. . .

Today's Verse

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. — Ephesians 4:1-2 NKJV

Devotion

You knew from the beginning, didn't you? You knew when I joined your church. I am flawed. I am imperfect. I am flawed and imperfect in many ways. I freely admit that I need a lot of work. Indeed, the main reason I joined your church was to get the help I need. I need the preaching and teaching. I need the guidance and prayers. I need to see the Christian way of life put into action. My hope is that it will rub-off on me. My hope is that the church will help me overcome the flaws and imperfections that have been driving me into the dust.

The last thing I need, then, is for you to come across to me as high and mighty. The last thing I need is for you to act like sin and the trials and troubles of life are beneath you. Lowliness is what I need from you. Maybe you are better than me, you probably are better than me, but you're not perfect. Don't tell me how great you are. Tell me how you overcame your problems. Tell me how God raised you from the dust and lifted you from the ash heap. (Psalm 113:7) That's the testimony that's actually going to help me.

And don't be harsh with me. I'm trying my best. I know it's not good enough. I know it all too well! Didn't I just tell you that I need a lot of work? Be gentle with me. I know I'm going to say and do things that will make it difficult for you. I know that there will be times when I drag you down rather than raise you up. Please don't get angry with me. Please put up with me. Correct me with a lowly and gentle spirit. If you do, I promise that I will receive it. I promise that I won't get angry with you.

Hang in there with me! Bear with me in love. I know that a good dose of longsuffering will be required of you. I know it will take some time. Don't fail me in this regard! I need you more than you'll ever know!