Unity, essential for doing God's business
Recently I was reading Jesus’ final prayer before going to the cross in John 17. One of the last things Jesus prayed is for the disciples, and by extension all believers, to be in unity.
I believe this is more important than we might realize, because without unity the plans and purposes of God are very limited. First we need to know what unity is and isn’t. It is not uniformity in that everyone thinks exactly the same way, whether in spiritual beliefs, politics, social policy, or even what movies we should see.
Unity is first, relationship!!! Unity says we can look beyond our background, culture, doctrine, economic status, political party and see the person. We recognize this is my brother, my sister who Christ died for and placed in my life to work together for His kingdom.
Second unity is love!! Love is God. Love says that I am acting as God would act; I am being what God is. When Christians can disagree on certain matters, but doesn’t affect their relationship and love with each other, they have achieved unity.
We see how important unity is, when disunity exists. There are two stories in the New Testament where God pronounces severe judgment on Christians. One is found in Acts 5:1-11 which is the story of Ananias and Sapphira. These two die because they lied to the Holy Spirit, but ultimately were judged because they brought disunity to the body of Christ by their lie.
The second story is in 1 Corinthians 11:17-30, dealing with wealthy Christians not wanting to eat the Lord’s Supper with their poor brethren. Because of this act of disunity, Paul writes that is why some of the Christians are sick and even die prematurely.
As we survey the Christian landscape today, we still see a lot of disunity. I believe that the Lord is dealing with his church to see how absolutely essential being of one mind actually is.
I am still researching more on this subject and have developed a message to speak anywhere asked. But for now, may we start praying for and living out this most critical belief that our Lord wants us to be.