>> Thursday, February 9, 2012
We shared yesterday that unity means "to be in agreement" and the agreement part is for....
Us to be diligent to exert ourselves to be in the agreement of faith... It is good and pleasant and having the knowledge of Jesus, it brings about a perfect man in us, we will have a portion of the maturity of fullness in abundance of Jesus if we are INTENTIONAL to live this out.
A perfect man....Christ-likeness and the portion...it is good to get a portion of maturity is it not! A fullness of maturity in abundance...that is spiritual growth...that is an abundance of Jesus, Wow!
Our faith is conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it...We have faith in Jesus...we are fully persuaded that He is the Son of God and we were created to be like HIM. Romans 1 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (KJV)
As we are diligent of our faith one may ask how does unity derive from that? Well to be in agreement means GRACE & PEACE! One must understand forgiveness and grace. The scriptures simply tell us this... Lu 6:37 ¶ Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Mr 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
It takes alot to get people to agree...sometimes it is said we must agree not to agree...that means I will extend grace to you...that although we may not see eye to eye...I will still value you as a person...I will not condemn you or judge you...I will be open to learn from you and to appreciate our differences!!!! That is also unity and it breaks the shackles of uniformity...that you must be like me, think like me, act like me, serve like me....
If we would all come together as Php 2:2 tells us to; Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.
God loves when His children embrace grace to supernatural empower them to love others despite themselves. 2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;...God grants them the repentance and the revelation of truth...we have nothing to do with it. Although how often have we tried to take matters in our own hands with things that didnt suit our fancy?!
When we come to realize that the God of the universe, that is working out a great salvation in us individually, He is working it out for others at the same time. So just as much as we desire to be loved, accepted, forgiven, and shown grace...we are to in turn give it. We who have received amazing grace know the cost it came and desire to give it back to others. This makes God very happy....it fills Him with JOY.
So as we put our trust in Jesus and Jesus alone...and we come together with others of like minded faith...when we understand that it is HE that accepts us, forgiven us and supernatural enables us to live out grace...we want it for all people! It is good and pleasant for the brethren to dwell in agreement of faith.
It is so liberating not to be under "men" and their "ideas" of what "they think life should look like" its about being free to express the image of God they way we were created to be. God gives us grace to live out a pure heart towards others, a fresh mind of purity and sincerity of heart, a love for others to embrace forgiveness and extend forgiveness.
Embracing forgiveness and extending forgiveness is a KEY to unbroken fellowship with God and others. The scriptures are clear if you forgive others God will forgive you...if you do not forgive others your Father in Heaven will not forgive you. This is horrific tragedy in our churches! We think we can be unforgiving and still be united with God....NO! We must be fully persuaded that the scriptures are clear and true and must be obeyed.
Unforgiveness comes at a great cost to us personally if we are not laying down our rights. It breaks the fellowship, it means the sins we commit daily are unforgiven until we can forgive others. This is a horrible place to be....NO ONE WINS!
However if we commit to be intentional to unity....to forgive and extend grace to growing believers...speaking the truth in love and watching people from their insides...their hearts...and not their outsides which is a facade most of the time...we will come to see the value and importance in our liberty to be unified.
We all have choices...you have your rights that you can protect or you can lay them down for the love of a brother.
How do we do this if we are upset? Remember its ok to have good expectations as long as when they are not met, we can with GRACE understand and accept it may take some time.
It is not ok to have good expectations ( I say good, cause no one would admit they had bad ones, right?!) and when they are not met, we become disappointed and then we judge and become critical and then we condemn and punish...We ALL have done it...we ALL must stop and learn this is God's job not ours. We are to sharpen, we are to lead by example, we are to encourage but we are not to demand or control. We must trust God and only God can move and change the heart of others. People have the choice to make bad descisions, to do bad things...its unfortunate and we can plead but we all know from experience some of our best lessons learned are from our own mistakes. All we can do is trust God sometimes when things dont seem to be going our way.
Romans 8 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. This verse helps me to know I can trust God and I am fully persuaded He has got it all taken care of!
This will free you...it has freed me...I believe everyone of us experiences this process...I am not convinced everyone comes to the end of it as a learning experience and grows from it. I believe some just get stuck...and when no one is real and honest with their personal struggles...they just dont know what it looks like to be free...so they continue the vicious cycle of unforgiveness and turmoil of disunity.
Live life in agreement in the faith to Jesus Christ & be Liberated!