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September 28, 2012

Unbreakable, Unshakable, Unity

by LDI Global Missions

“And all that believed were together…” (Acts 2:44).

 “Now Peter and John went up together…” (Acts 3:1).

An old Arab proverb teaching the importance of unity says,“One hand alone does not clap.” No one is a whole chain.  Each one is a link on the chain.  No one is a whole team but each one is a player. We need each other. It has been rightfully said, “No man is an island unto himself.”  We must have each other in order to survive. An Akan proverb says, “Hands go! Hands come!” We must have each other!  Another proverb says, “It is the right arm that scratches the left arm.” Both of these proverbs expose our need of one another.

Unity has great impact on any organization.  Where would the military be without unity?  Would the football team win without unity and teamwork?  Can a business progress when there is no unity among the partners?  Can a marriage be happy if the husband and wife refuse to work together?  Unity gets the job done! The Early Church was together and in one accord; their motives were correct.  God brings unity.  The devil wants to bring disunity and strife. God brings love. Satan brings jealousy. God brings faith. Satan brings doubt. God adds and multiplies.  Satan subtracts and divides.

Unity is the mark of a true Christian. This type of unity existed in the Early Church. In fact, the Church came into existence when the people had one mind. “And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).

The Bible says in Acts 2:42, 44-47 that they broke bread together, with the spirit of love being strong. They sold all they had to meet the needs of each person.  This true unity prevailed.  The world took note and the Christians had favor with all the people.  Jesus proclaimed the world would know we are His disciples when we have love one for another (John 13:35).  It has been said, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Paul asked the question, “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13).

 

The Scriptures abound with admonitions concerning unity:

“…Building fitly framed together….ye also are builded together” (Ephesians 2:20-22).

“Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

“One mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:27).

“One mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8).

“…Knit together as one man” (Judges 20:11).

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

“Two are better than one….For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow…If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).

One strand of string can be easily broken by a child.  But when many strings are tied together to make a rope, together they can withstand much pressure.

Unity prevails in the church when we focus on Jesus Christ.  We must be one.  (One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God, One Salvation Plan, One Gospel, One Spirit, and One Bible.)

A French children’s story emphasizes the point of unity. It is called, “Rock (Stone) Soup.”  Some hungry soldiers were coming home from a war. One soldier knocked on the door of a house in a small village and asked the women who answered for a pot of water to make the rock (stone) soup. He showed the lady the special stone and she quickly complied.

Soon some of the villagers gathered to watch.  “Does anyone have some matches and wood for a fire,” the soldier asked.  One of the villagers supplied the wood and matches.  The pot of water was placed on the fire and started to boil.

“Will that really make some soup,” some asked.

“Of course,” answered the soldier, “However, it would be better if there was a piece of meat to add.”

One of the onlookers went to her house for meat.

“Now if we only had some tomatoes,” added the soldier.

The story and soup expand until all the village people have contributed to a huge soup and they enjoyed it together.

The church is like that. Romans 12:3-6 tells us we have, “gifts differing according to the measure of grace.”  Our brother adds what he has. Our sister adds the ability she has.  Then God brings it all together into something that can be shared with a hungry world.

by J. G. Poitras

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