Sermon Notes

Pressure Points: Conflict Management

Pressure Points: Conflict Management

Dr. Conway Edwards, Lead Pastor

Bible References: James 4:1-4; James 1:17

As we turn to James chapter 4, we observe that James not only raises the question of what causes conflict, he answers it, giving both the specific causes of the problem and the cure.  We can’t get along with others because we are unhappy and discontent. Our external conflicts come from internal conflicts that we can not contain – the idea that “I want what I want”. We fight because we want something we are not getting, which can lead us to outbursts or “bad” behavior, often hurting those closest to us.

There are three primary desires that anger us when not fulfilled:

  1. We want to have something: possession (i.e. greed)
  2. We want to feel something: physical pleasure (i.e. lust)
  3. We want to be something: power and prestige (i.e. vanity | control)

When my desires conflict with your desires, and when I don’t get what I want, then the sparks are going to fly! We become angry, envious, disillusioned, write the other person or people off, all in an attempt to get what we want.

Everything we want is an appetite that can never be satisfied in this world; it can be satisfied only through our relationship with God. We have to manage our appetites (money, power, respect, prestige, food, relationships, beauty, control, fame, etc.) because you will never conquer them.  We shouldn’t make our pleasure the ultimate pursuit of our life; God must be the ultimate pursuit for each of us.

Want to build on this lesson?  Think about the situation that comes to mind where you didn’t get what you wanted and you readily blamed someone else for the outcome. Take a deep breath and as you exhale let go of the blame, accept accountability, ask for God’s forgiveness, and pray that God grant you wisdom, peace, understanding, and freedom from internal conflicts as we pursue Him.

A Father’s Love

A Father’s Love

Stephen G. Brown

Bible References: Luke 15:11-32; Ephesians 6:4

 

There is no love like a father’s love; it is foundational to our ability to love God.  A father’s love paves the way for an individual to experience the love of the God Father.  It has been said that it is not likely for a child to find a Father in God unless they are likely to find something of God in their father.

In the Prodigal Son’s story of a Father’s Love Jesus is pleading His case.  He starts out with lost things, moves to lost property, and then He makes His way to speak about lost people.  It’s a passage that focuses our attention on the father’s reaction.  It’s a story of rebellion that leads to repentance, which ultimately leads to restoration.  Two key principals are at work in this story, first faith and second, forgiveness.  We can all testify that our lives need a little more of both.

First, a father’s love releases by faith. The father in the story doesn’t argue to retain his son.  He releases him by faith knowing that his son will return by the same road that took him away.  Let go.  Faith cannot work as long as we hold onto our children.  The next point is knowing when and how to let go so our children can soar in Christ.

It is important to recognize there is a time when it isn’t enough to merely feel bad about some things we have to make a change.  It may be removing people from our lives who make it easier for us to stray.  Take the time to scroll through your phone book, select those individuals, and delete the contact.  Remove the temptation so you can soar in Christ.

Second a father’s love receives with forgiveness. He doesn’t mind being exposed or humiliated for his son. Forgiveness can only be met with repentance and love.

Third and finally a father’s love responds in fairness. God gives to his children equal love; He doesn’t play favorites.

Trending: Side “Chickology” | Side “Slickology”

Trending: Side “Chickology” | Side “Slickology”

Pastor Keith Battle

Bible References: Genesis 16:1-4; Genesis 21:8-14; Genesis 29:16-25; Proverbs 6:26

 

Do not be distracted by a “side chick” (female) or “side slick” (male) – always keep family first. These distractions occur because of some perceived lack at home; we feel as though something is missing in our spousal relationship.  Heed this warning; “side” relationships are born out of deceit.  They lead to stress and anxiety, a fear of being exposed.  It takes a lot of effort to cover up wrong doings.  Unfortunately it also leads to a greater disdain for our spouse.  “Side” chicks or slicks are like relief pitchers waiting in the dug out; unfortunately their turn will likely never come.  Any individual who has a “side” relationship will never be able to work on his or her marriage. Understand the cost of your loss before walking this dark and lonely path.

Instead, seek to follow God’s plan for your life; He will not bless an inappropriate relationship. Take steps to protect your marital relationship by:

  1. Spending time together…make it a priority to learn each other’s love language and use it often
  2. Praying together…make God the center of your relationship; families that pray together, stay together
  3. Creating fun and fond memories together…having fun is important to any relationship