Unity!

Happy New Year!

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”—Psalm 133:1

Our world is troubled by division on every front. Political contention, financial pressures, family breakdowns, and churches criticizing each other—our enemy works hard to divide and conquer.  We need to fight back.

Every year the Lord gives me a word for my personal life and ministry. It is a word that motivates, inspires, and reflects what God is doing in our lives; a word that imparts vision for the New Year.

The word for this year, which I believe is a word for the Church from the heart of God, is UNITY.

There is no greater joy than to live in harmony with God’s people. If you can hear and receive this message, you will discover greater joy, peace, and fulfillment in your church, family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers—even in your marriage or dating relationships.

Strife among God’s people is not new. Cain murdered Abel. Lot quarreled with Abraham. Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him into slavery.  King David’s sons rebelled against him. Jesus’ own disciples argued about who would be the greatest, Paul and Barnabas disagreed and separated—the list goes on.

As believers, our battle is not against each other!  Our true enemy is not the person sitting next to you in church, or your spouse, your children, co-workers or another church.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”(Ephesians 6).  No wonder Jesus prayed,  “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21).
Jesus prayed for unity!  We don’t have to agree on the details of styles of worship, traditions, or even nuances of interpretation. God asks for unity, not uniformity.   

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace," Ephesians tells us.

We can be an answer to Jesus’ prayer.

We will continue to discuss UNITY and how it applies to our lives, but I am excited to start the New Year sharing God’s Word and praying that we can begin to live in UNITY!

 

 

 

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley