/ Wednesday, December 11, 2019
During Advent, instead of writing a regular GHPL, I’ll be providing a short devotion that focuses on our own preparedness for the arrival of the King and for the New Year that is soon upon us.
“Let your [epieikés] be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5
Epieikés* describes attitudes and qualities we are to demonstrate while actively dealing with others. It is variously translated as gentleness, patience, forbearance, moderation, graciousness, reasonableness, unselfishness, modesty, kindness, considerateness and temperance.
Epieikés describes the ability to extend to others kindly consideration we would wish to receive ourselves. This man or woman knows when it is actually wrong to apply the strict letter of the law, knows how to forgive when justice gives the right to condemn, knows how to make allowances, knows when not to stand upon their rights, knows how to temper justice with mercy and remembers there are greater things in world than rules and regulations. (Sermon Index.net)
“The Lord is near” refers to place (He is with us) and/or time (He is coming soon). Christ is so near to us as to live in us. Perhaps it also means He is near to and actively dealing with the people we are relating to. Perhaps He has appointed us to show them the Father just as He did while on earth in human form (Jn 14:8-9, 20:21). Perhaps our intentionality is significant because His return is nearer than ever.
How does the wisdom of this instruction apply to us as ministers to Muslims? Take some time to consider how Christ followers demonstrating epieikés might reveal something to Muslims about God that Islam does not teach. Have you claimed this posture of the heart as your own?
Every blessing as you pursue peace on earth and goodwill to those on whom His favor rests,
*Click on the link to hear the pronunciation.