For some reason today I had a desire to do a word study in the bible, on GRACE. It's no secret I am captivated by God's grace. I have sung the song Amazing Grace my entire life, and not until the last 2 years I'd I really start to get what it means, it really is amazing, go figure!!
When I opened my "Holy Bible" app the verse of the day popped up and it read: "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" Psalm 133:1. In the past I would have thought Yes, it is nice to see brothers or sisters getting along, but this verse isn't only referring to a literal family, God has been taking me past appearances and showing me something a little deeper in His Word about "brothers and sisters". My brothers aren't just my blood relatives, they are my spiritual family, and I am not just talking about those I attend church with. Anyone who believes in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, has the same Father as me. We might only have that one truth in common, that we believe in Jesus for our redemption, period..... and all the other details might be different (free will, predestination, confession of sins daily, spiritual gifts, filling/baptism of the Spirit, works, Law, Grace, Revelation beliefs, Prosperity, healing, believers authority, ect....) but just because the family may have differences that we aren't all on page with, doesn't mean we don't all have the same Father. There is only gonna be one church in heaven, Amen?
I am convinced when the church as a whole is unified it will usher in the return of Christ. The devil is having a field day turning us on eachother. If we focus on the differences it will divide every time, but if we turn to what we do have in common: JESUS, bring on the unity! So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13. Did you notice it said until we all reach unity?? That means it is coming!
God really rocked my world with this verse "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." 1 John 4:20. Hate in the greek here means: detest, love less, esteem less. After I realized that my brothers and sisters were all the believers in Christ (not just my church) I decided I better quit talking bad about another believer, another church, another denomination, another pastor. I shouldn't have been doing that anyway! Remember that rule our mama taught us? If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all! And actually, I am suppose to be talking graciously of others and building them up. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Eph 4:29
So, as I was looking up verses on grace I came across a time when there was GREAT GRACE: "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them." Acts 4:32-34a NIV ( KJV says "great grace"). I don't know about you, but that interests me! I want to see the powerful grace of God at work in all the believers, to be of one heart and mind, to not point out differences, but focus on the light, the way: Jesus. As we keep our eyes fixed on Him, and not others, the Holy Spirit can do His thing and guide the brothers and sisters into ALL truth. Let's unify, let's love our family in the faith, even: if they speak in tongues (yes, I said it I know it's controversial, but we are getting real here), if they have healing services, if they only wear skirts, if they confess to a priest, if they have talked bad about you or your church, it is time to forgive. We are one body, we have one LORD, there is one Spirit, and one Father, lets show grace in our family and reach unity!
Linking up to:
Linking up to: