[CF Devotionals] 2014-06-17 - Hummingbird Churches

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Richard and I have had the privilege and fun of observing, studying and feeding Hummingbirds for the last 25 years. To us, they are among God's most amazing creatures. Among other feats, they are able to fly over 500 miles non-stop during migration, and they can hover like a helicopter. One additional thing that we have observed, is that Hummingbirds are consistenly territorial. While they aren't concerned with others species of birds, they fight a lot among themselves. In fact, they sometimes seem to spend as much time chasing each other off, as they do drinking!

Doesn't this remind you of some churches? We are so blessed to be part of a peaceful church. In fact, our church home is the least contentious, and most congenial church of which we have ever been a part. But this has not always been so. There is so much infighting in some congregations, that the members get consumed with that, and lose sight of the missions and goals of the churches.

James 1:4 (MSG) Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.

There are countless causes of the divisions and arguments - from what kind of music to use, to how closely the church needs to adhere to denominational rules (which varies widely, by denomination.), to deep theological issues - to where to buy flowers for special occasions.

In addition to detracting from God's mission for the church, infighting can also sully the church's witness among non-believers.

John 17:20-23
The Message (MSG)

(Christ said:) I'm praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind –
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they'll be as unified and together as we are –
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.

We are all human, and sometimes we will get caught up in peripheral issues. But we need to pray for help with the peaceful resolution of differences, as well as staying on focus, so we can accomplish so much more of what God has planned for us.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser

All scripture references are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.

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