As a church, we are seeking to grow in prayerfulness in the year ahead. As we move into another calendar year of ministry, we are asking the Lord to do 6 things in us as His people. This is our prayer…Wake Us. Humble Us. Change Us. Anchor Us. Unite Us. Send Us.
Unity within the family of God is talked a lot about in the New Testament. Philippians 2:1-2, 1 Peter 3:8, Colossians 3:14, Romans 15:6. 1 Corinthians 1:10 calls us in the name of Jesus, to agree that that there be no divisions among us. That we would be united in the same mind.
Ephesians 4:1-6 says this, I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Notice that Paul says to maintain the unity of the Spirit. So in Christ, because all believers have been given the Holy Spirit, we already have unity. But it is our responsibility to maintain it. To guard it. And to do so, it will demand that we pursue humility, gentleness, patience, and a posture that says, I’ll bear with you and thank you for bearing with me.
Too often the local church is marked by divisions, splits, dissensions, and factions. None of which reflect the unity of the Spirit or Jesus’ prayer that the world would know us by our selfless and sacrificial love for one another.
So unity means that we’ll live in a way that is dependent on one another. That we’ll live in community with one another. That we’ll gather with other believers for meals. That we’ll say community in the Body of Christ is too important, so it will get priority on my calendar.
Unity means we’ll speak the truth in love. That we’ll freely forgive as the Lord has forgiven us. That we’ll live out Galatians 6:1-2, and if someone is caught in sin, we’ll seek to restore them gently. That we’ll carry one another’s burdens.
Unity means that we will reject gossip and slander, and sideways talk. That when we’ve been wronged by or hurt by someone, we’ll follow Matthew 18, and go to them directly, in a spirit of humility and love. That when we’ve sinned against someone, we’ll seek their forgiveness.
May we be a people who, because of our new identity we have in Christ, seek to live in a uniting way that is reflection of the love we have been shown by our God.