Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017 … In Pursuit of Peace

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 166

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Don Men singing the old hymn … Wonder Peace … poignantly singing of what God calls of all Christians … i.e., to experience His wonderful peace and unity in the Body of Christ.

Highlight Verse[s]: Ephesians 4:1…3 [NKJV] … 
1  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, … 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
 … The pursuit of a bond of peace in Christ’s body is a sign of our worthiness as Christians. 
Highlight Passage [context]: Ephesians 4:1-6 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, exhorts Christians to worthiness in our calling as Christians to pursue peace rather than prideful strife.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Isaiah 26:3 [NLT] … 
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 
… The Prophet brings God’s charge to keep His peace by focusing our mind/hearts on His ways and His will.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Matthew 5:9 [NLT] … 
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” 
 … Jesus commands His followers to FOLLOW Him, … not to try to outrun Him.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … John 13:34-35 [NLT] … 
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.” 
 … Jesus commands us to share love and to be unified in His love.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Amy Boucher Pye, relates a personal story of Christians striving toward unity and a bond of peace. The ODB author wrote: 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.  

The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration and anointing of God’s Spirit, laid it out pretty clear for His church in the highlight passage above, didn’t he? … And the practical outcome, when God’s people are experiencing hostility and separation, we, as His “called ones,” I.e., Christians, will not experience any peace until those bonds of peace are solidified to honor God, showing off His love (see also John 13:34-35).

The question arises for us today very clearly from the ODB entry, doesn’t it? … Are there any relationships in our lives which cry out of mending or unity? … If so, what are we waiting for? … Let’s go out and set aside our fears and pride and mend some nets; .. so that we can be more effective “fishers of men (and/or women).”

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, help me to take You up on Your offer to help me walk WITH You rather thank work FOR You. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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