We had the incredible opportunity to speak with British American author, editor, and speaker Jill Briscoe. She has partnered with her husband in ministry for over 50 years and written over 40 books. She currently serves as the founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine. She is a former member of the boards of directors of World Relief and Christianity Today. In this excerpt from our September 2020 webinar, Jill and Women of Welcome Director Briana Stensrud discuss Jesus’ command for us to be peacemakers and God’s heart for the vulnerable.
Jill Briscoe: What about Judea and the uttermost parts of the world? We can’t say there is no opportunity for me to do it. Have a conversation on the steps of your soul with God about that. Will you give him all your heart? If he asks – and he’s asked you through the Bible to work at being peacemakers and to help the homeless and the hungry and the bad people as well as the good people – we just have to say okay. There are obvious opportunities that don’t come to me and say, “help me” but I know they’re here. We ask, “show me which ones.”
Briana Stensrud: A lot of people will say they’re unsure of how to get involved and so we’ve got ways in which we connect people to get involved. But they’re also unsure if they should get involved, especially with the issue of immigrants and refugees. And it has become a subject matter that is so politicized and that makes for a very difficult time entering in. What would you say about that? What would you say as encouragement for someone who has compassion for immigrants and refugees but lacks to confidence to really engage in that sphere?
Jill Briscoe: I’d just say, “What do you do with Jesus’ command to be a peacemaker?…”
Briana Stensrud: Who are we allowing our culture or our society to deny, that has a God-given purpose, and who is made in the image of God – that we are deeming of less worthy and having less potential because we refuse to lean into what our fears really are? We can be a compassionate country and a safe country, and these things are not mutually exclusive. We talk about these things all of the time at Women of Welcome – how there is a tension to hold, but that it a nuanced tension; it’s not one of the other. The Lord doesn’t say when you go and meet the needs of the poor, that it’s a safe thing. He doesn’t talk about the prioritization of safety. What he talks about is showing up and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.
Jill Briscoe: Oh yes, Jesus got in trouble all the time with the Pharisees – for touching a leper, for doing all the things that they say through the religion you shouldn’t go near. Peter had trouble when he was asked to go to Cornelius’ house, who worshipped the emperor. But God saw his heart and said, “if this man heard the gospel, he’d come to Christ.” He said to Peter,” go and tell him.”
Watch the entire conversation on the Pursuit of Peace with Jill Briscoe here.