Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
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Unity Among God's People
by Pr. Dave Mann
We live in a day when the goal of unity among God’s people is sometimes held suspect since it might mean that we are compromising the truth of God’s Word in order to achieve some sort of superficial unity. Yes, it is important to stand true to what God has revealed to us in the Bible, and we need to hold to those principles. However, we should never forget that Jesus himself prayed that all his believers would be one. The unity of the church is clearly part of God’s will.
The theme of unity appears numerous times through the Bible, several of which are the subjects of our devotions this week. Here is another passage.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:4-6:
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
Again, yes, it is true that we should not, in the name of unity, abandon our faith as described in God’s Word, descending to the lowest common denominator just to be nice to others and not to ruffle any feathers. But if Jesus, in his high priestly prayer, longed for unity, we should join him and yearn for it as well – that they may be one!
And what is the goal of unity among believers? --so that the world may believe! The intended result of unity is not that we simply feel good about each other. The goal of our oneness in Christ is that the world may come to faith in Jesus. Is it possible that my resentment of other branches or individuals in the body of Christ could be an obstacle to the fulfillment of the Great Commission? That is a sobering thought.
Jesus had strong words against religious people who were not walking in the truth. Jesus also uttered fervent words in prayer for the unity of believers. Since Jesus spoke both of these, we too should seek truth and unity – that the world may believe.
Lord Jesus, you are amazing. I long to be Christlike, but I find myself far from that goal. You hold tenaciously to truth, yet you are kind and gentle, praying for unity. May the Spirit of Jesus soak into my being that I may value truth and unity just as You do. In the name of Jesus I pray. May I also live my life in the name of Jesus. Amen