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Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Bond of Peace - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 15 June Thursday
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
After I confronted my friend by email over a matter on which we had differed, she didn’t respond. Had I overstepped? I didn’t want to worsen the situation by pestering her, but neither did I want to leave things unresolved before she went on a trip overseas. As she popped into my mind throughout the following days, I prayed for her, unsure of the way forward. Then one morning I went for a walk in our local park and saw her, pain etched on her face as she glimpsed me. “Thank You, Lord, that I can talk to her,” I breathed as I approached her with a welcoming smile. We talked openly and were able to resolve matters.
Sometimes when hurt or silence intrudes on our relationships, mending them seems out of our control. But as the apostle Paul says in his letter to the church at Ephesus, we are called to work for peace and unity through God’s Spirit, donning the garments of gentleness, humility, and patience as we seek God’s healing in our relationships. The Lord yearns for us to be united, and through His Spirit He can bring His people together—even unexpectedly when we go walking in the park.
When Paul wrote his New Testament letter to followers of Christ in Ephesus, he wrote out of his own experience. When he urged his readers to work through their disagreements with humility, gentleness, and patience, he knew that it takes more than personal resolve. He had once lived with a head full of knowledge and a heart running on empty. As Paul wrote to men and women who had hurt one another with anger, lies, and bitterness (Eph. 4:25–32), he helped them see beyond their own blind spots. He wanted them to know that learning to love one another isn’t something we can do through our own ability. He asked the Spirit of God to reach deep into their hearts and open their eyes to God’s immeasurable love for them (3:14–19) and reminded them that even when we can’t see the way forward—and back to one another—there is a Spirit who can do far more for us than we could ever ask or think (v. 20).