United in Love by Scarlett Stough

The only glue that can hold individuals or groups together is a common love—a common devotion. Sometimes this devotion is in the form of a common cause, such as patriotism. Sometimes it comes in the form of people looking to a charismatic person for that common glue.

The Scriptures recognize only One who is the only lasting unifying force: God in Christ by the Holy Spirit.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
Philippians 2:1-2

Often Christians believe the only unity that counts is the "we believe" list of doctrine all members must accept to be in "good standing" within the denomination. Scripture instructs us about a unity that includes diversity, not defined by conformity:

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Colossians 2:2-5

We find it way too easy to read over these familiar scriptures without noticing and imprinting the message on our hearts so we can apply them to real life. Meditating on each word and phrase with prayer can give us all a better understanding of how we can love with genuine love which can transform all our relationships.

Even our witness to the world is compromised by our ignorance of how love produces unity. Jesus instructed his disciples:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35

Our knowledge will never be complete; our common knowledge we accept as truth may never in this life achieve unity.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13

Unity brought about by a common love of God through acceptance of Jesus as God's son and the indwelling Holy Spirit is possible. Do we want that unity created by love enough to be willing to pursue it?

Volume 17 Issue 05 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review |

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