Saturday, September 1, 2012

Christian Unity

Do we speak about Christian unity as passionately as Paul did in the New Testament?  I am sure we can agree the answer is NO.  If struggles in life are getting more severe and more common our passion to live out Matthew 6:33 should be as well.  

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  -Matthew 6:33

Paul addresses Christians as Brothers and Sisters and that is how we should treat one another.  This unity was created when Jesus died on the cross and His blood was shed.  Not only was the relationship between Christian and God changed but also the blood washed away the separation between Jew and Gentile and we became one body.  

By the precious blood that Jesus poured out we did not become friends with one another but instead we were united by our Heavenly Father as true Brothers and Sisters.  That is why even when it comes to gifts that God gives us it is a demonstration of the special task of one part of the body.  

As Brothers and Sisters we all share the same troubles and the same blessings.  Paul is a wonderful Brother who has encouraged us to live boldly for the Lord.  He was willing to struggle, to be in severe pain, to be in prison, and to die to glorify our Lord.

"He must become greater; I must become less."  -John 3:30

There are times when we forget God's promises or what He rescued us from and our Brothers and Sisters can remind us.  They can remind us to seek the only one that can save us from the smallest things to death.
"This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."  -Jeremiah 29:10-15

One of the hardest tasks with the issue of christian unity is how different we feel from the rest of society and sometimes within our own family.  However, no matter how different we think we feel we must keep our focus on our purpose which is to glorify our Heavenly Father.  It is because of Him that we are united and we must not get confused in small issues that derail us from the task at hand.  Paul even warns us that there will be things that will try to confuse us.  The enemy will try to drive a wedge between Brothers and Sisters knowing what your weaknesses are.

With that diversity that God created in us He also created us to desire likeness.  The likeness of being loved, being noticed, being accepted, and to seek help.  Our desire to be noticed has already been fulfilled because God has set you apart from those people who are not children of God.  My Brothers and Sisters you are already special and noticed!!

God has created us to 1) love Him and 2) to seek out others in fellowship.  One of the most important aspects of fellowship is what I sum up as kindred spirits.  No matter how smart we think we are, we as Brothers and Sisters all fall to the same things.  However, because God created us to be in relationship with one another we can encourage one another when we do fall.  Through this relationship with our Father we are apart of 1 body.  It is further proof of God's love for His children when we know of someone who went through a similar struggle.  It is even more telling when we find another person who has an experience so close to yours you know it is God pointing out that you are not alone.  

With this we must remember what God commands us to do.  God commands us to do many things but the one thing that stands out is to love others as God has loved you.  God created all of His children to be different but we feel the same, struggle the same, and the solution is still the same.  

Furthermore, God did not just want us to get married to have one close relationship.  He wants us to be united with all of our Brothers and Sisters.  We suffer very specific things for a special reason and there is no mistake with God in control.  In the same way we search for reviews for mechanics we also search and respect others who have been through a similar or exact struggle.  God will use your pain and struggles to encourage someone else.  

Sometimes when our Brothers and Sisters sing or talk about Jesus you can hear the condition of their heart.  When they speak they may say things that our own spirit recognizes and springs to attention knowing exactly what they are talking about.  It is in this recognition that if our heart did not know the words to say before it knows it now.  
We may even feel we know our Brothers and Sisters even better because of the Holy Spirit speaking through them to you.  Which further edifies the reason behind christian unity.  God loves YOU!!

As God's children we are predestined, called, justified, and glorified.  It is only by God's authority these things can be true.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."  -Romans 8:28-30 

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