photo credit: suzyhazelwood <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/139228535@N05/24363296257″>DSC04796-02</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
It’s a gift!
I like to receive presents. Who doesn’t?
Excited, I’ve unwrapped gifts from family and friends.
I recall the Christmas of 1967.
It was the last I’d spend living at home with my parents. I married a few days later on December 30th. Strange as it may seem, I opened 2 timely gifts. My parents gave me a fashionable wrist watch; fiancé Norm gave me a dress watch with silver band. They were both special gifts.
The Father has given me His gift of peace.
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character] (Isaiah 26:3 a AMP).”
Jesus has given me the gift of peace.
“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] (John 14:27 AMP).”
The Holy Spirit has given me the gift of peace.
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace… (Galatians 5:22a AMP).”
It’s a gift. Won’t you receive it?
Christmas… There is a keen sense of peace and tranquility.
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:2-7 KJV).”
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/15513233@N00/287501751″>IMG_2420</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJ).”
Are we, as Christ followers, making a diligent effort to guard cherished unity of the Spirit? Most of us never give unity a thought, or if we do, think it would mean forfeiting individuality.
We might better understand this passage when taken in by small bites.
Paul, though often a prisoner to Rome was willingly held captive by Christ. He felt a sense of urgency when addressing the church. Christ had called them to follow Him; they had answered His call to holiness and evangelism. In all endeavors, they were to be compassionate.
When will I experience unity of the Spirit?
Undoubtedly, I will know it experientially when tenderly bearing the burdens of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Where might I discover unity of the Spirit?
The LORD safeguards such unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…