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Hunger 5.3.21

Real Life Devotional Series “Hunger” -Week 3 - Monday, May 3, 2021
Anna Williams

Unity Of The Spirit

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Eph 4:2-3 NIV
 
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” Heb 12:14-15 ESV
 

I have probably been in the Church since I was two weeks old. My parents were always involved in ministry throughout my childhood. Consequently, I sometimes witnessed some really ugly behaviors from folks who claimed to be children of God though they didn’t act like it. Admittedly, I have struggled with loving the Church at times because of the people in it. I love God’s humor because, ironically, for the last 10 years of my life, I have dedicated myself to working in the Church vocationally.
 
In my early twenties, I went through a period where I refused to attend church because of the hurt and damage I had witnessed inside the Church. One day I poured my heart out to God and this transformational thought came to me from Him: “You’re shutting me out because of something someone else did. I am God and they are only human.”
 
Gathering together inside of the Church is essential to encourage, admonish, strengthen and equip one another to reach into our homes, our OIKOS and communities so that we can share the Gospel. But if we’re too busy fighting each other, arguing on social media, holding grudges or pointing fingers? It becomes difficult to share the gospel effectively.
 
“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God…” Are you getting in the way of someone else knowing God’s grace? Has bitterness gotten in the way of forgiveness? When we refuse to deal with bitterness, it becomes a poison that makes our relationships toxic.
 
Conversely, when we gather together as the Church and love, forgiveness, grace and humility abound – we are a shining light in our community. The hurting are drawn in and the “regulars” are replenished and ready to go back out to their Kingdom work.
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