What divides us ultimately separates us. Let’s focus on what we have in common as Christians.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity [that which is contrary to Christ’s nature and commands]; keep corrupt talk [topics said in ways that are not godly, i.e. derogatory remarks, defaming character; blustering] far from your lips.
Yeshua (Jesus) intends for us to be one even as He and the Father are one; in fact, He said that our unity is how the world will know God’s love (John 17:20-23). That’s a pretty tall order! It’s going to require some coordination–but, I know just the Person to do it: the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 4:3-4). Here’s what we need to remember:
- Christ is in us; we are in Christ (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 1:27, 3:3).
- Yeshua is LIGHT. He came to bring light to the world (John 8:12). We are children of Light and are commanded to shine in this dark world (Matthew 5:14-16, Philippians 2:15-16, Ephesians 5:8).
- We are eternal beings, known before the creation of the world and destined to spend eternity with the Father (Ephesians 1:3-5).
- God is LOVE (1 John 4:16, John 13:34-35). We are filled with God, therefore, we are filled with love (1 John 4:11-12). Perfect [knowledge of this] love drives out fear (1 John 4:18).
I used to think that hate was the opposite of love. Then, I moved up to thinking apathy was the opposite of love. Now, I’m beginning to understand that FEAR is the opposite of love. Knowing that God loves me, that I am an eternal being, a child of the Light, and that Christ is in me and I am hidden in Christ helps me to understand that fear is doubting any of these biblical truths. Fear of pain, fear of rejection, fear of people, fear of loss, fear of hunger or security or relationships, and even fear of death are reactions to any doubts I have about who and Whose I am. So, who am I? WHOSE am I?
- I am a child of the King of the Universe. I am an eternal being created to be LIKE Christ IN Christ. I have been rescued from fear and darkness and brought into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). I am Christ to all around me–His light, His fragrance, His aroma, Him!
- I am God’s. As His possession and child, I am His to do with as He pleases. The neat–and comforting–thing is that I know I am of great worth to Him, therefore, I can trust Him to have my best–and eternal–interests in mind. Worth is established by what a person is willing to pay to get it. The Father gave the Son so that He could have ME. He did for you, too, and this is why we can trust Him: We are of the greatest worth to Him.
- The Spirit connects us. We all talk to the same Spirit, and He guides us with His counsel (Psalm 73:23-24, John 16:13). When we get together to worship, His Spirit in me connects with His Spirit in you and forms a bond that goes beyond natural bounds. It’s why we are commanded to meet together regularly, even if it’s just two or three at a time (Matthew 18:20).
Rather than focusing on topics that divide us, let’s focus on what unites us. In doing so, we make His joy complete in us.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit [full accord] and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2
3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. 1 John 1:3-4
Abba, You know my heart. I want what You want. I have asked, and Your Spirit has been changing my perspective. Even so, I have a hard time maintaining this new perspective. Help me, O LORD, to untether myself from the things of this earth and to set my eyes on Your Prize, which is a place at Your feet. Help us be united in Your love, Father. I know it’s important. Amen.