I really appreciate my non-charismatic family and friends who gather on the large land mass of faith and theology that we share, and fellowship there with my family and me. There are some paths that we rarely travel down together, and usually that works out for each of us. We see one another’s gifts and love one another’s personalities. We understand the one main thing that we have in common, and it’s the glue that holds us together. With all of our hearts, souls and minds, we love Jesus.
We see one another’s gifts and love one another’s personalities.
“How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.”
Jesus was concerned about unity as something so important that would need to be defended. John 17 is a long prayer that Jesus prayed before He was betrayed and arrested. One of His last public prayer concerns was that of the unity of His believers. John 17:20-23 is His prayer for unity;
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus foresaw that the world would become home to thousands of theologies that would become named denominations, with fences and walls around their church buildings.
In Mark 3:24-25, Jesus responds to the accusation that His work is of Satan. He says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” This was early in His ministry. He carried the theme of unity, from start to finish, throughout His teachings.
Romans 15:7 is an example of Paul continuing Jesus’ theme of unity. Here, he says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Paul was talking about all of us, each and every Christian, making a priority of getting along and working together for Jesus’ name.
My daughter just did a short non-denominational missions trip to a major U.S. city. In teams, the teens went into the homes of the elderly and did repairs on their houses. They ministered to each person as their needs warranted. The best part of her testimony is the joy that she received seeing how blessed her 85 year old hostess was by the Christian love she witnessed and received. This is what Jesus is talking about.
We have nothing to prove as Christians. Jesus did all of the proving.
In John 13:35, Jesus tells us, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” God gives each of us opportunities to show His love to other people on any given day. We may rush through to our next task, not looking left or right. Then another day, and many opportunities, pass.
The alternative is to keep our ears perked for opportunities presented to us by the Holy Spirit. Kindness, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and love with radiate in a stressed and dark place (see Galatians 5:22). God bless us as we understand that it is through His love, demonstrated through us, that the world will be saved. God bless us, His church, as we get along to see His Kingdom come, as we learn to work together for Him, on common ground.