Unity and Holiness

Unity sounds like an otherworld experience. Is unity even possible this side of heaven?  
 
Yes... maybe... it might depend on our choices.
 
We live in a time of unparalleled disunity and division.  This is a defining moment for the church to be different, set apart, and unique, which also happens to be the definition of holy.  This work is accomplished in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus would not have called us to it, and the New Testament would not have had so much to say about it, if it were not something we are empowered and expected to do.  As the body of Christ, his church in this place, we are called to be one.

So how do we go about being united?  

 It’s time we put first things first.  Back in the late 70’s there was a very well known ministry that had a pin that lots of Christians wore at the time. It said “ Jesus First.”  It seems like this might be a good time to put Jesus first.  As Christians we all have our areas of concern.  One writer has called it Holy Discontent and I believe God does put different issues on different hearts at different times.  Whether it’s racial injustice, abortion, human trafficking, feeding the poor, political divisions, climate change, nationalism, fascism, or socialism.  Whatever your hot button issue is, as believers it has to be secondary to unity in the spirit and loving one another.  

There is no doubt we have been empowered and commanded to love others as ourselves.  Now it is up to us, as the people at Nike say, to “just do it.”  Obedience to the voice and command of our King is required.  The fruit of the spirit that God is growing in us does not contain anger and separation.  If social media and network news and the injustice surrounding us makes you angry just stop watching it.  We cannot live in a constant state of agitation and love God and others.  God has been teaching me that I can’t look up and look down at the same time; I can’t hate and love; I can’t have my own way and unity.  I can’t praise him and be angry at believers who don’t think like me.  Keep in mind we are not even talking about outsiders we are talking about unity in the Spirit in the body of Christ.  In the end it comes down to a choice.  What will I fix my mind on, what will I allow to fill my thoughts, and how much of God’s word about love and unity will I renew my mind with on a daily basis.
 
Jesus said in John 13:33-34, "a new command I give you that love one another."  We should be known for our love for one another. Jesus said that our love for one another would prove to the world that we are his disciples.  Please hear this loud and clear: all those other issues may be good things but they are not what Jesus said would show the world we are His. I fear that we are known more for our stance on issues, or what people assume is our stance because we are Christians, than our love for one another.  Outsiders should be anxious to join the church for the way we love and take care of each other.
 
Putting first things first means seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Practically for me that means putting social media, our great divider, in last place.  The average North American spends two hours and six minutes a day on social media.  There might be some voices we need to stop listening to and some we need to start listening to. The book of Philippians has some very relevant words for us today in Phil 4:8-9, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you have learned and received from me.”  
 
by Fred Meserall
Fred and his wife Susan began attending Kingsway in June of 2014. They found Kingsway to be a place of refreshment and healing after their previous church experience. Fred is passionate about pursuing God, family, and lifegroups (including his current group which has been meeting continuously for 16 years). Fred and Susan absolutely love the fact that they, their two daughters and their husbands, and grandchildren all attend church together. Fred is a non-recovering “aquaholic” who enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, communing with God, working on his videoblog (aptly titled “Still at the Beach”), and all things surf and family.
 


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