“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
The Bible is filled with a focus on unity. God brings us together, in all of our brokenness, in all of our differences and makes us one people….one body. Like a puzzle of 1000 pieces can create a beautiful picture, so together we reflect the beautiful picture of Christ to our world.
When we come together with all of conflict, broken relationships, political division, dysfunctional families, and fractured communities…when we come together in unity it is a sign to the world that God is a work here.
What disunity does to a church…..Disunity brings confusion to our fellowship. It clouds our witness to the community. It brings a reproach upon the witness of Jesus. It brings discouragement and despair to a congregation. Satan knows that if he can divide us, it will keep us from being healthy and it will keep us from reaching people for Christ.
A word of caution: Unity is not our highest goal or ultimate value: Obeying God is our ultimate goal. People say: can’t we all just get along? It doesn’t’ matter what you believe as long as we love each other.
When God’s word calls us to unity it doesn’t mean there are no differences. This doesn’t mean there are no disagreements. This doesn’t mean there is no conflict. Unity doesn’t mean leaders are dictators and do whatever they want without accountability. This doesn’t mean we forget doctrine and let anything go in the church. It means we recognize that as the Father and Son are One in agreement of purpose and mission we are to exemplify that unity.
Because we are in Christ there is genuine love. We let petty differences go. We forgive, we don’t hold grudges. We prefer one another. We serve one another. We meet needs. We agree on why we exist as a church and focus on that purpose of bringing lost people into the kingdom of God. When there is this kind of unity the world will know something supernatural is occurring here. It’s a sign that God is present. The world is hungry for this kind of love and unity.
I believe you are too. Let’s let God’s Word lead the way. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to fill our lives just like the day of Pentecost when the church was in one mind and one accord. If we will we can fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations.
Today’s Challenge: If you have been offended, give that offense to Jesus. Forgive as he has forgiven you. Unite together with other believers. Help protect the unity of the church. Let’s pray together for God’s presence and power.
- Why do you think unity was Jesus' last prayer request?
- Why does Satan try so hard to divide us?
- What role does God's Word and doctrine play in protecting unity in the church?
Recommended Resource: The Bait of Satan by John Bevere
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