April 17 – Church and State – Fight for Unity

Read 1 Peter 3:8-18

My oldest grandchildren are 9 and 11. A few days ago, a picture popped up on my Facebook page of memories from 6 years ago. It is still one of my favorites with the two of them crouched down on the kitchen floor as the older brother was conveying a very important point to his younger sister. When the picture came up, my first thought was, “Who are these little ones?” Just a few years but they have grown up so much!

When I was a fairly new Christian, the small group I attended went through a study called Experiencing God. Now many years later, our current small group just started the same study. Right from the first lesson, I am seeing and learning things like I had never seen the book before. That’s just one of the wonderful things I love about God’s Word – it never grows old – it can always speak to us, no matter where we are on our faith journey. Lesson 1 served as a reminder that Jesus called to His disciples and has called to us to follow Him. When we ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” what we really need to ask is, “God, where are You working?” and then “How can I join You in that work?”

What does this have to do with unity in the Church?

Everything!

Jesus called fishermen, doctors, tax collectors, the least educated and influential. He called people from every part of society. This was because He wanted followers from every tribe and every nation in His kingdom. He wasn’t seeking uniformity. He wants the whole world to be saved so that none should perish.

He did come, however, to call us into a relationship with Him to be part of a church, unified by love and driven by grace to share the Good News. A church solely focused on making disciples of every nation.

It is saddening to see folks deceived into allowing other things to steal their focus. Be aware that includes really good endeavors or causes. You and I must constantly resist the pull of current events that would become preeminent in our lives. We must not become immersed in politics, the pandemic, and all the ways that the evil one would use to drive a wedge between us. In this time of turmoil and unrest, we have the opportunity to rise above differences of opinion to show the world that God’s true Church –  in its diversity – can be truly unified in our purpose together. That’s a unity worth fighting for – striving together for the cause of Christ by turning our individual hearts and minds to the work that God is calling us to do.

Your challenge today?

Open your heart and ask God to invite you into His work. Ask Him to reveal those things that currently are taking your time and energy. Are they an avenue God is using you to follow Him?

Then join me individually and collectively in raising high the banner of Christ and sharing His love together in a unity that comes only from Jesus.

Wade Karhan

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