December 4, 2020
In these days we are living in, it seems that strife, anger and division are everywhere. While the whole world might agree we are in need of peace and unity, signs of disunity and dissension are everywhere. In the midst of all the chaos, governments turn to force and strict laws to keep people from destroying each other. On a smaller scale, millions of families and married couples have their own difficulties as they seek to find enough common ground to live in peace with each other.
All the while God, on the other hand, expects believers to “be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:2, KJV).
Why is unity so important to God? Paul Billheimer explains the reason in his book Destined for the Throne: Before the world began, the Father wanted to find a Bride for His Son, so He created us. God didn’t look for many brides, but only for one Bride. The purpose of the cross is to make millions of people from a million different backgrounds and cultures, though foreign to each other, into one individual—the Bride of Christ.
In the light of this high calling, it is so serious and of utmost importance that each of us is “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit . . .” (Ephesians 4:3).
“Endeavor” is another word for try, attempt, labor, strive, exert and struggle. Just by looking at these synonyms, it is obvious that it is a very deliberate, conscious act. We cannot simply state to one another, “Well, if you agree with what I say and if you eat the same food I like, I will sit at your table and we will have unity.”
In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in the same text of Scripture exactly what we must do to be able to attain this unity: “I . . . beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). What Paul is expressing is that we should do everything we can, even at the expense of our own feelings, to maintain this unity of the Spirit.
We find a beautiful picture of what it takes to maintain this kind of unity in Jesus’ last Passover with His disciples. When He took the bread, He said to them: “ . . . this is My body which is broken for you” (1 Corinthians 11:24). If we look closely at a piece of bread, we will find that it is made up of thousands of kernels of grain; however, none of these individual kernels was left whole. They were all ground up into powder and mixed together before a loaf of bread could be formed and baked.
The bread Jesus gave to His disciples was not only a picture of His body being broken on our behalf on the cross of Calvary, but it was equally a picture of what it took for Jesus to become the Bread of Life. He was crushed and powdered as He laid down His own will and learned obedience through the things He suffered.
What about us, the Church? The Bride of Christ is also the Body of Christ. If we are His Body, we must also become bread that God can break to feed the multitudes of our generation. We can only become a loaf of bread to feed the hungry if the oneness of the Spirit is among us. And oneness only comes by yielding ourselves to be ground, powdered and mixed together. Will you yield yourself to Him in your own circumstances?
This week, consider how you can do your part to maintain unity and honor others in the relationships God has given you. Ask the Lord for grace to live in unity even when it is difficult.
Season of Lent is a journey to spiritual growth, renewal and an opportunity to know the Lord Jesus more intimately and closely. We must hear the Lord speaking to us all along the way as the journey continues so that our heart-attitude will become more like His. The way to attain this is by deliberately choosing an attitude of confession, denying of self, fasting, meditation, prayer and supplication. And, the life is enriched with humility of Christ and service to others. This daily devotional will do just that: bringing the focus upon Jesus and enabling spiritual renewal in our walk with the Lord.
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