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Ephesians 4:32 says; "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you." 6 These Words of God are truly words we should live by. Face it. We're all in this together. We are imperfect people, being changed from glory to glory to be more like Jesus. If we are truly followers of Jesus, then we MUST obey Him and do what He says! For He clearly stated; "If anyone loves Me, he WILL obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." 7 Let us each take these words to heart, pray over them, and endeavor to live them out by the power of God's Holy Spirit working in our lives! Over the years, as I have walked with the Lord, I have sometimes felt hurt or disappointed or let down by people in the Church, even by the failure of individual fellowships, Christian organizations, or denominations of the Church. Their sincere best efforts to effectively manage and build the Church often fall short of showing the love, kindness and mercy of the One Whom they represent. Like you, I am learning to forgive, and to move on in Christ, to reconnect with the Church, and to risk once more being in fellowship with other believers in Christ.. But in all fairness, we must each ask ourselves this painful, soul-searching question; "How many people might I myself have hurt or disappointed or let down?" and "How can I grow in my own faith and become all God wants me to become, without the regular fellowship, encouragement, interaction and prayers of other believers?" I think James says it best; "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault, he is a perfect (mature or complete) man, able to keep his own body in check. ... the Tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the hole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell". 8 In any relationship between two or more people, you're going to eventually find that there is a disagreement or a source of conflict. Think of a marriage. The honeymoon wears off, and eventually one begins asking; "Why don't you ever put the lid on the toothpaste?", or something else just as trivial. Little and insignificant things can get all blown out of proportion. Or consider your life interactions where you work; getting along with coworkers, or dealing with a difficult boss. How about relating to neighbors, or parents, or relatives, or kids? Disagreement, misunderstandings and conflicts are an unavoidable part of life. We are all different. So why is it that when we walk through the doors of a Church, we suddenly expect everyone to be different than they are the rest of the week? We all still have the same life issues, struggles, and problems getting along with people - whether we are at work, or at home, or at Church, because we're still the same people. I say it's time to make peace, it's time we choose to get right with one another - no matter how difficult or messy the process, because we really DO need one another.
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