Continuing our Southern Cancer Center “Bread Bite” series, sharing weekly words of encouragement and inspiration, here is this week’s message from Pastor Chad Price of Forest Hill Church of God in Mobile, Alabama.
“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk – better yet, run! – on the road, God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline – not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” Ephesians 4:1-3 (Message Version)
There’s certainly a lot to unpack here, as Paul is writing to the people of Ephesus while he’s in prison. He begins by urging them to remain active in their pursuit of spreading the gospel – of living their life for the Lord and declaring His great faithfulness in their lives. In this, he’s encouraging them also to serve. To always find places to pour out the love of Jesus and to be His hands and feet.
Secondly, he encourages them to do all of this while maintaining a posture of humility so that they do not become self-serving in any way. Also, to create daily routines that involve these acts of service so that they remain disciplined in creating routines – an overflow of God’s abundant grace in their lives.
Lastly, and quite possibly most important, I love how he encourages them to be quick to mend fences. There’s nothing so stifling to spiritual freedom as unforgiveness. It will be an immediate hindrance and will stifle any and all peace of mind. You’re either consumed by the anger or consumed by the guilt- maybe both – of holding onto a grudge with someone. To forgive and move on is to live in freedom.
So, in everything, serve willingly and often. Search for moments where you can serve your fellow brother or sister, even if it seems small. Do it consistently and finally, always be on the lookout for things that might cause offense to take root in your heart. Always be willing to be the bigger individual and ask forgiveness first. Your peace of mind depends on it and you’ve got too much of destiny in the Lord to get bogged down by it.