Unity

September 13, 2014


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SCRIPTURE

As a prisoner of the Lord, I urge you: Live a life that is worthy of the calling He has graciously extended to you. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. Make every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit has already created, with peace binding you together. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were all called to pursue one hope. There is one Lord Jesus, one living faith, one ceremonial washing through baptism, and one God.

~Ephesians 6:1-4, The VOICE

QUOTE

In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.

~Richard Baxter

my thoughts red

Unity is one of Paul’s constant themes. To the Philippians Paul said, “One thing would complete my joy—come together as one in mind and spirit and purpose, sharing in the same love. Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first. Paul mentions four Unity killers:

  1. Selfish Ambition
  2. Prideful Agendas
  3. Personal Prestige
  4. Pursuing Self-Interest

I want to share with you a long quote from William Barclay: “It is in many ways true to say that prestige is for many people an even greater temptation than wealth. To be admired, to be respected, to have a platform seat, to have one’s opinion sought, to be known by our name or appearance, to be listened to, to have a certain degree of fame, or even the desire to be flattered is for many the most desirable thing.” All four problems mentioned above can be summed up in one word “Selfishness.” Paul also gives us four conditions for unity:

  1. A Personal Relationship with Christ
  2. A Willingness to Work With One Another
  3. A Spirit of Love and Tolerance for One Another
  4. A Desire to Work Together for a Common Goal

Things That Require Unity/Oneness

  1. An effective Church/Our message is compromised if we do not work together
  2. Getting the Gospel to the World
  3. A Platoon of Marines
  4. A Sports Team: Football, basketball, Rowing, etc.
  5. A band
  6. An orchestra/Choir
  7. Rescue Workers like Fireman
  8. Mountain Climbing/White Water Rafting
  9. Block Party
  10. Any Task, Mission of Objective that is gigantic in scope like sending men to the Moon.

Questions To Ponder?

  1. Why is unity a difficult thing to maintain in a church?
  2. Is it fair to judge someone based on how they treat others?
  3. What is the most difficult thing about giving preference to others?
  4. Do most relationship problems get solved overnight?
  5. Why are we not willing to take the time to work with others?
  6. What would you do if you heard someone being unjustly critical of Danville Baptist Church? [a] Keep your membership a secret [b] Agree with the critic and pile on [c] Attempt to give the person correct information about the Church.
  7. We cannot create Unity, the Holy Spirit creates Unity but we can preserve the unity. Can you think of a way that we could work to guard the unity of the church.
  8. When you do not get your way in church, at home or at work: how do you respond? [a] Pout [b] Give preference to others by going along with the majority [c] Become withdrawn and critical [d] hold a grudge [e] Work covertly to undermine what the group is attempting to accomplish.
  9. Do you work with or know someone who you suspect has a hidden agenda? Why to people keep their motives a secret?
  10. What is the most difficult thing about being open with your agenda? [a] Fear of misunderstanding [b] Fear of rejection [3] Fear of criticism.

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25 Things That People In Healthy Relationships Do Not Do

  1. They don’t rush the present state of their relationships to get to better times ahead.
  2. They don’t expect their relationships to solve all their problems.
  3. They don’t expect their relationships to be easy.
  4. They don’t let fear overpower their love and trust.
  5. They don’t keep secrets.
  6. They don’t fake their feelings.
  7. They don’t hide who they are.
  8. They don’t look to others for validation of their identity.
  9. They don’t hold hateful grudges.
  10. They don’t focus on the unchangeable past.
  11. They don’t expect their loved ones to always be strong.
  12. They don’t focus on people’s flaws.
  13. They don’t give out of obligation, or because they want to be paid back.
  14. They don’t take their relationships for granted.
  15. They don’t just show up when times are good.
  16. They don’t try to constantly “fix” the people they care about.
  17. They don’t talk when they need to listen.
  18. They don’t take everything personally.
  19. They don’t neglect their own self-awareness.
  20. They don’t say “yes” when they need to say “no.”
  21. They don’t let people hold them back indefinitely.
  22. They don’t resist or interfere with other people’s growth.
  23. They don’t rebound and rush into replacement relationships.
  24. They don’t look at past relationships as failures.
  25. They don’t let what’s behind them define them.

Students revival

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