Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 30, 2018
James, Cephas [Peter] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. Galatians 2:9
Sometimes it takes a greater faith to be agreeable when circumstances and people are in flux. As long as people, places and things are frozen like statues in the past, a lesser trust is required to engage life. But when we face uncertainty, our faith is stretched and our fidelity may lead us to strike out in a different direction. When Christ is the central character of competing views, people can come together with a better understanding of each other, crafted around an agreed upon plan. All parties can embrace the essentials and give grace as it relates to the non-essentials.
Paul, Barnabas, James and Peter were the early church’s leadership team. Instead of adopting an “either or” approach to sharing the Gospel of God’s Grace to the Jews or the Gentiles they embraced the “both and” inclusive strategy. Through prayer, discussion and the Holy Spirit’s lead these teachable leaders defined faith in Christ’s death and resurrection for forgiveness of sins and eternal life as essentials, and circumcision as non-essential for followers of Jesus. Christians who work together learn to agree on what’s most important, and agree to disagree on lesser matters.
“I [Jesus] pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21).
Do you find yourself in a situation that requires you to come to an agreement over disputable matters? Are your friends and family expecting you to embrace a different point of view? Consider what’s best for everyone, not just the satisfaction of being right. Of course there are non negotiables that can’t be compromised, but faith is able to have an open hand with non mission critical matters. For example, how you manage money might need to be adjusted according to the needs of your spouse or a timeline at work may need to be accelerated so the team can see real progress on a lingering issue. Listen to other points of view and be agreeable to new ideas.
What are the core essentials for you as it relates to relationships? Do your closest friendships reflect those with a growing faith? What do you value most in a meaningful relationship? Honesty, humility and reciprocal love are foundational to healthy relational interactions. Define your most important needs for growing relationships, with faith in Jesus Christ as the cornerstone and trust that other marginal issues will take care of themselves. Unify around the Gospel of God’s Grace and grace will permeate your relationships. Having faith to be agreeable brings unity.
“Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I trust you to lead me through this transition, give me the grace to be agreeable with those I serve, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
ApplicationWhat situation am I facing that needs me to be flexible and not so rigid in my approach?
Related ReadingPsalm 133:1; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 1:10, 4:3; Colossians 3:14
Post/Tweet todayBlessed are the flexible for they will not be stressed. #WisdomHunters #agree
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