Unity – Playing for the Same Team
Do you have unity in your life? Are you united with not just your immediate family, friends, and local church congregation but do you cherish the unity you hold with other Christ believers? This week, my husband asked me if I was familiar with Ecclesiastes 4:12 and if I wasn’t to look it up. It was his morning devotion that day and he wanted my thoughts. So, I looked it up to see where he was going with this and realized that this verse was really about unity. Binding together with others to stand strong as a unit is the way God designed us to be. We are to be part of a team working together not for ourselves, but for God.
I am not a big sports fan, ok for those of you who know me personally it is clear that I am not sports oriented in the least, but there are some analogies in sports that apply very easily to life. I recently read a quote by Herman Edwards when he was a coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. As he spoke his thoughts about teamwork he said, “The players that play on this football team will play for the name on the side of the helmet and not the name on the back of the jersey. This is the type of unity that is also expected of Christian believers. We are to be unified and working for the glory of God and not for ourselves or our individual denominations. This is The Three Musketeers mentality, “One for all, and all for one (Un pour tous, tous pour un).
Christ’s Prayer for Unity
This concept is so important that in one of Jesus’ last prayers before His death, He prayed that His disciples be unified so they could stand together as a powerful witness, so the world could clearly see God’s love. His prayer is one that focuses on the importance of unity and its relationship to both the Father and the Son. In our world of consistent individualism and the divisions seen through multiple differences of race, gender, sexuality, marriage, abortions, and religion to name just a few, unity is needed more today than ever, and this is not just the secular world but among believers as well. The world we live in needs to see the love of Christ, but it is only through the unity of believers in Him that the world can stand witness to see His love.
The earth often appears as a hopeless place and one in which we prefer to isolate ourselves from not only its dangers but its influences. But when we do this, we weaken the ties that bind us to Christ. For as King Solomon recognized if we don’t know who, what, or why we are working the pleasures of the world become meaningless and depressing. But when we work together as believers and for the God who loves us, we not only help each other but display the love of God to the world. We may be only one but with the binding of ourselves to another believer, we turn into two which can then bind again multiplying the love of God into overwhelming amounts.
Vesta Kelly pointed out that snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things but the impact they can have on their environment when they stick together is astounding. Likewise, when we as Christians bind together, we remember who we are serving and confirm that we are not on earth to serve ourselves but to serve God and others. We are to be a team, working together with all, for all.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent Me.John 17:21
What Does Unity Among Believers Look Like?
Unity among believers can’t begin until each believer is living individually in union with God. For just as Christ taught us, each branch of the vine lives only because of the vine. It is the vine that unites all the other branches unto itself. Once a believer unites with God, the main branch of life, then we can go beyond our individual range of limits surpassing the differences we see in others.
As we remember that not one believer is greater than or more privileged than another we work together in humility. We can pray for other believers and nonbelievers alike. This is a place where we can work on building each other up instead of tearing each other apart. As our ties of unity grow stronger, we steadily give of our time and money to help others while avoiding the pitfalls of gossip and refusing to get sidetracked arguing over unimportant matters as we remember we serve one God.
A.W. Tozer, in his book, The Pursuit of God, said that if one hundred pianos are all tuned to the same fork, they are automatically tuned to each other. They are of one accord by simply being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each individual instrument must bow to. Likewise, so one hundred worshipers worshiping together are nearer in unity or heart to each other as they look towards Christ than they would be if they turned away from God and strove for closer fellowship. It is the unity through God that brings unity to one another.
Unified Only Through Christ
Our differences should not separate us from our fellow believers. We should purposely seek out and appreciate people who are not just like us, our family, or our friends. It is in this way we demonstrate to the world that we are unified as one through the love of Christ and this love extends to all.
Won’t you find the challenge to unify yourself first to God and then to other believers no matter how different they may seem to you. Find your conviction to be one through the power of Christ so you can show the world His love. Allow your motivation to derive from your knowledge that this is the prayer that Christ prayed for all His disciples, one of which you are. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that Christ loves each and everyone in the world and wants nothing more than to offer life to all, through the unity of His connection to the Father.
Love in Christ,
You can’t have unity without diversity.Richard Twiss
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you witnessed the strength of unity among believers? Do you clearly see how the love of Christ is demonstrated when we bind ourselves together serving Christ? Share your thoughts on the necessary unity among believers along with positive accomplishments of discipleship demonstrated to the world at large.