And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Church of the Highlands is partnering with hundreds of church homes globally to do a series simultaneously called “One Prayer.” The series began the first week of June and will continue until the end of July when our worship home will be taking part in a city-wide outreach project. Hundreds of small groups within Church of the Highlands are meeting each week to discuss this topic of “One Prayer” and will each decide on their respective outreach plans to participate in on July 26. If you are interested in finding more about “One Prayer” you can go to www.oneprayer.com and you will be able to unite with other believers from all over the world. Together, we will fast, pray, give, and serve. We will be the Church that God has called us to be. We will stand together like never before in perfect UNITY. The premise of the series is, “If God would answer ‘one prayer’ for the church at large, what would you pray?”
This past weekend, Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv, discussed the following:
LORD MAKE US ONE
He asked the question,“What would it take to unify believers?”
He shared that we all have ONE ENEMY who attacks the cause of Christ. This is a common enemy no matter what church or denomination anyone belongs to. The devil simply wants to bring division in the church. Groeschel discussed the different styles of worship, what people wear to church, what version of the Bible each studies etc as points of conflict in the Church at large. Well, it simply shouldn’t matter what we do as long as we are united with the cause of Christ our King!
It’s amazing to me how many Christians stick their noses up when someone else is different in how he/she relates to the Almighty Creator! This is crazy….this is exactly what our enemy relishes. The prince of darkness wants to steal our unity, kill our church homes, and destroy Christianity. He wants non-believers to be disgusted with Christians. Unfortunately that reality exists in many ways. We should embrace our differences, because everyone is different and every lost soul who comes to Christ will receive the Lord by way of a different style and different time of life. We all have different testimonies. There is indeed ONE WAY to the Father — but the avenue in which one gets to God the Father through Jesus is different for each individual. God works on individual hearts. Some come to Christ due to an event. Some find Jesus through the love of Christian friends. Some find Jesus at a revival. The time and style is God’s choice way of reaching each individual soul.
This leads me to the next point of Groeschel’s message….In order to unify believers, we must have ONE HEART. There is strength in diversity. As long as we have one heart for Jesus and believers, our fruit will reflect Who we belong to. The world will know Christians by their love for the Father and each other!
Lastly, we must seek ONE PURPOSE. The church doesn’t exist for us, it exists for others. It exists for those who do not know our Lord. Christ died on that wretched cross for ALL. Our objective is to make that fact known to the world. As a Christian we wear the same team jersey. It matters not the name on the back of the jersey (mine being McCullum), but for our TEAM in . It’s crucial that we reflect not just the facts about Jesus, but the power of our Father and the love He has for all of us, as well as, the desire He has to know each one of us personally. He excludes no one. This invitation is for ALL of us! He has chosen us for His TEAM.
In closing, I wanted to share something I found from A Gentle Thunder by that remarkably applies to this message:
“God has only one flock. Somehow we missed that. Religious division is not His idea. Franchises and sectarianism are not in God’s plan. God has one flock. The flock has one Shepherd. And though we may think there are many, we are wrong. There is only one.”
“Never in the Bible are we told to create unity. We are simply told to maintain unity. Paul exhorts us to preserve ‘the unity which the Spirit gives.’ (Ephesians 4:3) Our task is not to invent unity, but to acknowledge it.”
Lucado has two sisters and a brother. He says,”We are siblings because we came from the same family. We have the same father and the same mother. I’m sure there have been times when they didn’t want to call me their brother, but they don’t have that choice.”
“Nor do we. When I see someone calling God ‘Father’ and Jesus ‘Savior,’ I meet a brother or sister – regardless of the name of their church or denomination.”
“By the way, the church names we banter about? They do not exist in heaven. The Book of Life does not list your denomination next to your name. Why? Because it is not the denomination that saves you.”
“What would happen if all the churches agreed, on a given day, to change their names to simply “Church”? What if any reference to any denomination were removed and we were all just Christians? And then when people chose which church to attend, they wouldn’t do so by the sign outside…..they’d do so by the hearts of the people inside.”
“And then we Christians wouldn’t be known for what divides us; instead we’d be known for what UNITES us — OUR COMMON FATHER.”
So, wouldn’t it be cool if we could UNITE the common love of the ONE who saved us and UNTIE the division that the enemy works so hard to stir?
EMBRACE EACH OTHERS DIFFERENCES
LOVE IN CHRIST IS WHAT TRULY MATTERS
UNITE IN CHRIST