PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Understanding UnityJustin Smith
1 Cor.1.10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
This may be a slight stretch, possibly a far stretch, but as I read through 1 Cor. 1, I immediately thought about one of my latest addictions, “The Sing Off”. The premise of The Sing Off is that acapella groups compete for a recording contract and a cash prize. Each group is comprised of a rhythm section, a human beat box and bass “player”, a lead vocalist and 3-12 background vocals. Again, the smallest group is 5 and the largest is 15, and their job is to make music with no “music”. There are no instruments, no click, no tracks, just a mic and their voice, and their job is to make it sound as beautiful and full as possible. To accomplish this goal they have to be in perfect synchronization, both in tempo and in pitch, each person doing their part. If one goes off they all sound bad. If one decides to deviate they will all be sent home. These individuals are united by one purpose, the music, for one goal, the money. There was dissension in the church at Corinth as members solidified allegiances and loyalty to particular church leaders. Arguing and division arose as these factions were created. Their purpose was divided, their goals were different, and without change their demise was quickly approaching. Paul appealed to them under one authority, that of Jesus Christ, to one vision- harmony, and for one purpose- to preach the good news. Without a common purpose, vision, and goal, uniting people, -- fleshly, self-centered, prideful people like me -- is inconceivable, thus for unity to happen each person must surrender for the sake of the greater good.
It’s interesting that both of God’s greatest directives, accepting the Gospel and loving others in unity, take death. As Jesus gave everything, to the point of death, he asks us to do the same, give everything to the point of death – death of our pride, our desires, our ways, and our rights. Unity with God was impossible without a death, Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, and unity with people is impossible without death, of myself. Is unity easy, by no means! So what can assist me in accomplishing unity?
- Accepting and pursuing One authority -- Jesus
- Accepting and pursuing One vision – Harmony
- Accepting and pursuing One purpose – To preach the Good News
Lord, thank you for dying that I might be united in relationship with you. Please enable me to surrender to this calling to die to myself that I might stand in unity with those you have blessed me with. May we be united that you might receive great glory.