Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

psalm-133How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the LORD ordained his blessing,
life forevermore.
(Psalm 133, NRSV)

It is good and pleasant to the Lord when we, as His children, live in harmony together.

In this is the blessing of the Lord, because there is peace and unity among His people, and the world can see His love!

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12, NRSV)

Have a unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. In other words live in harmony.

But what is harmony?

I went to theFreeDictionary.com and looked up harmony and found this as the definition: A relationship in which various components exist together without destroying one another”

A relationship of many parts that exists together without destroying another. Isn’t that truly a beautiful image of the church?

We should exist without wanting to bring the other down, lifting up their gifts and what they bring, and allow the whole piece to come together and be the masterpiece that God created.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. (Ephesians 2:13-22, NRSV)

Jesus has broken down the walls that divide us. He has made a way for all of us to be in relationship with God. By His blood we are made a part of the eternal covenant.

We are no longer strangers and aliens, but citizens with the saints!

What has separated us has been removed and the cross of Christ unites us in the family of God.

Let us look on what unites us and focus on loving others as He loved us.

Here is a wonderful song on this very topic by D.C. Talk:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4, NRSV)

Why do we do the things we do?

If we are really honest with ourselves, we do things to get ahead, to get a step up, to better our position in life, or to get something.

This is how the human works, always looking out for #1, ourselves.

And if we know this, we can strive to live as Jesus taught us to and as Paul advises the Philippians to be here.

Be of one mind thinking of others more than you think of yourself.

Be humble and regard others as better than yourself.

Don’t be selfish, which is truly our nature, but in Christ all things are possible.

So follow Jesus and live as He taught us to live and think of others before yourself.

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:10-18, NRSV)

Be of the same mind and united in the same purpose.

Christ is not divided, but if you looked at the way many of us function today you would think that He was. We can not agree on the simple things of loving as He loved and meeting people where they are.

No it doesn’t make sense to love as Christ loved, because He loves us. So we need to do it and allow that love to change the world.

Be united and in agreement. Of the same mind and purpose.

the other

Posted: 2016/05/09 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Easter
Tags: , ,

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:1-6, NRSV)

It is not about us.

It is not about us getting our way.

We need to put up with the failings of the weak, not to make ourselves happy, but to lift them up.

Christ died for all and lifted the weak. He did not look out for himself but for the other.

We need to do the same.

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26, NRSV)

Did you know that the night before Jesus was tried and crucified He prayed for you?

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word,”

Right there, Jesus prayed for you. This chapter of John is known as the high priestly pray of Jesus, where He prayed for himself, then the 12, then all who would come to believe.

You were on His mind for all of eternity.

He prayed for you!