Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
We all know from experience that when we deliberately choose to work together in Kingdom activity it can become a frustrating experience. But God calls us simply to do our part and leave the results to Him. So, what is my part in helping to lead towards unity in the community God has planted me, be that marriage, family, church or marketplace?
In this first of three devotionals let’s consider some very practical attitudes and actions we can embrace with the goal of unity in the Body in mind;
The first is; I can only pass on what I have first received.
In a number of places in the Bible we come across this principle:
- “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
- We are merciful because he has been merciful to us (Luke 6:36),
- We forgive in the same way that Jesus has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).
- We give freely because we have first received freely from God (Matthew 10:8).
To lead well in growing good quality relationships in my community begins with my own heart first being changed by understanding God’s heart towards me.
Rico Tice uses a great illustration in the “Life Explored” Course. He describes the Banqueting House, a building in London that has a magnificent ceiling painted by Reubens in the 1600s. Visitors coming to view the masterpiece used to have to crane their necks to look up and after a while, in that position, they literally got a pain in the neck! Now visitors have the option to view the ceiling with the aid of mirrors that they can wheel about on carts. The beauty of the ceiling is reflected in the mirror!
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
In God’s Kingdom, He is the Beautiful King and we are the mirrors simply called to reflect His beauty and glory within our people system. When our gaze is focused on His glory – when we behold Him for Who He really is – we embrace the great beauty of His heart, such as love, mercy, forgiveness, longsuffering, patient kindness, loyalty, faithfulness, and joy, it draws us deeper into His heart. This is the place of transformation! We can never be the same people!
What image of God do I behold? Am I making sure my faith focus is filled by the One True Living God of Scripture Who has already revealed His heart? If I struggle to be humble, to forgive or to esteem others as more important than myself, this will tell me more about what kind of god I functionally worship, than anything I pray or sing about.
What others experience in their relationship with ME, will reflect my experience of God in my relationship with HIM.
- How do you instinctively relate to others in the Body of Christ who irritate you or offend you? Can you recognize a pattern?
- What might this suggest about how you believe God relates to you?
- Where do you need to repent of holding beliefs about God that are not worthy of Him? Be encouraged that as you invite the Person Of Christ to reveal His true heart to yours, you will become a much brighter reflective mirror of His mercy and grace towards others.
 “Life Explored” course, Christianity Explored Ministries