‘May they be brought to complete unity.’ John 17:23 NIV
Christians area thoroughly diverse assortment, differing denominationally, doctrinally, politically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and materially, often to the point of enmity and division. So how can the true Body of Christ be united? We can start by acknowledging that unity is God’s will and committing ourselves to work toward it. Next, we can learn the principles of unity. (1) Unity demands that we act with discernment but don’t judge one another with condemnation. God alone is authorised to hand out verdicts. Even when you’re right, or you’re the more knowledgeable party, you still have no right to judge. Your job is to ‘make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit.’ (Ephesians 4:3 NLT) Discuss it with God, then trust His wisdom. (2) Unity requires us to respect each other’s convictions. ‘Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.’ (Romans 14:5 NIV) Personal convictions, not the enforced opinions of others, are what Paul is referring to. The desire to make someone else over in your image is a form of idolatry and pride that destroys any possibility of unity. God reserves the right to bring up His own children without your interference! He’ll mould and lead them where and when He decides, because He understands their needs and capacities. So trust Him with His job, and do yours by loving and respecting others.
SoulFood: 1 Sam 3:1-11, Act 9:1-9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2015