"How Pleasant It Is!"
One of our members recently remarked to another, "We are so blessed! The Lord has given us a peaceful, loving church family, whose fellowship is precious; and every time we meet our hearts are fed, nourished, and encouraged by the preaching of the gospel." When her remarks came back to me, I lifted up my heart to God in thanksgiving.
We are indeed blessed of God! He has given us fourteen years of blessed harmony in the gospel. He has given us numerous opportunities for ministry around the world. And he has constantly supplied our needs, often in amazing ways, to do the work he has put into our hands. I am truly thankful! The most undeserving and most unlikely have been the constant objects of God's favor (I Cor. -29).
Let us each take care to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by thoughtless, sharp words of bitterness and wrath. Instead, "be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Nothing is uglier and more unbecoming than strife and division among God's saints. Nothing is more pleasant than brethren dwelling together in unity and peace.
Our strength under God for good is our unity and peace in Christ. It is called the "bond of peace." Alone we are like many small twigs: weak, insignificant, and useless. But when we are bound together in the cause of Christ, when our hearts are united by the Spirit of God, when we are one in Christ, we are like many twigs pressed and bound together: strong, and useful! Put many twigs together and you can lean upon them, build with them, and defend yourself with them. This "unity of the Spirit" only God can give and maintain. Yet, it is something we must strive to keep. If we do not, God will take his Holy Spirit from us. That is the message of Ephesians chapter four. Read it carefully and seek grace from God to live by it.