September 14, 2015

Unified Around Jesus

Written by Boyd Bailey

Unified Around Jesus 9.14

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 14, 2015

I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man…the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation 1:12-13, 20

Our Christmas candlelight church service is a highlight of our year. Those who came to faith in Christ over the past 12 months light their candles first. Brilliant lights each reflecting the salvation of a once darkened soul sets the worship center aglow. Joyful applause erupts celebrating the Light of Life giving eternal and abundant life to new babes in Christ. Worshipfully, the rest of us who follow Jesus—quietly light our candles in honor of our Lord. The auditorium is ablaze with individuals ablaze for Jesus. Unified faith in Christ is a compelling testimony for Christ.

The Romans exiled the apostle John for his faith to the island of Patmos. Now, like Daniel—he becomes a prophet. The Lord spoke to him through visions of what had been, of what was now and what is to come. It is sobering and encouraging to see Jesus Christ in all His glory and authority calling churches to be a unified light for Him. Jesus commissioned John to write these prophetic words on a scroll and to send them to the seven churches. John knew if the cross of Jesus was lifted up in our life and in our churches—all humanity will be drawn to Him.

“When I [Jesus] am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me” (John 12:32, The Voice).

The world is not moved by a church that looks like the world. What moves the world toward Jesus is a church that looks like another world: one that embraces the cross and resurrection of Jesus through a community of believers who sacrifice and suffer for their Savior’s sake and for each other. In the same way global allies come together to combat a common enemy, so diverse followers of Jesus unify to come against evil forces. They not only fight the good fight of faith, but unite to take the love of God to the lost and the least. Faith unified by Jesus lifts up Jesus.

Is your faith isolated or engaged? Do you collaborate with other Jesus followers to work together to take the gospel to the world? Christians inclusive of other Christians have more influence with non-Christians. We unify to trust Jesus as our resurrected Lord and Savior. We join hands and hearts to remove injustice and share the good news of Jesus’ justification of sin. Perhaps God is calling out His church, the Body of Christ, to repent of proud exclusivity; to not be of the world, but to engage darkness unified by the brilliant light of Christ’s gospel.

“In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, or you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me away from exclusive spirituality to an inclusive faith that serves and shares the gospel in collaboration with other Christ followers.

Application: What group of Christians can I work with to make society a better place to live? 

Related Readings: Luke 9:49-50; Acts 26:17-18; Colossians 1:12-14; 1 John 1:6, 2:19

Post/Tweet this today: Christians inclusive of other Christians have more influence with non-Christians. #unified #wisdomhunters

Worship Resource: 3 minute music video- Chris August: Starry Night

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Comments

  1. Lucy says:

    I love this beautiful message on unity in Christ for the church! Thank you for sharing. It is on my heart too! We are one body with many parts. Each one unique and special with a divine purpose. ❤️

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Lucy,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to us after reading “Unified Around Jesus”. We are thankful for your kind words. You stated it beautifully when you wrote, “We are one body with many parts. Each one unique and special with a divine purpose.” Amen and Amen.
      Lucy, I felt there was a “call to action” for some of us that have perhaps become more isolated than engaged with our faith (speaking for myself). This devotional reminded me of the our “job” as Christ followers to get out there and SHARE the good news. Boyd stated in the devotional, “Perhaps God is calling out His church, the Body of Christ, to repent of proud exclusivity; to not be of the world, but to engage darkness unified by the brilliant light of Christ’s gospel.” So much to think about.
      We are grateful for you, Lucy, and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25


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