“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”1
During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the brethren assemblies, half complied, and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.
When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally, they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ’s commands. Then they came together.
Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, "What did you do then?" "We were just one," he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.2
Although the story above is from many years ago, it seemed so relevant for our world today as well. It seems like the matters around us have caused division between many brethren due to differing opinions. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinions, we have allowed these opinions to create a barrier among us. However, it is important to remember something… as children of God, we are ONE. Christ is our foundation, and that alone should unite us as we draw closer to Him. When we realize that everything happening in our world is temporary and shift our focus to the things above, we should feel a sense of urgency to work, united, in reaching others for Christ. We know that the Bible says things will get worse before Jesus returns, so let’s invest our energy and effort in doing God’s will while there is still time.
When love and unity prevail among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it is a vivid testimony to the world of a true follower of Christ.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, I ask that you allow me to be a presence of peace, and that I would seek to build unity and not division. I pray that the unity among your children, even in times of disagreement, would bring others to a personal relationship with Jesus. I know that this world is not my home, and I ask that you help us remain steadfast in You, our Foundation, as we work together to fulfill your will. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT).
Illustration from Our Daily Bread, October 4, 1992.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.