And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
"And Be Thankful"
by Ryan Sharp
Paul’s second imperative in this passage is one of the most convicting commands found in this letter, yet it offers good news for the found in at least two ways. First, we need to understand that unthankfulness is not an individual problem. Rather, it is a deeply rooted heart issue that all fallen people suffer from (Rom. 1:21). Christians are not immune; you and I are not alone. So, be encouraged—When struggling with unthankfulness, we have brothers and sisters in Christ ready to help share our burden.
Second, we need to identify (as Paul does) that the only remedy for unthankfulness is the gospel (2:6-7). Circumstances change, but we have received Christ; we are rooted and built up in Him. Our sins are forgiven. We are reconciled with the Father and adopted as His children. These truths are indeed hope for the found and a sure foundation for being thankful.
How to pray today:
- Thank God for his supernatural peace that has “ruled” at LBC, where we have been blessed with a relative lack of division among our church family. We have taken vows to practice “the purity and peace of the church.” Pray that God will give us grace to remain faithful to these vows, and that we would live lives of thankfulness for our church community.
- Thank God for those who are extending the peace (shalom in the Old Testament) of God in our city. Pray for John and Jane Hursh, who lead the 306 Foundation and Toolbox4Life. Pray, too, for the volunteers who are preparing for the fall class of Toolbox4Life, and for the participants. Ask God to give John, Jane, and their co-workers the grace to be fully present as they serve this upcoming class.
- We live in a dark and divisive world, where competition and vitriol are often the rule on social media, traditional media, and in political discourse. Pray that the thankfulness expressed in today’s blog post would be experienced and practiced by our church and by Christians in our society. Pray that as we refrain from grumbling and disputing, that we will shine as lights in a dark world, holding forth the Word of life (Philippians 2:14-16).