Partners in Unity
Verse 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.
We ended yesterday by talking about what it takes to have unity in the Church as that is one way that we can confirm the Gospel to the world around us. We said that the first step is to want unity, not only with fellow believers but with God as well. The following steps are just as important.
Once we have made up our minds to want unity we have to understand what unity is. An important thing to remember is that it isn’t always giving in to make peace. Peace and unity aren’t necessarily the same thing. In fact keeping the peace can actually work against unity.
Unity is a bond born in common purpose. That is why it is important for us to first have unity with God. Unless we are surrendered to the purpose of God we will not experience the unity with Him that He desires with us. This is the unity that should be most important to us and the key to unity with each other.
Remember Paul had called the Philippians his partners in the Gospel. He knew the real purpose that should be bringing unity among us as believers is God’s purpose. Of course that requires that we know what His purpose is. We need to remember that His purpose for the Church is not to make us happy and wealthy. It isn’t to make us feel comfortable or popular. In fact we are more likely to become uncomfortable, and unpopular.
God’s purpose is for our good but it isn’t to make us happy in this world because we need to learn that this world isn’t the home we long for. That is one of the benefits of unity in the Church. When we start seeking God and His purpose we will come to find that unity becomes natural in a spiritual sense. The truth of unity is that it is supernatural. It can only come through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that happens when we fully surrender to Him. If we want to be used for His kingdom, we must seek unity with Him by surrendering to all He wants, even when it goes against our natural desires.
Making It Personal
Have you surrendered to God’s purpose in your life? How has that affected your relationship with others in the Church? Have you come to the point of working with others to make the Church all that He wants it to be?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to surrender to Jesus? How does being surrendered to Jesus affect your relationships with others? Do you want to love Jesus better so that you can love others better?
Father, help us find better understanding of Your will so that we can be purposeful about obeying You in unity. Give us a greater desire for unity with You and each other. In Jesus’ name, amen.