Peace in the Body

Dear Church Family, Greetings in Jesus’ name!

I am writing this on August 18th - it is Monday morning. Last night, Pastor Chris Holland ministered here. Afterward, we were speaking about how easy it is to pastor the churches we pastor. We simply do not have the stress that many of our colleagues experience. This is not the result of some greater level of skill that he and I have. Of course, the primary reason by far is the great grace of God; and for that he and I are very grateful. However, it also has much to do with those that we pastor and the grace of God in their lives, as well as obedience to the work of the Holy Ghost. 

In the last line of 1 Thessalonians 5:13, the Apostle Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be at peace among themselves. While we enjoy a very high level of peace and unity here at Tree of Life, it is important that I encourage you to keep up the good work. So I am going to review some things that will keep peace.

1. Walk in love. Ephesians 5:2. This is a sacrificial love that does not insist on its own way but looks well toward the benefit and profit of others.

2. Be humble. Philippians 2:3-4. The ESV says to “count others more significant than ourselves." This runs counter to our “dog eat dog” culture. Humility will always put the health and well being of the faith community above self and self interests. 

3. Keep the unity of the Spirit. Ephesians 4:3. The Holy Spirit works to produce and maintain unity within the local church. Whenever there is a break down in that unity it is only because of a resistance to the Holy Spirit’s work. 

4. Every believer counts. 1 Corinthians 12:14-17. We are all necessary to the proper functioning of the local church. No one is more necessary, more important or better than anyone else. 

5. Practice empathy. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26. We should really listen to one another and do our very best to understand one another. 

6. Take care of one another. James 2:15-16. Be there for each other, take care of one another and do our best to look for opportunities to meet real needs that may be found among us. 

I call you blessed!