The following is what I spent my quiet time on tonight. It came from a Devotional Bible where Max Lucado was the General Editor.
Ephesians 4:2-6, 31-32
2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
"Grace makes three proclamations.
First, only God can forgive our godlessness...
Second, only God can judge our neighbor...
Third, we must accept who God accepts...
Easier said than done.
God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose -- to carry us safely to the other shore. This is no cruise ship; it's a battleship. We aren't called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.
Though different, we are all the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call. He found us among the shanties of the seaport and invited us to follow Him.
Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern. There is concern, however, regarding the disharmony of the crew.
Unity creates belief. Disunity fosters disbelief. Who wants to board a ship of bickering sailors? Life on the ocean may be rough, but at least the waves don't call us names....Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?
As I was pulling onto my street this evening when I was returning from work I had the radio on a Christian radio station. A lady called in to ask prayer for a neighbor who had shot himself just probably 15 minutes before. She related it was a fairly new family to the neighborhood and she had not gotten to know them that well. The young man was probably 13-years-old/middle school age. She did not have any details about the extent of his injuries. She did mention a mother and a brother, but nothing about a father.
Please pray for this young man and his family. Life is hard. It breaks my heart that this young man felt he was at a place that his only option was to shoot himself.