Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Spiritual Unity

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Ephesians 4:1-6
 

God became man (Mark 15:39 “...Truly this man was the Son of God.”) and was born into a family, namely Joseph and Mary. Jesus had maternal brothers (John 7:3-5) revealing to us today still the value of family and community. This divine will was paramount from the very beginning. We read in Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...” God was in Himself perfect in every respect, and sought fellowship by creating man. Through the Gospel, which is divine and not of man, (Galatians 1:11) God founded His family. He did this in that He gave Himself and became human for the purpose of the forgiveness of sin. We were purchased dearly by grace and love, through the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20). Under these powerful and incomprehensible conditions (according to Ephesians 1:4 believers were pre-destined before the foundation of the world) we should love one another in like unity. And at the least, we should endure this, despite our differing characters and personality traits, and live worthy of our vocation. Spiritual unity can only function in this manner! We do not do this, when we behave in an irreconcilable, indifferent and selfish manner. If we live and behave according to the motto: “I, myself, mine, me – LORD bless these four”, we have hardly comprehended anything of what God desires of us and of Jesus' conduct at all times, as our example. The devil wants to isolate Christians because then it is easier to cause our fall. Whoever is alone too often, during spiritual warfare, and has no support in the form of intercession, inter-action or relationship, is living a life of faith which does not correspond to what the Bible teaches us. Pure knowledge in Biblical matters by itself does not really bring us further in our practical lives as Christians. The life in God is first and foremost a living love and not collected knowledge! We are changed by love, not through theology, through the mind, nor through books.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:3-6 “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” A genuine interest in our fellow brethren enriches us and helps them. It doesn't necessarily always have to be sympathy, which is sometimes also very superficial. True participation in someone else is a spiritual favor – in other words love! And in this manner we should bear with one another – in this spiritually-sincere love. If we are always only exaggeratedly fixed upon ourselves, we are unable to love in the manner which God requires of us. Who edifies himself, is prone to be easily offended and is mostly concerned with himself or nurturing self-provoked injuries. Such a person is only gentle and humble towards himself, but not towards his brothers and sisters. And when we deal with other Christians in a problematic and crippling manner, we will never be able reach unity with God (Matthew 25:45 “Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.'') We need to challenge ourselves with neighborly love. There are enough opportunities and areas in which we can practice this. We just need to be ready.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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