[CF Devotionals] 2010-09-02 - Division in the Church

Part 4

Continuing from last week's devotional, here are the three reasons why we should be concerned by division in the church...

  1. It's Not Our Job to Divide the Good and Bad

    Somewhere along the way the true church got confused as to what it was really supposed to be doing. Separating the good from the bad was never intended to be a part of our job description.

    It's not our job to separate the wheat from the tares. Read Matthew 13:24-30. Notice how quickly the men wanted to go in and rip out the tares. But God says, "Oh no you don't; just wait. I'll sort them out at the very end!" God will do the separating come harvest time. Don't worry what the mission around the corner is doing, don't question the mega-church up the street. Leave them alone. Worry about this church only. If we go in ripping out the bad we will only destroy the good wheat in the process.

    It's not our job to prune the unfruitful vines either. Read John 15:1-6. Whose job is it to snap off the bad branches? God's. Whose job is it to cast the non-fruit producing branches into the fire? God's. What's our job? We are to hang on to the vine and produce fruit. Didn't Jesus say, "Let the one without sin cast first stone?" Didn't he also say "Don't worry with the splinter in the other guy's eye until you deal with the log in your own?" Jesus tells us time and time again not to worry about others but take care of ourselves.

  2. Unity not Division Gives Us Strength and Blessings

    Read Psalm 133 with me. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Unity is good and pleasant to God. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; That's a lot of oil. Unity is like a precious oil poured upon us and lots of it. This reminds me of the abundant life Jesus promised and the overflowing cup David spoke of in Psalm 23. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. In unity we receive God's blessing.

    Not only is there blessing to be had from unity but strength as well. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." This is why unity is important but the devil doesn't want us to be unified.

    Romans 15:5-6
    1. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
    2. That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    God gets greater glory from unified voices. Everybody turn to your neighbor and just say whatever pops in your head on 3. 1…2…3… It was noisy but so what. I couldn't tell what any of you said. Now on 3 say, "Glory to God." 1…2…3… Unity made it louder. Unity of the message made it stronger, louder, and clearer.

    In our strength we can better fulfill our missions. That brings us to the next point.

  3. We Must Unite for the Sake of Others

    When it comes to reaching others, the church is its own worst enemy. Our own internal struggles keep others turned off and tuned out. We consistently cripple the message when we claim salvation by faith alone but cast doubts on those who believe side issues differently. Jesus Christ gave a new commandment to us. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35) Love one another so others can tell a difference is what he says here.

    This was so important that our loving Savior prayed for oneness in His final hours. He did not want to die but did what the Father said had to be done. Having committed himself to the cross he prayed for the twelve disciples and the many that would follow after them. He prayed "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17:21-23) Four times in this short passage he prays for our oneness and twice he tells why. It is so the world may know him. Until we quit fighting like the world it won't see a difference. Until we act as one, why would the world want to be like us?

So now we see not only how divisions come about but why we must do something about them. Let us now look at one final question.

What do we do?

Next week we will look at the answer to this question …

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.