Love in Context | Pastor Mac Hammond | August 28, 2022

Recap:
Two words that are often misunderstood within a Christian context are holiness and love. What is love? What should it look like? What is holiness, and how do we strive toward holiness without moving into a works mindset? These are some of the questions that Pastor Mac will address in his upcoming sermon series, Love in Context. This weekend, he started by talking about the power of loving others through following peace as well as what holiness looks like.

Dive Deeper:
We are called to love people, but we cannot love everyone the same way. We must learn to love each other within the context of the relationship. For example, you cannot love people who disagree with you in the same way you can love people who agree with you—but you can still love both unconditionally.

One way we can love people well is through following peace. Peace means harmony and concord with all men. For some relationships, this is possible because you agree on basic decisions in life. On the other hand, maintaining peace with those you disagree with will take work. You will not find peace if you constantly debate and argue topics on which you disagree, but you can promote peace through focusing on what you do agree on. (If it’s a relationship with a Christian, focus on God’s Word!)

Now as you pursue peace, remember that people are not the problem. People who hate you or act wrongly toward you are being used by the enemy to be disruptive. They may not realize it, but they are part of a spiritual war going on, and they may be serving the enemy without realizing how dangerous their actions are. What you can do when someone is working to hurt you is to pray for them. Pray for your enemies. Make faith-filled declarations over the situations that you are facing and take authority in prayer that will tear down the enemy’s strongholds. Pray that the other person will come to know and understand God’s love for them. Build a stronghold for God. Pursue peace, and ultimately, you’ll reflect God’s unconditional love for that person directly back to them.

Read About It:
Hebrews 12:14–15 KJV
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Ephesians 6:11–12 KJV
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

James 1:19 KJV
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Discussion Questions:
1. What is one practical way you can follow peace with your family today?
2. How can you follow peace at work?
3. What does peace look like in the political realm?
4. How can you move toward holiness today?

Rewatch or catch up on the full sermon with the link below!

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