Psalm 133:1 KJV
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Unity:Hebrew – properly a unit, (adverbially) unitedly;- alike. to gather; proper assemblage
One of the focus’ we need to continue to have as the body of Christ is to stay in unity.
As we are moving forward; the further we go forward, the stronger our unity has to be.
Ephesians 4:3 KJV
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Endeavouring: Greek – to make effort, to be diligent or work hard, to labour,
Unity: Greek – oneness
Webster dictionary: oneness – the quality of being one
Ephesians 4:3 (AMPC)
Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [ and produced by ] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.
Ephesians 4:3 (NLT)
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Our purpose as believers is to keep “the unity of the Spirit.” This is harmony over our mission, not our beliefs. Our mission is the Great Commission as given in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-18. We will never agree on all doctrines, but we can get along with each other in peace while we win others to Jesus.
As We Continue In Unity, We Must Keep Strife Out: This Is Vitally Important!
We see an example in Genesis 13 where Abram and Lot travelled to the land they were supposed to go, but the area of land was not big enough for both Abrams and Lots flocks of sheep and goats, their herds of cattle and many tents. At that time there was a strife that rose up between both the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and of Lot’s cattle.
Genesis 13:8-9 KJV
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Genesis 13:8 (NLT)
Finally Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives!
We must not ALLOW strife or conflict to come between us and hinder our unity.
When we work together in church or at a church event, our focus needs to continue to be on sharing the Love of God and not allowing strife in. We may not agree on everything, but we can make the decision to agree to disagree. Being in agreement in Love and with the help and leading of the Holy Spirit we can accomplish the task He has for us to do.
If an opportunity rises up to criticize someone, it’s an opportunity to lift them up instead.
It’s important to remember that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We must make sure we don’t help the devil do his job.
The Thief (The Devil) Will Come, But He Will Not Succeed! We’ve Got To Make Sure Of That.
John 10:10 KJV
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 (NLT)
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
How does the thief (the devil) get in to try to destroy the unity? He comes to steal the Word sown in a person’s life and he steals it by deception. The devil will bring in a lie, by a thought or by false communication or accusation. He comes looking for any entrance to get in and cause strife to destroy the unity.
We must stay in Love, resisting the enemy causing him to flee from us.
We Stay In Love By Abiding In Jesus and Continuing In His Love!
John 15:4-11 KJV
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Abide: to stay(in a given place, state, relation or expectancy), to continue, dwell, endure, remain, stand
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
To bear: is to carry, bring (forth).
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. Note: Might be full: is to furnish, satisfy, fulfill
Something to remember: Love is where the Joy is!
As we abide with Jesus, continue to dwell with Him, His joy will remain in us, it will continue to dwell in us.
Joy: cheerfulness, calm delight, gladness, be exceeding joyful
When we keep the Joy in our unity, we are bearing fruit.
Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
John 17:13 KJV
And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
John 17:13-15 (NLT)
13 Now I am coming to You. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with My joy.
14 I have given them Your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
15 I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.
Jesus said: that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
As we continue to abide in Jesus, His joy will always be in us and we will always have access to it at any time, in any situation, we can access the joy He has given to us.
We ourselves are responsible for allowing the joy of the Lord to rise up in us and keeping the joy in our unity.