Unity of the Brethren

I woke up with an ache in my heart this morning. I couldn’t shake a heavy feeling that seemed to hang over me. I went about my morning routine, but something was missing… peace and joy. My husband saw me and asked why I looked so unhappy. I hadn’t realized that it showed. It made me stop and search my heart to figure out why I was unhappy. Then the tears began to flow. It was because someone I love, a fellow believer had said some unkind things about other believers.

I don’t believe there is a denomination that has perfect wisdom regarding God and His ways. My experience is that each one appears to have revelation of one or more of the beautiful facets of our amazing and multi-faceted God. For all the revelation each one has I find that it’s like looking at one star in the sky, for the one that we see, there are billions more we don’t see.

Also, within each of those denominations there are believers at all levels of wisdom and maturity. Each one has its men and women of God that have wisdom beyond this world. Each one has the one who hears the message, but doesn’t really get the spirit and heart of God behind the message and makes a fool of themselves and brings contempt from other believers towards a particular denomination.

When I hear a believer say something unkind about another believer or another denomination my heart sinks. There are many things we may disagree on. There may be many differences in how we worship and serve our God. But we have one very important thing in common. No, not one thing in common, One Person in common… Jesus Christ.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1, KJV)

Our Father which art in heaven Hallowed be thy name… (Luke 11:1, KJV)

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (1 Peter 4:8, KJV)

Don’t look around and see the believer judging you or your denomination. Look within and see where you might not be loving others as He has loved you.

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24, Amp)

We Are Family

…Our Father which art in heaven… (Luke 11:2, KJV)

I was thinking today about a time when some circumstances occurred in my family that led to strife and division. Some took one side. Others took another side. I was caught in the middle refusing to takes anyone’s side but God’s.

There seemed to be no common ground, no chance for coming back together. But this was my family and I wasn’t about to give them up so easily. I prayed for four and half years. Not to get God to do something He didn’t already want to do, but to make room for Him by continuing to agree with God and by refusing to agree with the devil.

What was the devil saying? He was flinging around accusations to try to divide and conquer. You see he knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25). And what stand is the enemy most concerned about, when a house stands in his way as he tries to steal, kill and destroy and when a house, God’s house, not just one church, not just one denomination, but God’s house, God’s family in unity takes a stand for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

…Our Father which art in heaven… (Luke 11:2, KJV)

Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior are part of God’s family now. And we have an enemy who would like to divide and conquer. Let’s not give up our family so easily. Take a stand against the seeds of division and strife the enemy would try to sow and let’s take a stand together for Our Father’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

BEHOLD, HOW good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!… for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore (Psalm 133:1,3; KJV)

Our Father

Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  (Luke 11)

I’ve prayed this prayer all my life. I didn’t note a translation above, because I didn’t copy it out of a particular translation of the Bible. These are the words that from the time I was a young child, were written on my heart.

It’s been like a companion for as long as I can remember. I have prayed these words. I have contemplated these words. These words are woven through my history with God and my future with God.

I remember praying them for so long, because I was supposed to. I also remember the day that I realized what I was praying and I began to pray them in faith, not by rote any longer, but to my God as communion with Him.

Last night something struck me about these words. It was funny to me, that after all these years I hadn’t really noticed or paid attention to one thing in particular about this prayer. It is written in the first person plural. It is a prayer given to us by our Father which art in heaven and even when it is prayed by a single person, it is not just a prayer between God and a man. It is a prayer between God and His people.

It’s not just about me when I pray it. It’s not just about you when you pray it. It’s about us. Even when I pray it by myself, I am reminded that I am a part of something bigger than me. I am a part of the Body of Christ and as I pray this prayer I am praying for myself and the rest of this Body.

It’s been prayed for thousands of years. It’s been prayed by millions of people. It’s been prayed in a multitude of languages. It’s been prayed across denominational lines. And each time across ages, across nations, across denominations that this prayer is prayed, we are all praying and acknowledging, that no matter what our differences are, we have One Father… Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be His Name!

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, whois above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6, KJV)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35, NKJV)