Monday, January 24, 2011

Unity

Yesterday we preached about how God's desire for his church is that the many should be one! The illustration from I Corinthians 12 was the body as many members, yet one body. I like the imagery because it's simple...and it's something that a child can understand (I kinda reverted to old school children's ministry talking about the fingers poking the eye who said he didn't need the hand and the pinkie competing with the biceps muscle for strength - flex your pinky now!)

I taught yesterday that this oneness is possible by the Holy Spirit that lives in each of us and works towards our unity. He is constantly moving inside of us helping us have the proper attitude towards others. Unity and peace are big Holy Spirit words. But how does that play out in every day life? Below are some Monday morning pastor thoughts.

1. Pray for weaker members. Is someone in your church struggling, pray for them.
2. Pray for humility. Are you a visible body part, pray for God to help you remember that He is the head!
3. Care for the people around you. Talk to everyone you can. Ask how they are doing? Genuinely get into their lives with conversation. Spend time with the people in your small group outside of meeting time. Meet their needs.
4. Give members of the body you don't see eye to eye with the benefit of the doubt. Trust the hearts and minds of everyone in the church to be set on Jesus. Ultimately, that is the desire of Christ followers even when they disagree with you.
5. Forgive members of the body who have harmed you. Don't make them ask...forgive them before God and move on. Over time and many prayers you will find you heart goes out to them.

Just some food for thought.

Had a great weekend speaking at the men's retreat for Grace Church in Normal. Great time with some cool, Jesus-loving brothers. What a privilege to share in this audience that is easy to relate to (after all I am a guy). Last night, got to pray with some college age people at FUEL during a decision time. What a great ministry going on there. This week, I'm heading to Knoxville TN to watch my youngest play basketball on the campus of the holy land (my alma mater - Johnson Bible College). Looking forward to it. After all the years of watching him play as a kid, it's always cool to watch your kid do something...even if he is 19 years old.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always hear the same thing in my head..."You don't belong". I feel that to my core. Hearing I do belong at Eastview was a gift.

Be careful on your travel to Tennessee
Have fun!

Kerry said...

Thanks for your message Sunday, Mike. What a great reminder that we all have significance as a part of Christ's church. I was intrigued by your choice of body parts to illustrate that not all of us are gifted in ways that warrant high visibility -- the elbow and the back of the knee. Then, as I was watching the Bears/Packers game it all started to make sense. Images of Jay Cutler's bloodied elbow in the first half invoked chuckles about the irony of your comments. But when he was taken out of the game due to what was later found to be a torn MCL (a ligament that runs along the inner side of the knee), I realized what was going on. I don't know HOW you did it, Mike, but you certainly proved your point: bad elbow and bad knee definitely render the body ineffective. And if the Bears have to miss a chance to go to the Super Bowl so the church can grasp a spiritual truth, I suppose it's worth it. But next time, would you mind messing with Aaron Rodgers to prove your point??? Thanks, Bro!