Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, where they were struggling to keep a Christian lifestyle. Many of the believers were being swayed by the city’s immorality, idolatry, and false teachers. Paul is seeking for them to mend their ways and restore their unity of purpose. He encourages them to be joyful, to grow in maturity. To repair their relationships so they could work together and encourage one another. To be of one mind, with shared values; to become complete, restored, work in harmony, and live in peace. Traits church people are still in need of today. For God’s love and peace surround those who work in unity for His good.
In today’s world, we are bombarded with bickering, name-calling, and disagreement daily. Are you encouraging harmony and peace in your church/community?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, you are a God of love and peace. We thank you for your compassion and grace to us. Teach us to mend our ways and live in unity, harmony, and peace. Keep us strong, in Your way, unswayed by false teaching and immorality. Guide us in your truth and light. Like the Echinacea flower’s beauty is enhanced when grouped together; let our life be enhanced with harmony and peace when we go forward in unity. In Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen
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Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
My word of the year this year is compassion. Surprisingly, it pops up often, usually when I least expect it. When I think of Jesus, I think of compassion, for He is the model of compassion. One definition of compassion; is a feeling you have when you become aware of another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. God has compassion for us. He cares about us and gives us His unfailing love. He wants to help us. However, in turn, we need to take our worries and troubles to Him. To pray and to follow His path of righteousness. How has dwelling on the word compassion changed me? I have tried to really listen to others and to view everyone as a child of God. Right now, however, I am still a work in progress.
When is it difficult to be compassionate?
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for your unfailing, unshaken love. When a variety of flowers and grasses are grown together, color and beauty increase. Teach us, to grow together in compassion and love. As one flower may be stark, grouping with other flowers makes the results spectacular. Lord, help us, in turn, to work together to achieve harmony and compassion. We thank you for the beauty of our world. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
*Thanks to Jackie for the lovely zinnia and butterfly photo.