January 25th, 2023 - Unity in the Body

Unity in the Body

It is evident, in these days, that the Spirit is at work in our hearts both as individuals and as a Church body. As we consider what He might be calling us to today, take a few moments to make room for Him to speak. Take a long deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.

In the slowness of the moment consider what keeps you from being fully united with the body of Christ. Ask the Spirit to bring to mind any hurts or hindrances from your past that are affecting your present participation in and among His people. Take a moment to ask Him to help you surrender those thoughts and to use you

Father, Son, and Spirit. Please come and teach us to live the life you have called us to today.

Today we consider the practice of living in unity that God has called us to. As we reflect on what it looks like to live in unity with one another, let’s consider the words of Paul to the Church of Ephesus in Ephesians 4

“ Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. ”

Paul’s charge to the church of Ephesus is to “ lead a life worthy of your calling”. He then details what this worthy walk looks like. Interestingly, the worthy walk of a follower of Jesus is not one that is walked alone. It is actually one that is uniquely united and bonded to other followers of Jesus. His Church.

It is evident in Paul’s message that this united worthy walk with one another is messy and challenging as it requires great amounts of humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness. It is a walk that demands every effort. Unity requires the work of peace on our part, and always motivated by love.

But let’s be honest. Hurt is real and we are too often hurt by the people we are supposed to be united with. This is what often keeps us from the type of unity God has called us too.. A fear of being hurt by broken people. The reality though is we too are broken and completely capable of inflicting the same hurt on others. When we can see and understand our own brokenness, only then can we walk in God’s grace, and practice the kind of patience and humility required of us towards others.

The Father, The Son, and The Spirit have been united in oneness for all eternity. So it stands to reason that God would design and call His church to display this kind of oneness and unity for the world to witness what God is like. The 3 persons of the Holy trinity work in tandem to accomplish the mission of God. Therefore, God's family should be united and work in tandem to accomplish God's mission for His church to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.

To close I think the rest of the words of Paul in verses 4-6 in the message translation sum up the goal and purpose of living in unity.

4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

The goal of unity and oneness is to put on display the unity and oneness of God.
Consider what hinders you from living in complete unity within the body of Christ.
Is there a hurt you need to forgive?
Are there people you might have hurt that you need to seek forgiveness?

Possibly it’s time to commit to joining a small group.

As we close, consider right now how God is calling you to live in unity with other believers. Surrender any hurt or unforgiveness you might have towards fellow believers and ask Him to help you to make every effort to live in the unity of the Spirit and peace with His Church.

Lord, help us to live a life worthy of your calling today. Help us to learn how to walk in peace and unity with one another so the world around us would know what you are like.