Bible in a Year :
Proverbs 22–24; 2 Corinthians 8
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
In 1722 a small group of Moravian Christians, who lived in what is now the Czech Republic, found refuge from persecution on the estate of a generous German count. Within four years, more than 300 people came. But instead of an ideal community for persecuted refugees, the settlement became filled with discord. Different perspectives on Christianity brought division. What they did next may seem like a small choice, but it launched an incredible revival: They began to focus on what they agreed on rather than on what they disagreed on. The result was unity.
The apostle Paul strongly encouraged the believers in the church in Ephesus to live in unity. Sin would always bring trouble, selfish desires, and conflict in relationships. But as those who were made “alive with Christ” the Ephesians were called to live out their new identity in practical ways (Ephesians 5:2). Primarily, they were to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (4:3).
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This unity isn’t just simple camaraderie achieved through human strength. We are to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (v. 2). From a human perspective, it’s impossible to act in this way. We can’t reach unity through our own power but through God’s perfect power “that is at work within us” (3:20).