The scripture for today is Ephesians 4: 31 to 5:2, KJV.
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."
Paul is writing to each of us about our new creation in Christ. Paul understands we can do more damage with our words than we can with our bodies. Out of the three things he starts with (bitterness, anger and wrath) comes evil speaking. I cannot help but think that in these times of strife and turmoil in our world, each person should read these words written by Paul. He tells us for these things to be "put away" or suppressed by us. Jesus told us to "Love thy neighbor".
Which brings us to the second verse in this devotion. We are told to "be kind" to each other. Remember that God forgave us first and we are to do the same with others. Jesus gave himself for us. All of us. Paul writes for us to walk in love. With love, everything is forgiven. Some may say this would be hard to do. Yet, even in the Lord's Prayer, we "forgive those who trespass against us". Think about this.
After the liberation of the concentration camps in Poland, many Polish people who were Catholic, found it hard to forgive what their captors did to them while in these camps. That is until they read the Lord's Prayer. At that point they knew that forgiveness and love were the only things that can heal both them and their captors. Once this happened, the love of God prevailed. Yes, it is very hard. No one of the Christian faith said it would be easy.
Peter wrote that Christ came "for all". Paul writes for us to be kind to each other. Paul also writes for us to walk in love. We are told to forgive each other. Regardless of the circumstances. Pray about this and change the world.
Pray for peace, love and understanding. Pray for forgiveness and to be forgiven. Pray for healing.
Russ Nixon firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern – Those who need to remember to forgive their enemies.