(Presented by Lisa BIshop)

Your position before God is holy, righteous, accepted. Because of Jesus, you have peace with God, you are forgiven and blameless! He calls you his beloved, dearly loved. So no matter what circumstances you are facing today, know that you are loved, seen, and highly favored. God is on your side and he is for you, working out your circumstances for your good and his glory.

This week we have been talking about living worthy of the gospel and today we are going to take a look at one more instruction the apostle Paul gives us in Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

As followers of Jesus, as Christians, if we are serious about our relationship with the Lord we will be committed to living by his Word. And his word says, to be eager….be diligent, do everything you can to keep unity and peace with others.

It doesn’t mean absence of conflict or disagreement. It means when there is tension and conflict we act quickly to address and resolve it. We own our part. We both see where we have contributed and are responsible and we work towards reconciliation, towards unity, towards love and connection. This requires forgiveness. Unresolved hurt will result in bitterness and unforgiveness. And, God’s Word has a lot to say about both. We seek restoration in our relationships…and peace.

Peace binds us together; discord separates us. Unresolved tension and conflict destroys marriages and friendships. It disrupts boardrooms and classrooms. Unresolved conflict tears families apart.

In Ephesians 4:31-32 we read: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Listen, the enemy, satan, does his best work when he gets us to be at odds with one another. Do not give the devil a foothold!

Whenever you are tempted towards bitterness and unforgiveness, when you feel discord and disconnection with someone, be alert to the devil’s schemes and say, “Not today satan. I am not going to let you use me to sow dissension and discord. I choose the Holy Spirit bond of peace.”

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.”

And remember: “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.”

(Click here to download a pdf of the entire week’s devotional.)