Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- March 16, 2011
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25
Division weakens, cripples and eventually causes a downfall. It is internal erosion that cannot stand up to conflicting turmoil from within. The greatest threat to a nation, an organization, a home or an individual comes from the inside out. For example, an implosion of unbelief can bring down a religious person. He or she wants God, but the intellectual conflict cannot be resolved, and outside of faith in Christ it will not be.
The same can be said for a church. The church can become its own worst enemy. If there is a watering down of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, then there is nothing substantial left to believe. If Christ’s deity, miracles and resurrection are in question, then the church is set up for division and ultimately a slow, but sure death.
Moreover, a business is no less susceptible to internal strive and feuding factions. A company that sells its soul to the almighty dollar will do what ever it takes to bolster the bottom line. Conflicting values begin to divide. What started out as a business built on integrity devolves into one of worldly avarice. Short-term compromise may prop up earnings, but long-term effectiveness will be like a sheep led to the slaughter.
A culture without consistent character is like a ship without a sail. Whoever is the most persuasive, persistent and the loudest gets their way. This is a prescription for disaster. Indeed a nation, organization or individual that fights itself will lose. Yes, there are certainly disagreements, but when all is said and done there must be unity of purpose. It’s like two siblings who tussle against one another—but then unite to defeat the bully. Avoid a civil war from within, and then fight the devil and his minions that are without.
Principles and values based on God’s truth will stand—and whoever embraces them and lives for them will stand together. Our goal as followers of Jesus Christ is to unite around faith in Him. He is our reason for living and dying. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:16). Let’s unite forces around Him and His word. Do not be distracted or divided by peripheral preferences. The color of the church carpet, the number of pipes in the organ and church politics are not Christ’s calling.
It is the battle for the souls of men and women that unite us. It is the proclamation of the Word of God in teaching and living that compel us to follow the example of Jesus and the great saints of the ages. The rallying cry for serious followers of Christ is, “seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Our motto echoes Christ’s command to “love God and to love people” (Matthew 22:39).
We are to “take up our cross and follow Him” (Matthew 16:24). We are to serve as Jesus served, unselfishly. We are to give as Jesus gave, sacrificially. We are to love as Jesus loved, unconditionally. We are to forgive as Jesus forgave, abundantly. We are to be holy as He is holy. These are our marching orders. We can unify around this call to Christ’s likeness. Do not kick a brother who is down or shoot the wounded. Let’s slow down care for our downed comrades and unify around Jesus—He draws all people to Himself!
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).
Does my church exalt Christ in worship and Bible teaching? Do I lift up the Lord with my life, work and family?
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