Monday, April 07, 2014

April 7, 2014 … Reconciliation is Messy Business

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 97

Devotional Song: Go to this link …  Please go to this video link to see/hear a video of Sara Groves singing the poignant and powerful song, It’s Going To Be Alright, reminding Christians that it’s imperative that we mend broken relationships with the love of Christ

Highlight Passage – NKJV: Philippians 4: 2-3a [NKJV] …  
2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, …
Highlight Passage [Context] – NKJV: Philippians 4: 1-9 [NKJV] … Go to this link 

Reference Passage #1: Matthew 5: 14-16 [NKJV] …  
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven …”.

Reference Passage #2: John 13: 34-35 [NKJV] …  
34 ”… A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”…”.

Reference Passage #3: Philippians 4: 6-7 [NKJV] …  
5 Be anxious about nothing; but in everything, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Reference Passage #4: 1st Peter 5: 6-7 [NKJV] … 
 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

My Journal for Today: In case you haven’t noticed, relationships are messy.

From fellow readers here, do I sense, a loud, ”AMEN!!” !! 

Well, apparently the apostle Paul, who was writing – from prison - a letter of love to beloved fellow Christians in Philippi, had learned that there were two key believers in that congregation who were at odds; and knowing that they had both labored together with Paul in the past when he was in prison there in Philippi, Paul writes to exhort these two women, with the help of other key Christians there in Philippi, to reconcile their relationship and come together in the unity that they will only find in their relationship in Christ.

And this is a lesson we all need to learn; and the exhortations Paul was writing to beloved fellow believers in Philippi are lessons we all need to take to heart in our various churches and denominations today. Broken relationships, often between key church leaders, are at the heart of schisms and splits in many church congregations today; and they can lead to divisions which in turn can cause the Holy Spirit to snuff out the light of influence in that divided church. Paul realized this; and he wrote from prison that these two church laborers needed to heal their relationship with the help of their fellow believers; and they all needed to come together and find the joy that comes from unified relationships with the Lord in the body of Christ.

Paul had shown the Philippians that in their past they were TOGETHER. And he was exhorting them to come TOGETHER again and to find that same joy that they had shared - TOGETHER. Perhaps you note my redundancy of emphasis in that sentence. Really, we Christians need to do so much more to mend broken relationships and come TOGETHER in the relationship we ALL have in Christ. If we don’t repair broken relationships and remain humanly fragmented in the Church, we’ll never be able to do what Christ admonished His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 5: 14-16), … i.e., to shine Christ’s light – in unity – into a very dark, and ever darkening, world and to exhibit the love of God to non-believers if we cannot even do that to one another in the Church (see John 13: 34-35).

So, with whom do we need to reach out and rediscover the joy we have in our relationship with Christ in any broken relationships we have with other believers? And then TOGETHER, as fellow Christians, what do we need to do, as body of Christ … TOGETHER, ,,, to shine our light more brightly into this every darkening world? Certainly, following Paul’s exhortation to the church in Philippians 4: 1-9 would be a good start.

My Prayer for Today … Today, help me to do all I can to help fellow Christians to share in the love and joy we have in the relationship we have in You, Lord.. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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