Grace and Forgiveness
Read Ephesians 4:1-13 - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body.
I beg you - I, a prisoner here in jail for serving the Lord - to live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit, and so be at peace with one another.
We are all parts of one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. For us there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and we all have the same God and Father who is over us all and in us all, and living through every part of us. However, Christ has given each of us special abilities - whatever he wants us to have out of his rich storehouse of gifts. Ephesians 4: 1-7 (TLB)
Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Psalms 51:10 (TLB)
Betsy Mitchell is from New York. She recently asked a former co-worker to lunch. It had been years since she last saw him, but Betsy wanted to apologize face-to-face for an incident that happened at the office. In her mind, he had the right to be angry with her, so Betsy arrived at the restaurant ready to face his ill feelings.
To her surprise, he accepted her apology and did not make a big deal about the incident. They spent a pleasant hour together and parted as friends. Betsy left the restaurant with a light heart and a clean conscience.
Betsy used to make decisions based on what would turn out best for her rather than considering others. Her selfishness directed her actions. She thought everyone should just take care of themselves. Her relationship with Christ has changed her life significantly, and she is no longer the person she was when she mistreated her former co-worker. Her Creator has forgiven that sin and all of her others. Because of God's grace and forgiveness, Betsy can now look back at her life, see her mistakes, and take steps to correct them. In doing so, she has the opportunity to show others what God has done for her. And she is reminded of God's grace when others, such as her friend, accepts her apology and offers forgiveness.
Prayer: Forgiving God, thank you for your forgiving mercy. Help us to love others by asking for forgiveness. And give us eyes to see your grace in the lives of those around us, in Jesus' name. Amen
We all have different gifts but are joined by one Spirit!