Unity in Diversity

October 20, 2014

Unity in Diversity

Romans 12:16
[Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Why is it we struggle so much with our human relationships with other people? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if everyone thought just like us, even if they could just see that the way that we think is the best way to do things? Unfortunately and maybe fortunately, we are quite diverse in how we solve our problems and deal with the issues of life. While that is not so much a problem if we are dealing with just us, it becomes quite a challenge when we are in relationships where we need to be in one accord concerning decisions and policies of how we want to do things. We all have different ideas of how something should be. Often it is not a question of one being right and one being wrong, except perhaps in their own eyes, it is more a matter of being in one accord and reaching a common ground where we can share and come into agreement though we differ in opinion and logic. This is the crux of life, whether it is in business and working relationships, marriage, family, the body of Christ, no matter what the relations, it is often a challenge to come into one mind. How do we find unity in the diversity of our personalities and ways of thinking and viewing things? Well, obviously the world has come up with many ways of dealing with these issues, monarchies, dictatorships, socialism, totalitarianism, democracies and even theocracy.
Perhaps you are struggling in a relationship today. In secular relationships we seek to have the mind of Christ and as Romans 12:18 puts it, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” What about our Christian relationships, our marriages and our families, these areas that we all struggle with daily? Unfortunately we don’t have a much better record at these relationships than the world does, but we should because we have what they don’t have, Christ. If we have committed ourselves to live our lives under the theocracy of God’s will then what our efforts should be focused on is not what my will or my way is or what yours is, but what is the mind of God concerning our decisions. Do we come to the bargaining table with different agendas and different priorities? How do we arrive at peaceable solutions? First, are all parties willing to lay down their rights, agendas and opinions to submit to what God’s will is in a particular area of dissension? Are we willing to approach our differences with respect for one another and our differences of opinion, realizing that we are all made up of strengths and weaknesses? Are we willing to give place to someone else’s gifting or strength in an area? Are we willing to lay these differences at the altar and unselfishly pursue the Lord’s will through praying together and seeking the mind of the Lord? That’s probably not normally our way, but it should be. Are we all honest in our dealings and can we bring our feelings under submission to the Lord? We often want to resolve our differences emotionally which usually only further polarizes us rather than unifying us. Are we willing to come with unselfishness in our hearts and pursue the end that best meets the needs of all concerned? Our God is a God of Peace and He wants us to pursue peaceable means through His love that is within us by being longsuffering, courteous, respectful and giving place to one another.
It comes back to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5).” He became a servant though He was Lord of all and laid down His life for us. We need this mind to be the servant of one another working, living and giving what is best for the benefit of others and not just ourselves. When we get ourselves out of the picture then resolution to our conflicts and differences becomes much easier. Love is about our desire to give and not just to get. The more this love is working in the hearts of all concerned the easier our differences will be resolved and we will find unity in our diversity.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (Philippians 2:13-16).”

Blessings,
#kent

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Our Priestly Calling

December 30, 2013

Our Priestly Calling


1 Samuel 2:21-24

And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD. Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for [it is] no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress. 


In the days of young Samuel the prophet we read of the priest who raised him up in the house of the Lord named Eli.  We read also of the corruption that was in the priesthood through his sons Hophni and Phinehas.  1 Samuel 2:12 says, “Now the sons of Eli [were] sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.”  Belial means worthlessness, good for nothing, unprofitable, wicked, ruin and destruction.   The Word indicates these were very base fellows abusing and misusing their office as priests, along with the offerings, sacrifices and the people.  1 Samuel 2: 17-18 tells us, “Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, [being] a child, girded with a linen ephod.” One more account in 1 Samuel 2:22-26, we hear the words of Eli denouncing their behavior.  “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for [it is] no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.”  It is interesting that at each juncture where we read about the wickedness of Eli’s sons, we read about the spiritual growth and stature of little Samuel.  Samuel was growing up to be the anti-type of Eli’s wicked sons.  Even though he grew up in a household of evil practices and wickedness, Samuel chose righteousness, fear of the Lord and fellowship with the Almighty. 

What is the practical application to us in our relationship with the Lord today?  We see Jesus, somewhat like the type of Samuel growing in the office of a priest, but not of the same order as the natural priesthood which had become corrupt and even anti-christ  in nature.  Hebrews 7:26-28 tells us, speaking of Jesus, “26Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Revelations 1:10, 5:6 and 20:6 all talk about the saints and how we are the kings and priests of God.  1 Peter 2:9 declares, “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”  The lesson here is that we are now God’s priesthood.  Do you ever think of yourself as a priest; a representative, ambassador, and officer of His Holiness?  What manner of priests are we in our walk and ministry toward the Lord?  Do we honor and reverence the holy office that God has set us in or are we more like Hophni and Phinehas?  God is raising up the little Samuels of this generation who will minister and walk before Him in righteousness and truth.  We do not want to be a part of the corruption of the former house that uses religion for gain and is a stumbling block to others.  We are exhorted to “abstain against fleshly lust that war against the soul.”  We must learn by God’s grace and strength to live and operate in the calling and office of our priesthood toward God, honoring Him with our lives, our obedience and our sacrificial living and giving.  We are a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, called forth out of darkness into His marvelous light to manifest the qualities and attributes of our High Priest and King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Blessings,

kent

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