The One Thing We Have to Agree On

I am convinced of lots of things in my life. Some important. Some, not so much.

One of the things that I am convinced of is that while we all may be part of different churches we are all part of the same “church.” The body of Christ. The body of Christ is made up all believers in Jesus Christ, no matter what local congregation or denomination we may be part of.

The body of Christ is made of all those that call upon His name and wish to see Him glorified and lifted up, no matter what tradition or tribe they may be part of. That tribe may be Baptist, or Methodist, or Pentecostal, or Catholic, or any dozens of other groups that we are part of.

Through Jesus Christ, we are all one.

That’s how He sees us.

And, I’m convinced that’s how the world sees us too. The world doesn’t seen us in all of our different traditions and denominations, it see us all as “Christian.” We are all a mass of “Christians” no matter what group we are part of.

So, when we as Christians nuke each other and throw bombs at each other, what does it say to a dying world? If we can’t get along and work together and be the church, then what hope is there?

Listen to what Paul says today in Romans 16 17-18:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Watch out for divisions today. Watch out for those things that separate us today. This is not to say that we all agree on everything. We don’t. We all have real differences. Real things that separate us.

And you know that’s ok. We don’t have to agree on everything. In fact, there’s only one thing that we do have to agree on.

Jesus.

As one of my heroes said – if your heart has been warmed as my heart has, then brother give me your hard.

We are all on the same team. We have much more in common than that separates us! We serve the same God. Let’s work for the same purpose. God is good. He is worthy of our praise.

May we all as Christians work together for His purpose!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones

Lord Make Us One?

We live in a world of differences. We all have our side. Sports, politics, music, hobbies, churches, we all have different likes and dislikes, different things that really are significant, but that separate us.

And we live in an age we are told and encouraged to put our differences aside and work together.

And you know what? That’s hard. It’s hard to be one. It’s hard to be united. It’s hard to be on the same page.

Even with someone you like. It’s hard to always agree and work together.

And so, when the church and when our faith calls us to be one, the question is how?

Lord, make us one. How?

Listen to what Paul says this morning in Ephesians 2:16-19:

and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Paul says that we are reconciled into one body, through the cross and through Jesus. Through Him, we are no longer strangers, through Him, we are fellow citizens, through Him, we have the same father.

Through Him. Through Jesus. Through ourselves, we will tear each other apart. We will fuss and fight. We will find our problems, and find the things that we disagree on and that separate us.

When we focus on ourselves, we find division. When we focus on Jesus, we find unity. He is our unity. He is our peace. He is our hope. He is our life.

When we place the focus on ourselves, our stuff, and our opinions, we will find and have more division.

When we take our eyes off ourselves, and put them on Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, we find unity, hope and peace.

Lord, today, please make us one. Let us each focus on Jesus with all that we are. And in that, we can find that unity.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

We Need Each Other

We are all connected to each other. Through Christ, we are connected.

He is my Father. And if you are His, you are His child as I am. That makes him your Father as well.  And if He’s your Father, that makes us family. That makes us siblings. We need each other. We are connected. That’s just the way that it is.

None of us were made to walk this path of life alone.  None of us were made to walk it without someone beside us.

No matter how unworthy you may feel.  No matter how little you may feel.  No matter how unimportant you may feel.  You matter.  You are important.  You are important to God, important to the Body of Christ, important to us all.

You matter.  You do.  No matter where you are, we need you.  Listen to what Paul says today in 1 Corinthians 12:21-26:

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Every part of the body is important. The hand. The foot. Each matters.  Each is vital.  Each is needed.

As it is with us. We matter. Each of us matters. To God. To the church. To each other. And, we need each other.

To love each other. To hold each other accountable. To help each other. To challenge each other. To grow each other. To disciple each other.

We are a body. We are family.  We need each other.

Today, is my deepest prayer that you are plugged in somewhere where you know that and you feel that.  That you know that you matter. That you know that you are needed. That you know that you belong.

Today, you matter.  Today, you belong. Today, in Christ, are you family. Today, we need each other.  May we not live along.  May we love, plug in, help, and care for each other.

We are part of a body, Christ’s body.  May we never forget that we need each other.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Same Team

I wonder what it looks like to the world when we as Christians can’t get along?

I wonder what it looks like when let real, but insignificant, theological disagreements cause us to separate?

I wonder what it looks like when we as Christians nuke each other?

I told my folks last night in our first Disciple Bible Study that I like my theology. I think my theology is right. I like what I believe and I think that it’s Biblical and grounded in what is right.

But, you know how much that matters?  Not much.  You know what matters?

Loving in Jesus name.  My folks have heard me quote Phillip Yancey before – “No one ever says, I became a Christian because I lost an argument one night.” I’ve met many who say, “I became a Christian because someone loved me.”

Paul puts it this way in 1 Corinthians:

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!

We are on the same team. Through Christ, we are all brothers and sisters.

We have the same Father.  We have the same Savior. We are led by the same Spirit.  In spite of any disagreements we may have.  In spite of any different views on things.

If you are Christian, we are on the same team.

Imagine if the church worked together more? Imagine if we as Christians worked together more.  Imagine if we were to pull together and go on the attack against the forces of evil.

Just think what we can do.

Today, let there be no division among us. Let us work together. Let us pull together.  Let us serve together.  Let us love together.

Let us love each other.

We are on the same team.  Today, may there be no division among us.