Ending in Unity

Let me finish up on the idea of unity today with the idea that of difference.

The amazing thing when it comes to unity is that the Bible does encourage a blending despite our differences. We are encouraged to work together and  there is no emphasis on the differences, though some exist, but the focus is on the harmonizing of the individuals into a whole group.

Look at  Galatians 3:26-29  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. So what we see is that unity needs to happen regardless of someone’s background, social status, gender, or past sins because we are all a part of the body of Christ.

As we finish a week of talking about unity, let us ask some questions and think about some things in an honest manor ( if you have not read the other posts I would suggest going back and reading them).  Have you seen areas of your life where you do not have unity? Maybe today you have seen that you lack love and that is why you are lacking unity in some area of life. Maybe you have seen some areas that you need to confess and change. I pray that unity is a focal point for all of us in our personal lives and in the lives of the churches we attend. The devil will do what he can to bring about disunity because he knows the truth of what Jesus said in Mark 3:25 – If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. This is true in marriages, relationships, and churches – if we want to stand and stand strong we need to be focused on what each one of us can personally do in to insure unity – not on what someone else can do. It is about us as individuals and Christ working in us.

Are you fighting for unity in your family, in other relationships, in your churches?    What are your thoughts?

More on Unity

What are some more ways that we can work on unity?

I think the first thing is submission by all to something greater than any one part. This is what those who were in involved in the civil war in Israel learned. It was better for all them to submit to David and his rule than to be torn apart so they all submitted to him and in essence to God. Unity comes when we submit to God and allow Him to work.

Another way unity is achieved is through concern for all other parts. We all need to be wholeheartedly devoted to each other as we read about in Romans 12 and we need to have shared concerns and joys as we see in I Corinthians 12:26 which says And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Then the hard part for most is acceptance of all other parts. A key to this is that unity is not found in insisting that every member be exactly alike in all things because all do not have the same function. We are to have the same mind toward each other. That goes for everyone and we are to treat all as equals and be harmonious as we see in I Peter 3:8, 9 which says 8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. No one in the family of Christ is better or worse than anyone else – so we need to treat all like the brothers and sisters that they are.

We need to be striving for peace and showing grace. This is another way that unity happens. Believe me when I say, that unity doesn’t happen without effort. That often times means a willingness to yield to one another and a willingness to work together and everyone using their abilities to do our best effort for Christ and His kingdom.

Unity comes from submitting to God, concern for each other, acceptance of others, and striving for peace and showing grace.  We must work on all these areas if we are to have unity in homes, relationships, and especially churches.

What are your thoughts on these points on unity?

The Power of Disunity

Unity is a powerful thing but so it a lack of it. Jesus said in Mark 3:25 – If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. There is so much obvious truth in this. This week we have been looking at Israel from 2nd Samuel 5.  We has seen that Israel has been failing and falling apart because of the lack of unity in the country. Israel has been involved in a civil war that has been tearing apart the county. When we think back to our own American History we see the way this country was torn apart by civil war. We can look at homes all across America and see that many are torn apart because of a lack of unity between the husband and wife – a lack of unity ends in divorce – families torn apart. We see churches that split because of a lack of unity. What is clearly seen that a lack of unity tears apart. Disunity is powerful!

Let me share a great illustration I came across:  During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.

When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ’s commands. Then they came together.

Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, “What did you do then?” “We were just one,” he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.

When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world the indisputable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ.   Too often we in the church present disunity to a world that needs unity.  Disunity is powerful but unity and love in Christ are much more powerful than could ever be imagined when lived out. 

Let us not be a house divided (that is families, relationships, churches) but let us be united and allow the Love of Christ fill us and dissolve all disunity!

Any thoughts on this today?

Love and Unity

When it comes to unity  it must come because God works in a heart. We can not make unity happen. Unity has to happen because of God and what he does in the hearts of people. The Church of Jesus Christ is one of the most amazing things ever. It takes people of all financial backgrounds, social backgrounds, racial background, and positions in life – mixes them together as one and as equals and they work together – for the most part – to further the Kingdom of God.

When thinking about this I come to the words of Paul in Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. We are all equal and unified. We are called to unity regardless of where we have been, what we have done, or how long we have been together because we are all one in Christ. We are called to love one another and that is a big order.

When thinking about this big order of love my mind went to 1stJohn 4:7,8 which says: 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In unity we are called to love – if you have hatred for another in Christ then there is question whether or not you know God according to the verse. What we see is that unity is love thing.

When I began to really grasp this idea of love and unity the Lord brought this to mind.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which says, 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Powerful verses when you think about love in the context of unity.

The 1 Corinthians verses really hit me when I thought about unity.  How often does disunity come because of jealousy,  arrogance, acting unbecomingly,  taking into account others wrongs, rejoices because someone else failed?  The answer for me is all too often.  How about with you?

Do you see the connection between love and unity and unloving and disunity?  What are your thoughts?

Three Keys to Unity

I want to take some time this week and talk about unity.  Unity is something that is needed in families, relationships, marriages, churches, work places, ect.  With that in mind I want you to think about something’s that can be read about in two places about unity and David.  One place is 2nd Samuel 5 and other is 1 Chronicles 12 and  in these places we see David anointed as king over all of Israel.  It is a country that has just been torn apart by a civil war and now David is coming in and needs to bring unity.

If you read the 1 Chronicles chapter you will see that there were about 340,000 armed men in all who come from every part of the land to Hebron.  Then in 1 Chronicles 12:38,39 and see what it says: “They came to Hebron with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one mind to make David king. They brought food and provisions and stayed three days eating and drinking with David.

There are three keys to unity that I see in this verse – these keys are things that are applicable to personal life, social life, or wherever you go that there needs to be unity. One is that unity is heart issue – They came to Hebron with a perfect heart . We need to have hearts that are aligned with God before unity is ever possible. Make sure that you are in God’s Word on a daily basis – not just reading a devotional although they are great but we really need to all be reading the Word of God on a daily basis. You might say why? Simply because of this: Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Being in the Word and reading it daily aligns our heart with God’s and keeps us from sin and sin is a major cause of disunity. We will have a hard time being aligned with God if we are not in His Word and we will have a hard time finding any unity if we are not aligned with God.

The second thing I see here is that unity is a mind issue – all the rest also of Israel were of one mind. We need to make unity one of the things that we strive for and focus on. The apostle Paul writes this: 1 Corinthians 1:10: Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. We see here and in the verse from 1 Chronicles that we need to have minds that are alike and joined together because if they are not then unity will not happen. The mind needs to be focused on unity and oneness.

The last is that there is that unity comes from spending time together. We see that all these soldiers who came brought food and for three days they ate and spent time together. If you are avoiding getting together then you are avoiding being unified. I would simply ask this: how can you have unity if you are never together? Here we see three days of spending time together but we should certainly have the spirit of unity and work together in accomplishing great things for Christ and his kingdom.

Three keys to unity are:  a heart aligned with God’s, minds focused on unity, and spending time together.

What are your thoughts on all this?