September 21, 2015 – Ephesians 4:31-32

Ephesians4-31-32Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32There is no easy list of ‘how-to’s’ to get rid of anger, bitterness, rage, harsh words or evil behavior.  The phrase, ‘the devil made me do it’ has more truth than Flip Wilson was aware of.  Now in our world, ‘the devil made me do it’ is more a sense of entitlement for hateful behavior.The only way to get rid of such hatefulness is to walk in Jesus’ way of forgiveness.  Then the long strand of rationalization begins justifying our behavior. Or so we think.  How often I see the love, the care, the patience of Jesus as he healed and taught how to live in peace.  He was treated to made fun of, scorned, mocked, reviled and beaten.  He was given a sentence of crucifixion and died on the cross.  Why?  Because He loves us.  He made a way of God seeing us, through Jesus, as a beloved child and friend.His last words were — It is finished.  He had completed his mission here on earth – bringing forgiveness of sin through his ultimate sacrifice on the cross.It is in the name of Jesus and through his strength, that we can love, yes, love, even our enemies and forgive them.  How?  By keeping ourselves united in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit that lives within each of us when we accept just Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  We set our hearts and minds to live for Him and find peace that will last an eternity.Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s  faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2-3