Saturday, September 29, 2012

Unity starts with "U"


“I plead with Eudia and I plead with Syntche to agree with each other in the Lord.”
Philippians 1:2

In the Bible, Paul reminds us over and over again to have unity in the body of Christ.  This verse is one example of his heart on the issue.  He pleads with two women who are arguing.  He begs them to stop so that peace may fill the body again. 

This is just one tiny little fight, yet Paul (and GOD) made it a point to include it in the Holy Word of God for our instruction.  If this small issue was such a concern to the Lord, then what must he think of the fighting in the body that goes on now?  Church of Christ and Baptists can’t worship together.  Catholics and Pentecostals refuse to break bread together.  Everyone stick with your denomination and don’t wonder into anything else or you will be shunned.

Hmm…this doesn’t seem right to me.  Aren’t we supposed to all be in search of TRUTH that comes from the Word of God?  Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

ONE.

Not several, not two, not hundreds. 

We are to be all one body of believers who function, act, and worship together in oneness.  Unity.

So you probably agree with me up to this point, right?  Well, what are you going to do about it?  How does this concern you personally?


“If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Romans 12:18

As far as it concerns YOU.  Be at peace with all men.

Who do you judge for going to a different church?

Why is it a competition to see how many people we can fit in our pews versus how many are in the pews across the street??

That’s not love.  That’s not unity.  That’s business and numbers, jealousy and dissention.  Satan wins when we fight over numbers and people rather than fighting for each other and working toward the common goal of complete fellowship with God and ALL his people.

You have been brainwashed by society, and now you need to let the Word of God wash over your mind and cleanse it (Romans 12:2.)

Perhaps you don’t go to church because you are fed up with the fighting, the hypocrisy, and the judgment (much like my last few posts.)  Well in that case you need to know something very important.

There is no perfect church.

There are no perfect people.  No perfect worship service, nor pastor, nor doctrine.

We’re all broken and we’re all doing our best, yet we fall desperately short, including me.  Hebrews 10:25 tells us to not give up meeting together with other believers.  The book of Acts displays what the church should look like, and that is a body of people meeting together regularly to lift each other up closer to the Lord.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage one another daily.  That means we all need a TIGHT group of close Christians to lift up and to lift us up.  Note: the verse says “daily.” 

Yes, that means it is a lifestyle.  Not a once a week social event.  Do you realize how much happens in a week?  What if Sunday you see Sally and she’s on top of the world in love with Jesus, but Wednesday she finds out her husband is having an affair and her kids are failing classes in school. 

Is she supposed to wait until Sunday to ask for prayer and encouragement?  Are you supposed to wait until the Sunday meeting to hold her hand as she cries and walk her through the situation at hand?

NO.  O course not, because by the next Sunday she will have done what we all seem to do oh so terribly well: stuff in down deep, smile, and keep going.  By doing that she gets no healing, no encouragement, and no help.  Satan wins again and the church keeps a squeaky clean image.  Everything’s fine.

Yet on the inside our hearts are breaking and our pews are slowly murdering us. 

We weren’t meant to live this way.  We were meant to live in community with other believers…despite the well known fact that THEY TO ARE HUMAN, and they too will hurt us and disappoint us, leaving us bruised and broken at times.  But they will also pick us up when we need it too.

How do we start this revolution?

One person at a time.  Be the Christian you want others to be.
Help people the way you want to be helped.

FORGIVE EACH OTHER!! 

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32


Do not hold others to impossibly high standards and you won’t be held to the same judgment.  (Matthew 7:2.)

Love in spite of everything.  Love cancels out fears. (1 John 4:18.)  Love never fails.  Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13)

Have you been loving your neighbor lately?