Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16, NIV
Do you ever quarrel with someone you love? Nothing good comes from it, and that’s why Proverbs 17:14 says, “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.” More to the point, Proverbs 20:3 says, “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.”
Who wants to hear a concert when the instruments are out of tune? Discordant notes make us wince. But when the instruments are playing in harmony—trumpets, drums, violins, and all the rest—the music is a pleasure to hear.
Yes, we sometimes have honest disagreements and must work through them. But there’s really no place for us to be childish and quarrelsome. The Bible says, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient” (2 Timothy 2:24).
If you’re quarreling with someone you love, make it a matter of prayer and ask God to give you a harmonious attitude—one of humility, gentleness, and patience.
When we’re in tune with God, we’ll be in harmony with each other. Anonymous
When My Mind is Renewed Part 1 Romans 12-16-17
Much of our life can be summed up by the decisions we’ve made right until the present. This is why it’s so important to learn to make wise choices that lead to the life God wants for us. And the foundation for doing so is a firm conviction regarding the truth of God’s Word, which will ground us in every area—relationships, finances, work, church, and the use of our time.
The unchanging principle of sowing and reaping is one that should guide every decision we make, because a harvest will eventually result from the action we take. Paul contrasted two different ways Christians can sow—either to the Spirit or to the flesh.
There is a battle raging within us between the desires of the Holy Spirit, who has come to live within us, and the desires of our flesh—those sin patterns and self-serving tendencies remaining in us even after salvation (Gal. 5:17). Our goal should be to put our sinful, selfish desires to death so that we can follow the Spirit as He directs us according to the Scriptures. Therefore, the better we know and understand God’s Word, the more we will be able to discern the Spirit’s leading.
To make this practical, remember that every time you rehearse a wrong done to you, complain with regard to your situation, gossip about a friend, or indulge an addictive desire, you are sowing to the flesh and will reap more of the same later. But if you let the Spirit lead and empower you, you’ll be able to forgive others, be content in every situation, and acquire holy desires and the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” (Matthew 23:29-30)
This final “woe” in Matthew 23 is the most awful of all eight of them. Although this builds from verse 25, the conclusion demonstrates the result of such duplicitous behavior—ultimate and eternal separation from the Creator God and His holiness. “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:31-33).
Here is the principle: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). This is no small issue. Our speech is a direct reflection of what is important to us. So much so that we will be held accountable, for “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).
Those passages ought to give all of us pause. Just what is it that consumes our conversation throughout the day? Is it sports, movies, shopping, gossip, slander, or sowing “discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:19)? Or is it “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report” (Philippians 4:8).
Our mouths are connected to our hearts (Matthew 15:18). What we talk about most of the time is a definite indicator of where our hearts are. Perhaps we should listen to ourselves. That is a pretty good marker of what we love most. “Stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8). HMM III
I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
Some misguided Christian leaders feel that they must preserve harmony at any cost, so they do everything possible to reduce friction. They should remember that there is no friction in a machine that has been shut down for the night. Turn off the power, and you will have no problem with moving parts. Also remember that there is a human society where there are no problems—the cemetery. The dead have no differences of opinion. They generate no heat, because they have no energy and no motion. But their penalty is sterility and complete lack of achievement.
What then is the conclusion of the matter? That problems are the price of progress, that friction is the concomitant of motion, that a live and expanding church will have a certain quota of difficulties as a result of its life and activity. A Spirit-filled church will invite the anger of the enemy. TWP112-113
Lord, thank You for the many signs that we are alive! Satan must see real life, and I guess that’s a good sign. Give us victory though, that we might not succumb to his attacks. Amen.
I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways.—Isaiah 45:12, 13.
He who suns and worlds upholdeth
Lends us His upholding hand,
He the ages who unfoldeth
Doth our times and ways command.
God is for us,
In His strength and stay we stand.
Thomas H. Gill.
You have trusted Him in a few things, and He has not failed you. Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will. You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of it?
Hannah Whitall Smith.
“He hath cast out thine enemy.” Zeph. 3:15
What a casting out was that! Satan has lost his throne in our nature even as he lost his seat in Heaven. Our Lord Jesus has destroyed the enemy’s reigning power over us. He may worry us, but he cannot claim us as his own. His bonds are no longer upon our spirits: the Son has made us free, and we are free indeed.
Still is the arch-enemy the accuser of the brethren; but even from this position our Lord has driven him. Our advocate silences our accuser. The Lord rebukes our enemies, and pleads the causes of our soul, so that no harm comes of all the devil’s revilings.
As a tempter, the evil spirit still assails us, and insinuates himself into our minds; but thence also is he cast out as to his former preeminence. He wriggles about like a serpent, but he cannot rule like a sovereign. He hurls in blasphemous thoughts when he has opportunity; but what a relief it is when he is told to be quiet, and is made to slink off like a whipped cur! Lord, do this for any who are at this time worried and wearied by his barkings. Cast out their enemy, and be thou glorious in their eyes. Thou hast cast him down, Lord cast him out. Oh that thou wouldst banish him from the world!