We are in the midst of the holiday season and we are rushing to and fro as the Bible says in Daniel, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” Dan 12:4 (NKJV). We are living in the end times and we cannot get caught up in the ways of the world. Time is running out and there are many lost people who need to hear of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are so many signs around us that we are living in the end times: weird weather patterns, running to and fro, increase of knowledge and others. How will you spend these end days? Will you be shopping for the best Christmas gifts or sharing your faith? I pray that you will not be caught up in the chaos of this world. Christmas is the perfect time to share the gospel. We cannot assume that everyone in the U.S. or around the world knows the reason we celebrate Christmas. I taught an afterschool Bible club in an elementary school and a little girl in my group had no idea why we celebrated Easter. Her only church experience was Vacation Bible School. I couldn’t believe that a child in America, with a church on every street corner, had never heard the reason for Easter. Never assume that people know the reason for our faith.
If the church wants to make a difference in America, we as believers need to have unity. Jesus said in His high priestly prayer that the world would believe He was sent by God by our unity (John 17:21). I will make a list of 10 Bible Verses speaking of unity. We need to learn why we need unity, what it looks like and how to obtain it. The only way to learn these things is to study the Word of God. This is what we call a Word Study, when we look up verses which use the same word, such as unity. I will list 10 of them below. Please pray that the church in America will have unity of Spirit. I encourage you to not only read these verses, but read the chapter of the Bible which they come from. You can then learn the who, what, where, when and why of unity.
1. “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:22-23 (NKJV)
2. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1 Cor. 1:10
3. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:11-16 (NKJV)
4. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalms 133:1 (NKJV)
5. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV)
6. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Romans 12:16 (NKJV)
7. Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:1-4 (NKJV)
8. Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Eccl 4:9-12 (NKJV)
9. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NKJV)
10. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:32-33 (NKJV)
Look at #10 to see the result of unity. They all had great power in their witness and great grace was upon them all. The church is powerless today because we choose to keep our pet sins and we lack unity.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!