"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided?" I Corinthians 1:10-13a
What faces go through your head when you lie in bed at night? Who plays a role in the cast of your dreams and nightmares? What broken relationships haunt your memories? Who have you tried to delete from the screenplay of your life? Is there a Christian that has offended you in such a way that you refuse to forgive them? Take some time and think about it. Sift through the cobwebs of your recollection. You may not have to go too far to find a former yokefellow that has been scratched off of your list of comrades. Now ask yourself this question; "Was my action 100% biblical?" You see as believers, we have all been grafted onto the same vine. In God's eyes we have an even deeper bond that that of blood relatives. We are a spiritual family. Regrettably, sometimes we just don't act like it.
In this writing, Paul's first order of business was to beg the church of Corinth in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to stop arguing amongst themselves. His prayer was that there would be real harmony so that there wouldn't be splits in the church. His plea was that they would be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. The Bible states that believers shouldn't waste their time in fruitless arguments and quarrels. This passage is not saying that all believers should always come to the same conclusions, but that when necessary they might agree to disagree in love. For Christ is not divided and nor should we be. In fact, God's triune being is the ultimate example of unity for all believers.
I remember back in 1996 while on the road with Christafari in Pennsylvania, there were some serious quarrels between certain band members. The unity was gone and our condition was critical. I recall going to a payphone on that dark night and calling our band pastor. In tears I relayed all of the drama that had occurred earlier that day. I expected an extensive solution yet all he said was "Read John 17". Though I was a bit perplexed at first, this was all that I needed to hear.
According to the seventeenth chapter of John, Jesus' last prayer before he was arrested and taken to Annas was for us. That's right, his final words; his last rites; his closing prayer was that all believers would be in unity. This is what he said:
"I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message (the disciples), that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:20-23.
Jesus knew in his final hour that the greatest testimony to our faith would be found in our love and unity with other believers. If we can't seem to get this Christian thing right, then why should anyone else want to join our club? So make that call to your former friend. Clean that wound. Mend your nets. Rebuild that bridge. This doesn't mean that you have to be best friends with your archenemy, but there should be forgiveness and no hard feelings. Act now!
A prayer inspired by Romans 15:5-7:
God, please give me endurance, patience, steadiness and encouragement. Give me a spirit of unity with my family, friends, church and the universal body as we follow Christ Jesus together. Help us to live in complete harmony with each other-each with the attitude of Christ toward the other. So that with one heart and mouth we may glorify You. Lord, help us to praise You together with one voice. Jesus, help us to accept one another, then, just as You have accepted us. For this will truly bring praise to You and be a witness to the world. In Jesus name, amen.
|Not Ashamed||Romans 1:16 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Favoritism||Romans 2:11 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Action Talks||Romans 2:13 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Tattooed Heart||Romans 2:15b (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Missing the Target||Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|A New Identity||I Corinthians 1:2||Mark Mohr|
|Unmerited Favor||I Corinthians 1:4||Mark Mohr|
|'Til The End||I Corinthians 1:8-9||Mark Mohr|
|Perfectly United||I Corinthians 1:10-13a||Mark Mohr|
|Gambling for Garments||I Corinthians 1:12-17LIV||Mark Mohr|
|The First Missionary||I Corinthians 1:27-29||Mark Mohr|
|THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD||I Corinthians 1:19-20||Mark Mohr|
|The Unusual Suspects||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|A Broken Vessel||Heb 11:34||Mark Mohr|
|Achilles Heel||James 3:2a||Mark Mohr|
|Refurbished Heart||I John 1:7-9||Mark Mohr|
|Unworthy Applicant||Psalm 51:1-2||Mark Mohr|
|Foolish Thinking||I Corinthians 1:18-23||Mark Mohr|
|Boastful Thinking||I Corinthians 1:29||Mark Mohr|
|The Runt of the Litter||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|Keep it Simple||I Corinthians 2:1-5||Mark Mohr|
|Parlez Vous Christianese?||I Corinthians 2:2||Mark Mohr|
|No Eye Has Seen||I Corinthians 2:9||Mark Mohr|
|A Word from the Lord||I Corinthians 2:16||Mark Mohr|
|Let Go, Let God||I Corinthians 3:6-7||Mark Mohr|
|To The Foundation||I Corinthians 3:10-11||Mark Mohr|
|All-Seeing Eyes||I Corinthians 4:5||Mark Mohr|