Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia said she will preach all this month on the series "The Light of the Cross" as we move toward celebrating Easter Sunday on March 31.
First, Pastor Paige said:
"God wants us to see things the way He sees things. Everything we preach and teach should focus on Jesus and the cross because there is power in the cross, and there is purpose in the cross."
God reconciled us back to Himself so we may be reconciled with one another. God does not want us to be apart from one another but to get it together with one another.
It is hard to get along with mean, difficult and belligerent people, but we are to fix our eyes and see what God sees. God wants us to consider Him because He shares in our crises.
We should consider Him who endured such hostility and opposition. Then we will not lose heart.
Pastor Paige gave instructions on how to handle difficult people.
- Don't be critical of difficult people.
- Don't destroy their self-confidence.
The pastor reiterated:
"Correction will do much, but encouragement will do more."
Speak the truth by encouraging rather than criticizing. It is much easier to be part of the problem than part of the solution; however, we should try to straighten out the problem instead of trying to straighten out the person. When it comes to a personal attack, no one wins.
The goal in a relationship is to love.
Love transcends the problem especially when we do two things:
- Consider Him who endured hostility.
- Consider Him who receives our condemnation.
Jesus has clearly pointed out the way which is love and not condemnation. When we operate in love, condemnation will diminish.
We can operate in consideration or we can operate in condemnation. When we operate in condemnation, we operate in ourselves. When we condemn our brothers and sisters, we are also condemning Christ.
When we talk down to people, we are also talking down to Jesus who became our substitute for sin. In other words, our death in Christ was not condemnation but identification. It should have been us, but Jesus' death on the cross saved us from a sentence of death. We are the guilty ones because we broke the law, and Jesus became our advocate. Therefore, we are able to give the love to others that we received from Jesus.
When we understand the power and purpose of the cross, we will also understand that it's all about love. And we have to give away that same love that we have received.
Pastor Paige's final words were:
"Love is the message of the cross. Allow love to permeate your being."