the argument. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody, what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. When is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place, so you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.
Join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today, Pastor Greg is helping us learn to resolve conflict biblically. His first point, when you disagree with someone, don't talk about them, talk to them.
Let's continue. Number two, forgive the person you have the conflict with. Forgive the person you have the conflict with. You say, well Greg, they don't deserve my forgiveness. Listen, forgiveness, according to C.S. Lewis, does not mean excusing.
So maybe they don't deserve your forgiveness, but you forgive them anyway. I remember I was having a meal years ago with Cliff Barrows. Cliff Barrows was a longtime associate of Billy Graham.
Cliff would lead worship and was sort of the emcee of the Billy Graham events, and he was a wonderful man. And he said this to me once as we were talking. He says, Greg, there are eight words you should be willing to say to your spouse every single day. Here they are. I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you.
Pretty good. I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you. And I would add these words as well. It was my fault. You'll be amazed at how quickly that will defuse a disagreement, because they're not expecting that. They're going in, and you're listening, and they're going off, and then when they're done, you say, wow, I'm sorry. It was my fault, please forgive me.
They're like, yeah! All right. It works. I said this before, and it was put on one of my devotions, and a guy was reading the devotion.
I'd never heard this before. Okay, so just say, I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you, and it was my fault. So he walks into the other room where his wife is. He says, honey, I want to tell you something. He just says, what? He says, I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you. It was my fault.
He says, she starts crying. Thank you for saying that to me. And then he said, it's really not mine. I just, Greg wrote it in some devotion. I said, you should have never said that!
You should have gone with that. But it really can help diffuse tension, because we're going to have conflict. We're going to have to learn how to forgive. Husbands are going to offend their wives. Wives are going to offend their husbands. Parents will offend their children. Children will offend their parents. Family members will offend one another. Friends will offend one another.
Maybe intentionally, maybe unintentionally, but it won't happen. Dogs will offend cats. Cats won't care. They don't care. They don't care about you or anything else. You cannot make peace with a cat.
Anyway, so, I digress. So we need to learn how to forgive, or you're going to end up as that bitter person. And when bitterness grows, it's the end of a relationship. The Bible warns in Hebrews 12, 15, we should watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up and troubles us, corrupting many. Not only is forgiveness important for you spiritually, it's actually important for you physically.
It can help you to be a healthier person. I read an article, Time Magazine put it out, the title, what the cover story was, should all be forgiven. And the article states, scientists and sociologists have begun to extract forgiveness and the act of forgiving from the confines of the confessional, transforming it into the subject of quantifiable research. A number of psychologists and psychotherapists have realized that there's nothing like forgiveness for dissipating anger, mending marriages, and banishing depression.
Well, how about that? They caught up with the Bible. Because the Bible says, be tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven you. Third and last point, if possible, reconcile.
If possible, reconcile. By the way, Paul ultimately reconciled with John Mark because he wrote in 2 Timothy 4.11 to Timothy, get Mark here and bring him with you because he's helpful to me in my ministry. So in a way, we could go back to this story and say, Paul was right in what he said. He was saying to John Mark, look young man, you need to be responsible, you need to keep your commitments, and when you say you're gonna do something, you need to do it so you can't come on the missionary journey with us this time. But then later, through the actions of John Mark, no doubt Paul said, you know, I like that kid.
Send him over to me, he's been helpful to me so we can learn from our mistakes. Paul did not hold a grudge, neither should we. In the book of Genesis, we have Abraham and Lot. They had a conflict. Abraham was Lot's uncle.
One day Abraham said to Lot, look nephew, it's always drama with you, okay? All this tension between the people that are helping me and the people that are helping you, I think it's in our best interest that we part company. Look, I love you, but I just don't think we can travel together any longer. And so Abraham had said, I'll tell you what, I'll give you the choice. You wanna go this way, I'll go that way.
Make your choice. Where do you wanna go? Well, Lot looks and sees a very beautiful spot, and he says, wow, I like that. It kinda reminds me of Egypt. It's lush and it's green.
I wanna go there. I think they call it Sonom and Gomorrah. And that's where he went. And Abraham went the other direction.
A little time passes. Lot gets himself into some trouble. He's taken as a captive. Now the news came to Abraham, your nephew has just been captured. He's a hostage. Abraham could have said, stupid kid. I warned him, you know, he deserves what he gets. No, Abraham goes and rescues his nephew.
So here's my point. There was a parting of ways, but there was a reconciliation. The reality is, Lot was not nearly as godly as Abraham was, and Lot was kind of a spiritual dream. There are people like that that we meet. When you get around them, they pull you down spiritually.
They might even profess to be a Christian, but they do pull you down. And you might say, you know, I don't wanna hang around that person anymore. They're so critical, they're so negative, they're always down, they're always gossiping, they always have something bad to say about someone else.
After I've been with them, I feel like I need to take a shower afterwards. I don't wanna hang around that person anymore. But then maybe one day that person is in trouble because they follow the inevitable course that their life is taking and nobody really cares much about them. They're isolated.
When they go to a restaurant, they eat alone every time. And the people call out, bitter party of one. But then something happens and they're in trouble and you reach back out to them and you lift them up again. So we have to make these decisions in life as well. So try to resolve as best as possible.
So let's wrap this message up and apply it to each of us personally. Before you can effectively forgive others, you yourself need to be forgiven. Do you remember the first words of Jesus as he hung on the cross?
They were, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Forgiven people should be forgiving people. But let me ask you now, have you been forgiven of your sin? I said earlier, you don't have to clean your life up and come to Christ. You come to Christ, he'll clean your life up. You might say, well, I just need to get my life in order and start following these rules and regulations and get myself a Bible and just get a little religion. Listen, you don't need a little religion. You need a lot of Jesus. Just come to Jesus, come to Jesus. You come to Jesus with your addictions. You come to Jesus with your problems. You come to Jesus with your sins and you say, Lord, save me and he'll forgive you and start changing you.
The changes will follow the encounter with Christ. And maybe there's somebody here that needs to just come to Jesus. You don't realize that God loves you or you haven't realized it up to this point.
You don't realize or you haven't realized that you could come into a relationship with him, but you can. If you want your sin forgiven, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you wanna know that you will go to heaven when you die, if you're ready to say yes to Jesus, wherever you are, pray these words out loud. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for me. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing my prayer and entering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Such an important prayer. Pastor Greg Laurie praying with those asking the Lord to forgive their sins. And if you've just prayed that prayer and meant those words, then your sins have been forgiven and you're a new child of God. And we wanna welcome you into God's family and we wanna send some resources to you to help you get started in this pathway of faith.
We call this resource collection our New Believers Growth Packet. We'll send it free of charge when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. Again, the number 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.
Or just go online to Harvest.org. And then we're excited to make available Pastor Greg's book. It's called Revelation, a Book of Promises. Now, many Bible students know Revelation promises a blessing to those who read, hear, and keep the words of this book. So it seems even the Bible acknowledges that Revelation is no ordinary Bible study.
That's right. It stands out from every other book of the Bible. Of course, it's the final book at the end of your Bible. And the word Revelation means unveiling because it's not God's desire to conceal but to reveal. And Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us. And there is a special blessing attached to this book in particular.
And it's in the first chapter of Revelation. And that promise is blessed is the person that reads, hears, and keeps the words of this book. So David's interesting because that phrase read means to read out loud. So there's a blessing on you if you will simply read this book but then it says you must hear it. You know, Jesus would often say, he that has ears to hear, let him hear.
Our amount of vernacular would be, listen up, pay attention. So I have to read it, I have to hear it, and then finally, I need to keep it. Meaning, I need to take these truths in this book and apply them in their own life. When we study Bible prophecy, it's not just to know more about the future but it's for us to know how we should live in the present. And we have a book, a commentary, if you will, on the book of Revelation.
Here's what I've had a lot of people say to me. For the first time, I understood how this book applied to me. I think this is a very understandable book, a very relevant book, especially for the times in which we are living, simply titled, Revelation, subtitled, A Book of Promises. So, order your copy of this book, Revelation, A Book of Promises. Yeah, that's right, and we'll rush a copy back to you to thank you for your investment in these daily teaching opportunities.
It's only through listener support that we can continue to come your way. So get in touch today for Pastor Greg's book, Revelation, A Book of Promises. You can write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, as Pastor Greg continues our revealing studies in the book of Acts, he brings us a timely message called How to Look Up When Things Look Down. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app, and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-03 04:03:22 / 2023-03-03 04:13:40 / 10