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Fostering Unity
6/2/2017

 “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27 (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 versus 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 ourselves focusing on our differences — those that are usually minor and that have nothing to do with our salvation.  Again, this only promotes disunity within the body.

Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.  Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.  One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.  For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Rom. 14:3-10 NKJV)

Unity is defined as “The state of being one,” and “The combining or joining of separate things or entities to form one.”  So, even though we are separate believers in the Lord, 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. 

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.  After all, chances are we might actually be rubbing 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.  Decide to embrace God’s grace, and then share it with those who may have different opinions or practices.  Focus on your 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.

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 me 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