Confidence in the Face of Conflict
by Mark Buckley.
My message this Sunday is called “How the Disciples Handled Conflict,” from Acts 4:13-22. Sane people do not enjoy conflict. We don't like to argue, fight, or have major disagreements with people. Yet conflicts are unavoidable for followers of Christ. We cannot share the gospel and advance the Kingdom of God without occasionally running into conflicts with those opposed to Christ. We also have conflicts from time to time in our families, at work, and in the church. Conflicts with those I love are even more disturbing to me than conflicts with people I don't know well. Fortunately, the same grace that helped the early disciples overcome their fear of conflict when their lives were on the line can help us deal with conflict in our lives.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is full of stories about conflicts. Cain and Abel, the first two brothers fought with each other. Deception, jealousy and lust caused major problems in the lives of Jacob, Joseph, Samson and David. The apostles had disputes with each other, as well as with false teachers. It is not surprising that we face similar issues in our lives today.
The good news is that God's plans and purposes prevail in spite of the sin and weakness of men. The triumph of Christ can give us confidence in the face of every challenge we face. God's love for us and his abundance of grace allows us to overcome evil and the fear of man.
I believe this message will be a help to you. I hope you will be praying for God's grace to be poured out on everyone who comes to worship with us this weekend.