“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
Well, I have a question for you…how has forgiveness week been going? I realize I took a few days off from the blog, but I did so in hopes that you would really commit yourself to meditating on God’s Word these past few days, letting its truth transform your hearts and your minds. If you were with us earlier this week, you’ll know that we’re focused on living out forgiveness in our lives, meditating on what God’s Word has to say about forgiveness, and letting go of the offenses that we’ve clung to that have kept us bound in unforgiveness. I don’t know about you, but I love to study and I love to learn. In particular, I’m a lover of God’s Word. One thing I love about it so much, and perhaps struggle with at the same time, is that I’ll never fully understand it all. But, that’s what keeps me running back for more. Do you see where I’m going with this? If I were able to fully understand the whole of Scripture, and completely be able to wrap my mind around its teachings, wouldn’t I then have authority over it? However, because God remains a beautiful mystery, I remain in need of Him, and I continue to be a student of His Word. Therefore, it holds the position of authority over me, not the reverse. So, when I read in God’s Word that He desires us to live in peace with each other and commands us to live out this thing called forgiveness, I have no choice but to place myself under its authority. And that, my friends, is a freeing thing. Willful submission to God’s Word brings freedom and joy! Don’t ever forget that. When the going gets tough, when choosing to forgive seems impossible, remember where the authority truly lies. God’s Word is the final authority in our lives, and when we willingly place ourselves under that authority in obedience, we experience freedom and receive joy! That’s where I want each one of us to be found…walking in freedom with hearts full of joy! How about you?
We’ve looked at several verses earlier this week that teach on forgiveness. Again today, we will take a look at God’s Word, and I pray that you and I both will make the wise choice to place ourselves under its authority. What I love about the passage above is the phrase in verse 3 “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit”. EAGER. Would you ever describe yourself as one that is eager to maintain unity? When confrontation comes, when disagreement arises in your relationships, when all manner of offense floods your way, are you one who is eager to maintain unity? Because you see, God’s heart displays an eagerness to maintain unity, an eagerness for reconciliation. That is why He sent His only Son to the cross in our place…to reconcile us to Himself. There was an eagerness that He displayed in His pursuit of our hearts. How eager are we to maintain this kind of unity and reconciliation with our brothers and sisters in Christ? With our spouse? With our children? With our families? We come back to this time and time again in Scripture: FORGIVE. The consequence of the offender’s actions is not up to you. God is in control of that. What IS in your control is your choice to forgive, your willingness to align yourself with God’s heart on the matter. He desires unity. He desires reconciliation. Do you?