Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11 NRSV)

"Live in peace" surely fits in with what the Lord admonished us toward when Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). Peace is absolutely essential if the church is to have fellowship. A church filled with hostility and broken relationships will not know true fellowship.

Let me ask you a probing question today: Are there members of your church that you are avoiding? If there are, is it because there is hostility in your heart toward them? This must be a matter of great concern. As long as it depends upon you, there must be a peaceful, harmonious relationship with God's children.

Cathy and her boyfriend, Irving, who is a golfing fanatic, are on vacation. They are on the golf course.
Cathy: "Here's your ball, Irving! It was over in the weeds!"
Irving: "AACK! You moved the ball! You're not allowed to move the ball, Cathy!"
Cathy: "Who cares? We're the only ones out here!"
Irving: "It's against the rules! You can't break the rules!!"
Cathy: "You hate rules!"
Irving: "But this is a SPORT! It's no fun without rules! It's pointless unless everyone plays by the exact same rules!"
As Irving walks away, Cathy follows after, writing in her notebook, "To do after vacation. Get relationships declared a "sport" and print up rule book for all the men."

May we live in peace!


Lord Jesus, help me live in peace with all of my Christian brothers and sisters. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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