When my husband and I were struggling with a number of unexpected health issues, we discovered just how important our faith community could be. During that difficult period, God blessed us through the love and friendship of our brothers and sisters in Christ (both friends and strangers).

Their help and support remind me of this verse in Ephesians, where Paul exhorts the church to nurture loving relationships through an attitude of humility, gentleness and patience with those around them.

Our family experienced an example of this firsthand. In humble service, people came to our home to do dishes and bring meals. In gentleness, many prayed for and with us. In patience and persistence, many continued to ask how we are and what we need. They stood together with us in our time of struggle and loved us through our difficult circumstances.

As the body of Christ lovingly nurtures relationships with people in the church and the community around them, it bears witness to Christ’s love in action. Being humble, gentle, and patient in love draws people into relationships founded on Christ’s love. As we, the Church, continue to nurture these relationships, God ultimately draws people to a new or deepening relationship with him.

Heavenly Father, You are all-loving. Thank you for teaching us how to love others the way Jesus loves us. Teach us to extend Christlike love to those around us so that we can deepen the relationships we have and ultimately draw people to you. Amen.

Throughout This Day: Prayerfully consider how you can nurture a relationship with someone in your church, school, workplace or family with an attitude of humble, gentle, and patient love. What is one thing you can do today to show humility, gentleness, or patience?



Tags: Advent 2020 Daily Devotional Ephesians 4
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