Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of LivingFree.org

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Today's Scripture
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28 NIV

Thoughts for Today
Yesterday we looked at Jesus' prayer for his followers to be one as he and the Father are one. In today's scripture the apostle Paul talks more about that unity. He makes it clear that in the body of believers no distinction is made because of race, social standing, or gender - that we "are all one in Christ Jesus."

Complete unity means all parts, though differing in background, function, and appearance, act as one unit. As a body of believers, we act as one unit in making Christ visible to the world.

Is that what we are doing? Does the world look at us and see loving unity? Or do they see jealousy, competition, gossip, backbiting, bickering . . . and more.

Consider this …
Denominational differences can tear us apart. The Pharisees and Sadducees fought about doctrine. Doctrine they developed. Rules. Traditions. They cared much more about power and about being "right" than about love. Love for God. Love for one another. Love for others. Are we doing the same thing? The gospel is vital. We cannot compromise on that. But what about all these other dos and don'ts we have developed. The differing interpretations of isolated scriptures? Can't we agree to differ on that and focus on the gospel?

Sometimes ministries compete with one another instead of working together to accomplish God's plan.

And personal differences. "Sharing" prayer requests can become a veil for gossip. Personality conflicts or pride issues lead to bickering and unforgiveness. Racial or social distinctions separate us.

How do we change? How do we unify? How do we become one? By allowing the Holy Spirit to unite us in heart, in mind, in spirit, and in motivation. Otherwise, we will never succeed in overcoming our differences.

Prayer
Lord, forgive me for being motivated by pride, unforgiveness, and prejudices. Help me remember that Christ calls us to be one in him. Help me be sensitive and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …



One Nation Under God: Toward Race Reconciliation
by Donna Saunders, Ph.D. and Jean Leak, MS, RN. This study discusses barriers between people and shows how to make Christ visible through love in action. This guide also offers the way to strengthen and bond relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


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