“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”
In times of peace, with no threat from outside to focus their attention, instead of strengthening their bonds of unity and preparing for the next assault by a common enemy, allies find fault with each other. Brothers, too, who would stand together if any one of them were threatened, often fall to quarreling amongst themselves. It’s human nature.
We have to be on guard against the same tendency in the Church. Instead of “establishing our hearts” - strengthening the bonds of love and fellowship and encouraging one another in the Lord - we often start to find fault with one another. We grumble about others who aren’t measuring up to our favorite set of behavioral standards. We forget to “in humility consider others as better than ourselves.”
And of course the enemy encourages this attitude as a way of softening us up for his next big attack. “Divide and conquer” has always been his approach. But we have an even more important motive for maintaining the peace: we will all have to give an account to the Lord when He comes.
Dear Christians, let’s focus on “establishing our hearts;” on knowing Jesus ourselves and making Him known; on building up one another in love and encouraging one another in the Lord.
Jesus said to Peter, “...when you have been converted, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
Lord, forgive my grumbling and criticism. Establish my heart in repentance and faith so that with humility I am able strengthen my brothers in their walk with You. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles