Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Tuesday, November 8

Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Read: Ephesians 4:1-6

Ephesians 4:1-6
New International Version (NIV)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Start:

Consider: Sometimes words are so large—their meaning so broad—that we can’t comprehend them with our minds alone. We have to humbly ask the Holy Spirit to translate them to our hearts—to our entire lives. For me, that is the case with Paul’s words about unity in the Body of Christ.

“There is one body and one Spirit…one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all…” (4:4-6)

I’ll be honest. There are a whole lot of believers in Christ that I don’t feel “one with” at all. I disagree with them on theological and ethical issues that are central to my faith. Some have rejected me. (I’ve been accused of being “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” who is leading people astray and destroying the church.) So how do I overcome these feelings of division?

Although this unity that Paul describes is not intelligible on a rational basis alone, I have learned one important principle: unity is love and love is unity.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14)

I lead a congregation of diverse people with diverse opinions. There are things I believe with which many (perhaps most) of the people in my church would disagree. Yet, we have served Christ together with amazing unity for almost thirty years. How is that possible? I can honestly say that we really love each other.

The church does not demand unanimity of opinion. (If fact, if that is the demand, real unity is destroyed.) But Christ calls us to unity that is based in humility and love. Love for Christ compels us to love one another in the messy, difficult work of the church.

Pray: “Lord, give us a love that transcends our differences. Help us to see that the acid test of love is how it works in real life. Forgive us for the times when our ‘self-ness’ has been larger than our ‘other-ness.’ Thank you that true humility and love free us from ourselves and empower us to see and follow you.”

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