Week 19: “Be kind and forgive one another”
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Ephesians. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
You must get rid of all the manifestations of the old life from your life. You must be rid of bitterness, which is the opposite of kindness, not of sweetness. Rage and anger must go, as well as their verbal expressions of brawling and slander. In fact, every form of malice must be continually “shown the door.” Malice is depravity; it is the manifestation of the old “us” without Christ. Is the Christian life nothing more than an exercise in futility? Do not let any unwholesome talk out of your mouth. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Get rid of all this bad stuff. Be kind and forgive as Christ forgave you. All of these direct commands to consistently be and do and to not be and not do may just seem impossible. Reorient yourself to the reality of God right now. Your life in Christ is not a pass/fail endeavor. It is a relationship, a growing relationship. God is not growing, but you are. If you are a Christian, you are accepted in Christ Jesus. You are okay; you cannot earn what has been freely given to you. Now look again at all of these “impossible” things you are asked to do and be. It is not an exercise in futility; it is an invitation to liberty. Believe that it is possible for you to be this kind of person, more and more as time and choices go by. Expect that your choices matter. God has given you the privilege of being a part of what happens to you. Decide to move into the choices that will shape you into this kind of person. This really is about a life of direction, not a life of perfection.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.