Focus 40 Day 24: Extreme Living—Unity for a Greater Purpose
Prayer Focus: Pray to know God’s will – Col. 1:9
Extreme Living—Unity for a Greater Purpose
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
—John 17:20–21 (NIV)
DO YOU REALIZE JESUS is actually praying for you in this verse? You are in the Scriptures! He is praying for the unity of his church. He prays we will be one even as he is one with the Father.
Unity is for a purpose; it is more than unity for unity’s sake. Yes, we are one body whether we are nondenominational, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Pentecostal, and that is a truth we need to remind ourselves of often. But our unity is for more than simply having a unity service where the children of God learn to get along and appreciate others.
We are to be one so that the world will believe the Father sent Jesus. If that is true, then the converse of that would be that if we are not one with others in the body of Christ the world will not believe. That is the reality we live in presently. The church of Jesus, as a whole, is divided and working in independent silos. We find reasons to divide and separate over doctrine, practice, strategy, race, and more. No wonder the world doesn’t trust us to tell it how to love.
Let’s be the first to reach our hands across the divide. Let’s practice what we believe by dedicating a part of every week to connecting with other churches, other ministries, and individuals to live like we are one church in our city. (We just have different names on our buildings.) The cause of Christ is at stake. Imagine what we could do if we worked as one to go after the big things in our cities that none of us could do alone.
Lord, show us how to connect with other believers and humbly ask you what we can only do if we do it together. Amen.
Rev. Gary Kendall, Pastor