Monday, February 25, 2013

At least let em see two things with us.

Church, what do those in the world need to see from us—I mean from our collective witness?

1.) They need to see that in unity we genuinely love one another and that this great agape compassion is also directed towards them as well.

Jesus prayed, "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.."
The Bible says, "Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace." Yikes, how do we do that? We go to the cross, die (to our own way and fickle opinions..) and to Him who on it demonstrated real love for all. 

When they see this non-selfish type of love, they will indeed be drawn in

2.) Might sound kinda religious, but they also need to see that we are joyously holy because we serve a very holy God.

"For the Scriptures say, 'You must be holy because I am holy.'"

Holy is happy! And both aspects need to clearly be seen with us today, and even thoroughly taught on from the Word. Check out all the passages dealing with these two important topics. 

Me thinks that in North America here, they've heard about God's love pretty often (..can't hear too much about this) from all kinds of so called Christians and others, but in our local churches do they actually hear about sin, about it's non-desirable consequences that God lovely warns us about, or about future judgment ahead and true repentance that cuts to the root..quite as often?

In our chaotic society it used to be illustrated that the family modeled these two wonderful aspects, but with the breakdown of the family, now those living in the world must see these things lived-out in local churches. That's how warm-hearted zealous churches are to shine!

P.S. The Bible speaks more about the spiritual unity needed in local churches than it does about either heaven or hell. Yup, it's way important for all us! One time I was in a church where the associate pastor was small in more than one way. And he maintained a "big church-boss" mentality. Sad. He sadly was a real divider and was one-on-one attacking innocent, hard-working but popular sheep if you will, and then throwing em out the door over non-issues. Over and over again, but he was the heir and a blood relative of the lead shepherd. Both were very ignorant and dim in thinking and both are still there working to wreck havoc on that now much smaller, dried up congregation. There were witness, but still there's no restitution or turning. Not God's will. 

You know, unity is so important that the devil even had his crowd come up with a cult named the "Unity Church" that denies Essential Christian Doctrine. Yeah, I happen to talk to gay and non-gay people here in Dallas quite often who are a part of this aberrant group. Have I heard em talk about sin, repentance, or future judgement or about hell, or dying to their old fleshly selfish nature within? Never. But they are encouraged to be themselves in their ongoing sin ..that is not called that. I say, ditch your sin and be yourself in Christ who is holy. That's for all.  

But you know, believer, how Christian churches are made up of different people from very different backgrounds today, and how none of us are perfect. Ya think? Sure. Therefore even the best of flawed people will at times get into conflict with each other. But, when someone constantly causes disunity in a church, a decent pastor who is out to protect God's flock really needs to humbly, but firmly work with that person behind it all, specifically addressing what's been happening. He needs to prayerfully listen to em with a heart to restore and see if there's something to learn. And if the learning needs to happen on the other end (I mean where the leadership is not blowing it in that case), but isn't at all received by the offender, the pastor simply needs to get rid of the person when they really are in sin as a troublemaker and refuse to repent. With witnesses and in a peaceful manner, not an easy thing to do at all. But a little yeast can leaven the whole lump of dough. 

Meditate upon what God has to say about unity. 

Psalm 133:1 - How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

John 17:23 - I in them and you in me (Jesus). May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Romans 6:5 - If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

1 Corinthians 1:10 - I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 - The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Ephesians 4:1-3 - As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:2-6 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:11-13 - It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Philippians 2:1-3 - If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Colossians 3:14 - And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

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