Wednesday, December 07, 2016

December 7, 2016 ... Together in Christ

Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 342

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from The Gettys singing their song … By Faith … poignantly and powerfully singing that the only we way we can be unified in spirit is to surrender to God’s Spirit in faith and follow our Lord TOGETHER!

Highlight Verse: Ephesians 4:3 [NKJV] …  
… 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
… But do we?
Highlight Passage [context]: Ephesians 4:1-6 … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, exhorts Christians to be unified, … even in our differences.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : ... Isaiah 53:6 … 
6 All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 
… Only in/thru Christ can we find the unity of His cleansing for our selfishness and sinfulness.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : ... 1st Corinthians 12: 12-13 … 
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 
… We are many - and different - but unified by God’s Spirit into ONE Body, … the Body of Christ.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : ... Philippians 2:1-2 … 
1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 
… God, thru Paul, so wanted (and now wants) all in His body to come together and find unity from/in His Spirit. My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Marvin Williams, uses a poignant natural illustration to teach on how our differences can come together in unity through our face and surrender to God’s Spirit. He writes: Seeing three large predatory animals cuddle and play together is extremely unusual. Yet this is precisely what happens daily in an animal sanctuary in Georgia. In 2001, after months of neglect and abuse, a lion, a Bengal tiger, and a black bear were rescued by Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary. “We could have separated them,” said the assistant director. “But since they came as a kind of family, we decided to keep them together.” The trio had found comfort in each other during their time of mistreatment, and, despite their differences, they live peacefully together. 

Does this photo image of those three, as well as the linked song and these Scriptures, speak to you as strongly as they do to me? Because I see so much discord and division surrounding and involving God’s chosen ones these days.

Yes, as Isaiah prophesied (see Is. 53:6 above), we are different and our individuality, especially our selfishness, drives us apart. Even God’s church has allowed denominationalism and division to weaken its impact on the world. But the rest of God’s truth (see passages above), speaks to the reality that, like those creatures in the photo, we can, as the Gettys sing, come together in the unity of our faith and surrender to receive God’s enabling grace to be His UNIFIED BODY and giving Him glory on earth.

How about we all do ALL we can to make that happen and allow others to see God’s created and chosen ones come together in love … as His word commands … to impact the world for Christ?

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, help us as Your Body to come together in faith and unity and serve Your kingdom for Your glory. ... Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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