2010-09-02 - Division in the
Continuing from last week's devotional, here are the three reasons why we
should be concerned by division in the church...
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
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.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be
likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
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
noisy but so what. I couldn't tell what any of you said. Now on 3 say, "Glory
to God." 1
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
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
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.