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Keeping The Unity
6/13/2014

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (NKJV)

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Why can’t we just all get along?”  It usually will surface when people are bickering and rubbing each other the wrong way.  It never ceases to amaze me how different we can be from one another.  Between God creating us so uniquely different, combined with our cultural and environmental upbringing, I’m amazed we have as much in common as we do. 

One area where our differences can crop up and cause friction between us is in our personal beliefs about God and our different ways to worship Him.   Way too many people have been damaged or wrongly influenced by man-made religious practices.  In addition to this, those attempting to represent God have damaged many people.  This has resulted in bitterness, hurt and an unwillingness to even want to have a relationship with God. 

Differences such as whether one should be completely submerged under water or simply sprinkled during baptism, or whether it is right by God to worship Him on a Saturday verses Sunday can be the very things tempting fellow believers in Jesus Christ to be divisive. So instead of focusing on praising and worshiping God we can often find ourself focusing on our differences – stubbornly hanging on to our way as the “right way.”  Again, this only promotes disunity within the body.

Unity is defined as “The state of being one,” and “The combining or joining of separate things or entities to form one.”  So we are separate believers in the Lord and God is joining us together so we will become “One.”  1 Peter 2:5 says we are living stones and we are being built together.  What a cool concept!  God is fashioning a Holy Temple out of every believer, and each one of us are literally a single living stone – together we will make up the building. 

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (NKJV)

We must understand the language of the kingdom of darkness is complaining or a critical spirit.  As children of God we must be praising and thanking God - rejoicing in what He is doing in each of us. We need to remember this the next time we find someone rubbing us the wrong way.  Chances are we might rub some people the wrong way as well. We need to remember God has brought them into our life and He wants to do a work on each of us.  Knowing this we should be rejoicing in His work and in His Will (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

I want to encourage you today to focus on the common things you have with other believers.  Let’s decide to embrace God’s grace, and then share it with those who may have different opinions or practices.  Let’s focus on our common love for Jesus and His forgiveness and love for all of us. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Ephesians 4:1-3, how are we to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you continually looking for ways to keep unity within the family of God?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to embrace others, even when they have different views on how to worship God.  Focus on the love and mercy of God through Jesus Christ and the fact we are One body – many

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER:  Father thank You for giving me the spirit of unity and of peace.  Thank You for giving me the power to obey You and to keep from being critical of others.  Help me this day by filling me with Your Holy Spirit and giving me Your wisdom and discernment.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000