My Journal for Today: Pride, both individually and/or collectively in a group, can often lead to partisanship within a family or organization – and yes, … even in a church. And when partisanship raises its ugly face in a church, it can destroy any sense of unity to which Paul wrote about to the Corinthians in today’s passage or to Christians in Asia-Minor in Ephesians 4: 1-5 [linked] …
A few years ago, our church experienced the disunity produced by partisanship when, through a drastic set of circumstances, our former Pastor left our body and drew a number of members from our church to a new church which he started up, … I assume in anger. It was an ugly situation. And shortly thereafter, another local congregation, very close to our church divided, as factions took “sides” over the issue of how their church is to be governed. In both situations, the foundation of the divisiveness was and/or is PRIDE being manifest in denial or disobedience over the first part of Luke 9: 23 … and that is, … to follow Christ we must first deny ourselves
John MacArthur, as he was writing for today’s entry in Strength for Today, correctly pointed out that the way to avoid partisanship is for ALL in any group or church … any body of believers … to be surrendered to God’s Spirit, focusing on Christ through His word, and holding tightly to a spirit of gratitude for God’s providence and His promises. To summarize MacArthur, he is saying that this spirit of surrender and search for God’s way, rather than a search to fulfill ourselves or be in control, will, in turn, fulfill Luke 9: 23 in the pursuit of Savior over self. And when we, in any church/group, do what Christ commanded in that passage, we will never divide, but rather come together, in our common focus, … Who is Christ! I think about a picture something like this …
[Me].... Following Christ
[You] ...... Following Christ
[Others]..... Following Christ
There will never be partisanship, disunity, and/or disobedience when this model is followed and/or maintained by the people of God. Paul said it to the Corinthians (in 1st Cor. 11: 1) … that the Corinthians could follow him [Paul] because he was following Christ. And that is what defeats partisanship and gives victory to Christ through His Church in the world.
My Prayer Today: I follow You, Lord; and so anyone following me, pursues You as well. Amen