The Lord is Near

The Lord is Near

Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
January 20, 2021

In his letter to Christians in the ancient city of Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near … And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (See: Phil. 4:4-7)

“Let your gentleness be known to everyone.” Many people think of gentleness as weakness. Not so. A Spirit of gentleness allows us time to consider our actions before we do something hurtful, such as, “fly-off-the-handle” on someone.

Gentleness helps us maintain healthy, mutually-supportive relationships. It helps us more effectively deal with difficult situations and remain calm and collected. Gentleness draws people into relationship with us, because ultimately, we all want gentle friends.

If we believe the “Lord is near”, how should we behave? Should we live in gentleness or anger? We can take that statement, “the Lord is near”, in at least two ways: (1) We should be careful how we live, if we believe the Lord is near, and is watching; (2) We should be grateful the Lord is near and helping us.

In any case, we have a responsibility to treat one another with gentleness, especially if we claim to be Christians and thereby living under the Law of Love. We should want the Lord to be proud of us as we display gentleness, not disappointed in us because we are angry, unkind, spiteful, or any negative form of being.

Our gratefulness for God’s love for us should be deeply-seated in our hearts and minds and translated into action in our lives. We should not follow Christ just to save our souls; we should follow Christ because He is the way of life and love.

Our inward and outward displays of gentleness must come from a genuine desire to be better people and to build a better world. If we are faking it to save our skins, we are not genuine and the Lord can see that.

The reward for practicing gentleness is: “The Peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” The gift of peace in heart and mind is priceless!

Whatever is going-on around us, we are reassured that the peace of God, a gift of pure love, will keep us on-track for a blessed life, now and for eternity. When the negative energies around us are fenced-out and replaced with the positive energy of God’s love, we will realize that incredible peace of God.

 As we move forward in 2021, let us practice gentleness and enjoy the peace of God. Remember, Rejoice! The Lord is near. Thanks be to God!

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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