Wednesday, April 22nd

Wednesday, April 22nd

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline .... It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life.  He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began - to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:7, 9

I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ. 1 Peter 5:12-14

Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:23-24

When someone says, "That's the spirit," they are affirming that someone has the needed attitude and approach for going at life or some aspect of life. When Paul refers to "spirit" in the 2 Timothy passage above it involves attitude and approach but it is so much more. We have the Holy Spirit within us to protect us from the "wrong spirit" and to enable us to have the "right spirit." The attitude and approach with which we go at "relationships" make a huge difference in what kind of relationships we have. The point of our series is that we have a Divine connection that gives us "hope" that our entire life can be what it was meant to be and of course this includes all our relationships. Do you have "hope" when it comes to your relationships with other people or does a spirit of fear and timidity prevail? We don't have to be afraid or timid when it comes to our relationships with others.

Whatever you are going through in regard to personal relationships, the key to "hope" for your relationships will always be how you are doing at zeroing in on your Divine connection. God lives in your heart and life through his Spirit. In a previous devotional we referred to our Divine connection as our love relationship with God. We said that our love relationship with God makes it possible for us to have loving relationships with other people. The "spirit" we need for all our relationships is a spirit of love (the fruit of the Spirit is love ....). Believers in Christ of the early church are our brothers and sisters in Christ and they modeled "relatationships" for us. The Holy Spirit enabled them to come at all relationships in a "spirit" of power, love, and self-discipline and not in a "spirit" of fear and timidity. The 1 Peter and Ephesians passages above give us snapshots of the "right spirit" prevailing in relationships between believers in Christ of the early church. We might want to say, "That's the spirit." Truly there is "hope" for it to be the same with us.

Lord, I commit all my relationships to you. I believe you have them all covered with your love and grace and that, in your time and in your way, you will transform them. I choose to leave them in your hands and to concentrate on you more than ever before. Lord, love me like I have never been loved before and change me from the inside out. Deliver me from fear and timidity and create in me a heart filled with power, love, and self-discipline. (That's the spirit)

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