I love this man! I am truly head over heals crazy about him! He is my best friend….the one who knows everything about me and still chooses to love me. He has seen my good days and my bad days. He has been with me when I’ve been on top of my mountains and he has held me and prayed me through my valleys. We made a commitment to each other almost 13 years ago that we will always be there for each other “for better or worse”……we will be there for each other. The day we were married we became one in God’s sight. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses……but together we are one.
I’m so thankful Dirk is not like me. He is strong where I am weak. He is good at making decisions and I always seem to second guess myself…I think. God has blessed him with a brilliant mind and a compassionate heart. What he does for a living I could never do……NEVER! I just wasn’t made to fulfill that purpose in life. God made me to fulfill a different calling and yet together we make a strong team as we raise our 3 daughters for God’s glory. I feel we compliment each other pretty well. The same is true for the body of Christ. We all have different gifts, things that we are good at, but together we make a strong team. We compliment each other well also. Where I am weak you might be strong and where you are weak another sister might be stronger. We don’t have to be good at everything! In chapter 4:11-12 Paul tells us that God has gifted us all with certain gifts……not all the gifts……according to His plan for our lives.
Right after Dirk and I were married, someone told me to focus on what I LOVE about my husband and not to dwell on the things that could occasionally bother me. She told me not to expect perfection if I didn’t want him to expect perfection out of me. She reminded me that we are all sinners in need of God’s grace…..my husband is no exception. Give grace, forgive, pray for him, encourage him and love him like no one else can!
When I think back on that advice, a lot of it can also be applied to the body of Christ. Instead of focusing on what divides us, lets focus on what unites us! Paul reminds us this week in verses 4:4-6 that there is:
one God and Father of all.
Did you catch that…….ONE!
Let’s start focusing on what unites us just like Paul encouraged the early church to do. Will we have differences? Of course…..but we should not allow those differences to divide us and therefore make us ineffective in the world. Together as the body of Christ we can do GREAT things!
In verse 3, Paul encouraged the early church to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Did you catch that? We are supposed to get along. I know it’s hard…..some personalities can get under our skin at times, but that’s why Paul tells us in verse 2 to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” What wonderful advice to keep a marriage together as well as a group of individuals who all have different personalities, wants, ideas and goals.
Just like we should be loving, gentle, humble and patient with our spouses…..we should also be like that with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we make Christ our focus instead of our agendas, or our ministries, we will we be able to bear with each other in love……because its God’s love that unites us.
Challenge: This week, focus on loving and encouraging the body of Christ. Reach out to someone in your church, your bible study, your Good Morning Girls group and love on them. Give grace where grace is needed. Give forgiveness where forgiveness is needed. Focus this week on what you have in common. Lavish them with God’s love. This week if you feel bothered, upset or annoyed at a fellow Christian, make a point to pray for that person and then choose to do something to build them up. Say an encouraging word. Write a kind letter. Love on them.
Memory verse: Ephesians 4:2- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
This week read: Ephesians 4:1-16
Digging a little deeper: For those of you who would like to learn more about these verses this week, I’ve provided a few resources below for you to use to help you…….dig a little deeper!
1. John MacArthur
2. John Piper
Until next time…
Love God Greatly!