Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love
construction tools

The Best Construction


  1. They didn’t understand what Jesus was saying
    & they were afraid to ask him. Did Jesus references miss too?

    1. I encountered a similar experience just this week: my Aug. 30th
      1. Expressing gratitude to several people who have invested in me.
      2. Expressing some wisdom I‘ve learned along my ministry journey.
    2. “Personal experience has taught me to be myself and let the chips fall where they may because it destroys me to try to be someone else or to fill someone else’s shoes. I’d rather be unemployed than serving a church that doesn’t want me. I don’t need a job badly enough to fake who I am.”
    3. The discussion struck me as an opportunity to apply what we learned last Sunday from Martin Luther’s explanation of the 8thCommandment: “[We should] defend [our neighbor], [think and] speak well of [them], and put the best construction on everything.”an exercise in application.
  2. Jesus was speaking of his death & resurrection, but they were arguing w/each other over who was most important of them.
    1. I encountered a similar experience just this week: who gets visits/time.
      1. Celebrating baptisms, new members, & revitalized ministries.
      2. Contention over talk of pastoral visits in a week I made 11 visits.
    2. None of us truly has the big picture about all of our ministries here. We can have “conflicts & disputes”as James says, or we can give grace.
    3. The discussion struck me as an opportunity to apply what we learned last Sunday about gossip, & not talking about people who aren’t in the room, or talking to people and not about people. Remember how far & fast that rumor about me being fired spread?
  3. Envy & selfish ambition create disorder, conflict & disputes; But Kingdom wisdom creates pure, peaceable, & impartial, good fruits of righteousness that are gentle & merciful.
    1. James suggests that where we will encounter disputes & conflict where we cling to bitter envy & selfish ambition for our personal indulgence.
    2. James doesn’t mean that we’ll never experience struggle or contention, but “we covenant with each other to strive to express [Christ’s] spirit in our individual and corporate life; living together as Christian brothers/sisters”
    3. James seems to give us a test for checking how well we are living together as a covenant family; are we experiencing peace, mercy, impartiality, & gentleness, or is it disorder, conflict, & disputes instead?
  4. Whoever wants to be first must be last of all & servant of all.
    1. The Good News is that we are not left without a way out! Jesus’ entire life, teachings, death, and resurrection lead us along this pilgrim path.
    2. The simple acts of putting other’s ahead of ourselves, of listening before speaking, of extending gentleness & mercy, of applying the best possible construction on all we see & hear…Surely not easy, but simple & true.
    3. Remember what we learned from James about our words & language, Remember to trust what Jesus promises about the church enduring, and remember what Jesus teaches us about loving one another…
  5. Love is what binds us & identifies us. Love is everything.
    1. Love is patient; love is kind;
      love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
      It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 
      it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
      It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    2. Love never ends. … And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
    3. Let us go now to face a new week together with a spirit of peace,
      Having the assurance that God walks with each of us & all of us.
      Let us go now to face our challenges, new and old, with renewed faith,
      Having the assurance that God is truly guiding us along the way.
      Let us go now alongside each other with hearts lifted on limitless love,
      Having the assurance that God set the example by first loving ea. of us.


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