I recently mentioned the "Joernaal" Tredessa had purchased for me in South Africa and how I am using it to write, word-for-word the entire book of Ephesians, but following short passages with my own personalization of it – a letter to my family, really, with my favorite book of the Bible lending topic and inspiration.
Today's section (this was written 4-11-08) was labeled "Keep the Unity of the Spirit," Ephesians 4.1-6, which I will not include here for the sake of space, but here is my version of it.
O, I wish I could learn to be like Paul-who, while in a Roman jail cell, writing this letter, had the full understanding that they couldn't hold him captive because he was already a slave to Jesus Christ – captured by the Captivator!
So, I, the Lord's prisoner (your wife, mom, Nonna), urge you (wholeheartedly appeal to you), family, – live your life with the character and dignity befitting people whom the God of the Universe has looked at, considered, called and set on a path for His glory. Never take lightly your place in the Kingdom – just day in and day out – do what you hear our Father saying in all humility and with purpose.
Don't puff up. Don't try to prove your call – just BE who God has called you to be. Stay low (lift Jesus up).
And in family relationships (the Church, yes, but remember-you're BLOOD and SPIRIT – an unbelievable connection), be very gentle with each other's hearts – make some allowances because Love (the God-love in your hearts) can cover a multitude of sins. So stay patient and be quick to mend brokenness between yourselves. Because, here is the deal: as believers, you have a responsibility to pursue unity and peace with all vigor. The Spirit of God has created a beautiful oneness in a covenant (binding agreement) of peace.
Don't let anything rip that apart because everyone involved will bleed to death. So stay together.
So for you, my husband and children and grandbabies and all who are to come – remember this: in whatever way we've been called, we're all a part of the one –
One Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, we share one Father – who is calling us, urging us to be one.
Don't cause division. Don't be divisive.
Keep, with everything you are and think and do, the unity. Be one. Stay together.
Get into the Word and let the Word get into you!…J (mom)
NOTE TO SELF: Watch for the challenge of this revelation. Guard the unity, in peace.