Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. Ephesians 4:2-3

Remember the old song that said, “I am a rock, I am an island” and another one that said, “I’ll do it my way!” It is popular to be independent, and self-sufficient–even a rebel. Some of us think the best way to get things done is to rely solely on ourselves–remember the old saying “if you want it done right, do it yourself?” Jesus shows us a different way. He surrounded himself with disciples, and friends, and even had meals with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus didn’t need those people, rather they needed him. The Pharisees were scandalized when Jesus ate with sinners. He was extending grace to them, acceptance, open arms — before they had repented or changed anything about their lives. He was associating, identifying himself with sinners. That of course was at the core of his whole mission, but not many people understood that yet. Are we failing to realize there are precious souls all around us for whom Christ died? In the thirteenth chapter of Romans, Paul says…”it is later than we think, and it is high time for us to wake up”.

We need each other–God made us that way and Jesus was our perfect example. Ephesians 4 teaches us the importance of being tied together in the unity of the Spirit. Why, because God gives us relationships for encouragement, accountability, and learning how to love. There is nothing more special than a friend who prays for you and takes the risk to speak the truth to you. I want to be that kind of friend, don’t you?. God’s peace can be found in those special friendships with other believers and the knowledge that they care on a deeper level. We are strengthened and stretched by those friendships. Many times the grace I’ve been shown or the compassion of a friend has come at crucial moments. God has arranged divine appointments with people he wanted me to know, maybe who needed encouragement and caring, and in turn, they encouraged me. He cares deeply about our need for fellowship or friendship.

Ephesians 4: 2 instructs us “Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience.” Peace goes hand-in-hand with things like serenity and kindness. The world might say something different, but as believers, we know Jesus offers us the peace that passes all human understanding. He is the pathway to peace and when we conduct ourselves this way, we become a shining light on the dark path of this life for all to see.

Christmas blessings,
Deb Hill

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