Monday Sermon Follow-up: Peace with Our Enemies
In yesterday’s sermon at the Main campus, I (Pastor Dave) asked the question, was the early church praying for Saul of Tarsus when he was persecuting the church, leading the lynching of Stephen, and throwing their members in prison? Jesus clearly asked all Christians to pray for their enemies in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthews Gospel, and that would include Saul. I think there were those who prayed for Saul and as we know he changed dramatically. Like the bumper sticker states, “Prayer Changes Things.” He changed his name to Paul and became the great Apostle of the early church and wrote these words in Romans.
One of the challenges of the modern world is the relative ease that people jump into conflict. It happens in politics, it happens in churches and in any other group. Some of it happens easier today because much of our communication is done in an impersonal way on the web or through texts and various other forms of social media. I do not want to blame the means of communication but the one speaking or writing the message. Saul wanted to silence anyone who disagreed with him, but after he came to faith he was willing to go the extra mile to show someone that he disagreed with, that Jesus came to bring peace. Peace first happens within a heart when we realize we are not the product of our circumstances, but the creation of our Lord. That kind of peace ultimately affects every relationship we have and even enables us to pray for our loved ones and even our enemies.
If you missed Pastor Dave’s sermon, you can watch it here: