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Vital signs- Friday, December 23rd, 2022

The Apostle Paul ends his second letter to the church at Corinth, strongly urging believers to live in unity, rejoicing as they encourage one another. He desires for them to live in peace, that spirit of shalom, defined first in the Old Testament and meaning wholeness, completeness, tranquility, spiritual prosperity, and harmonious relationships. Paul refers not merely to peace and unity as freedom from disruption and disharmony but as living in reconciliation with both God and others.

Paul’s relationship with this church, situated in the wealthy environment of Corinth, the city known for athletic games and moral turmoil, was very challenging as the apostle dealt with serious issues involving the need to address sinful practices within the church. Repentance was needed, and Paul dedicated his efforts to communication and prayer to end the divisions existing in the church. His final letter to the Corinthian believers expresses his heartfelt appeals for restoration of the relationship between Paul and the church. He writes of his love for the members of this community and his commitment to mending the torn fabric of the relationship between Paul and Corinthian believers.

Writing with words filled with praise, hope, and love for his brothers and sisters, Paul emphasizes the importance of encouraging one another as they commit to unity in Christ. Loving them, he understands that God desires this once deeply troubled community, whose members had been at odds with the apostle, to abide in abundant peace as they repent from the past and move forward to live in the spiritual unity and harmony of relationships achievable only in Jesus Christ.

Paul’s ending sentence in his letter remains as important for every Christian today as it was to those living in that ancient time in Corinth. We are called to abundant love as we willingly forgive others and recognize our own needs for forgiveness from God and others. It is in the spirit of repentance, with a willingness to love and forgive, that Christians find the unity, and the purity of character, that allows each believer and their faith communities, to dwell in the beautiful shalom of Jesus Christ.

“Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭11‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

Pray with me-

Father, in Jesus’ name, we desire to walk in the purity of love and forgiveness, striving to restore broken relationships as we encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We commit to walking in the spirit of unity in Christ as we give ourselves fully to living in the spirit of true peace that You desire for us as we consecrate each day of our lives for Your holy purposes. Amen.

Read Luke 23 Today

Team Wade loves you and is praying for you ❤️🎄

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