“Love seeks to unify what sin has divided.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 20, 2022
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
Juneteenth is a holiday celebration of the emancipation of those freed from slavery in the United States. Originating in Texas, this annual memorial on June 19 is a reminder to honor those who have been freed from slavery and to pray for and seek justice for those still suffering in bondage. As Christians our unity is demonstrated by our love for the Lord and for each other, especially those different from us. Freedom from all forms of slavery frees us to love everyone. When those who follow Jesus are unified by Jesus, they become a compelling testimony for Christ. Love seeks to unify what sin has divided.
The Romans exiled the apostle John to the island of Patmos for his faith. Now, like Daniel—he became a prophet. The Lord spoke to him through visions of what had been, of what was present and what was 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. Most attractive is when 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 for all to serve together.
Is your faith isolated to only those like you or engaged and growing in friendships with others who look different than you? 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. Diverse races are unified when they all trust Jesus Christ as their resurrected Lord and Savior. Different cultures join hands and hearts to remove injustice and share the good news of Jesus’ justification of sin. 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. Unified by Jesus!
“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, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).
Heavenly Father, lead me away from exclusive spirituality to an inclusive faith that serves and shares the gospel in collaboration with other Jesus followers, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider listening to Boyd’s Podcast – Unified by Jesus: A Remedy for Racism
Maverick City & UPPERROOM: I Thank God
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