United in the image and likeness of God + the blood of Christ but divided by nearly everything else. Different races, cultures, languages, worship styles, political views, socioeconomic status, tastes & styles, food choices, customs, and practices. Add to that differences in personal preferences and convictions. So much division. So many areas for judgment and gossip and ridicule and distancing. The tension is inevitable when we forget the power of that which binds us together.
Fast forward a couple of thousand years, and things aren’t much different. Our attacks on one another within the church must crush Jesus as He looks on. I think he sees all the untapped potential unity would bring and He cries out for us to remember His teaching.
Satan’s strategy: focus in and side to side on what divides you and look out for your own interests.
God’s strategy: focus UP on what unites you and look out for others.
How can the Church, with all of our deep differences, remain united and be the powerful force in our world for change and wholeness and peace and restoration and love? Jesus. Only Jesus. What Jesus did for us and who He is to us has to be bigger than anything that divides us. And it is. But do we live like it?
God in the flesh came and fulfilled His purpose of paying our sin debt, but along the way, He also gave us a glimpse of what it looks like to live in His presence. The one who created all teaches it and lives it…now it’s our turn.
We love deeply...even our enemies. We serve others. We focus on what unites us…the mercy and grace of our God and the reconciling blood of Jesus. When others are weaker, we don’t look down, prey on, victimize or criticize. We reach out, lift up, and love them. We seek to please others in a Godly way over ourselves. We sacrifice. We strive to live in harmony. The watching world will be healed by this. The watching world will want this.
Imagine the impact of a life lived like Jesus! What if we were more pro-Jesus than anti-each other? What if we joined together to point to Jesus instead of pointing out each others’ flaws? What if we loved Jesus more than we loved harsh pithy words? What if we read God’s Word more than trending social media posts? “For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through the endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
And I know talk is easy, but unity is not. It has never been. It’s the devil’s wedge. Our differences are real; our pain is real; we are passionate people; we are committed to our causes and convictions. Conor Cruise O’Brien says, “Nothing does more to activate Christian divisions than talk about Christian unity.” The devil even uses talk of unity to divide us. The only thing that can unify us is Jesus. With all of our diversity in thought, culture, backgrounds, there is no other thread that can unite us. Only the blood of Jesus. Seek FIRST the kingdom, and all else will follow. God, may we keep our eyes on You. Guide us. Give us wisdom and discernment. Stir us to live in harmony and love.
All 1 1 Corinthians 1 Peter 1 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 & 3 John 2 Corinthians 2 Peter 2 Thessalonians 2 Timothy Acts Colossians Ephesians Galatians Hebrews Info James John Jude Luke Mark Matthew Philemon Philippians Revelation Romans TItus