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Walls Torn Down, Unity Found

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2023 7:00 pm

Walls Torn Down, Unity Found

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 21, 2023 7:00 pm

Since 1961, families and friends had been separated by the Berlin Wall. Erected that year by the East German government, the barrier kept its citizens from fleeing to West Germany. In fact, from 1949 to the day the structure was built, it’s estimated that more than 2.5 million East Germans had bolted to the West. US President Ronald Reagan stood at the wall in 1987 and famously said, “Tear down this wall.” His words reflected a groundswell of change in the region that culminated with the wall being torn down in 1989—leading to Germany’s joyous reunification.

Paul wrote of a “wall of hostility” torn down by Jesus (Ephesians 2:14). The wall had existed between Jews (God’s chosen people) and gentiles (all other people). And it was symbolized by the dividing wall (the soreg) in the ancient temple erected by Herod the Great in Jerusalem. It kept gentiles from entering beyond the outer courts of the temple, though they could see the inner courts. But Jesus brought “peace” and reconciliation between the Jews and gentiles and between God and all people. He did so by “[breaking] down the wall . . . that separated us” by “his death on the cross” (vv. 14, 16 nlt). The “Good News of peace” made it possible for all to be united by faith in Christ (vv. 17–18 nlt).

Today, there are many things that can divide us. As God provides what we need, let’s strive to live out and declare the peace and unity found in Jesus (vv. 19–22).

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. I'm Tom Felton, and I titled our reading, Walls Torn Down. Since 1961, families and friends had been separated by the Berlin Wall. Erected that year by the East German government, the barrier had kept its citizens from Flin to West Germany.

In fact, from 1949 to the day the structure was built, it's estimated that more than 2.5 million East Germans had bolted to the West. US President Ronald Reagan stood at the wall in 1987 and famously said, tear down this wall. His words reflected a groundswell of change that culminated with the wall being torn down in 1989, leading to Germany's joyous reunification. Paul wrote of a wall of hostility torn down by Jesus in Ephesians 2. The wall had existed between Jews, God's chosen people, and Gentiles, all other people. And it was symbolized by the dividing wall, the Soreg, in the ancient temple erected by Herod the Great in Jerusalem.

They kept Gentiles from entering beyond the outer courts of the temple, though they could see the inner courts. But Jesus brought peace and reconciliation between the Jews and Gentiles and between God and all people. He did so by breaking down the wall that separated us by his death on the cross. The good news of peace made it possible for all to be united by faith in Christ.

Today, many things can divide us. As God provides what we need, let's strive to live out the peace and unity found in Jesus. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Ephesians chapter 2, verses 11 through 22. Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves the circumcision, which is done in the body by human hands, remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one, and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.

His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Let's pray. Dear Jesus, please help us tear down walls that deny your truth and love. May we strive to live out the peace and unity you've made possible. In your precious name, the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-21 21:01:26 / 2023-12-21 21:03:07 / 2

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