What Unity Isn't
Theme of the week: Racial Unity: It's Worth the Effort
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
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Key Bible Verse: Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. (Ephesians 2:16, The Message) Dig Deeper: Ephesians 2:11-17
Unity is not uniformity, nor is it sameness. Just as the Godhead is made up of three distinct Persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—each unique in personhood and yet at the same time one in essence), unity does not negate individuality. Unity occurs when we combine our unique differences together as we head toward a common goal. It is the sense that the thing that we are gathered for and moving toward is bigger than our own individual preferences.
Through the establishment of the church along with his overarching rulership above it, God has created a reflection of his kingdom in heaven on earth. He has reconciled racially divided groups into one new man (Eph. 2:14-15, NASB), uniting them into a new body (Eph. 2:16) so that the church can function in unity (Eph. 4:13). The church is the place where racial, gender, and class distinctions are no longer to be divisive because of our unity in Christ (Gal. 3:28).
Joining our unique strengths together, we add strength to strength, making a more complete and balanced whole based on our mutual relationship with and commitment to Christ.
—Tony Evans in Oneness Embraced
My Response: What practical steps can I take to encourage greater unity among the Christians in my community who are from different races and cultures?
Thought to Apply: Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.—Martin Luther King JR. (civil rights leader, clergyman)
Adapted from Oneness Embraced (Moody, 2011) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Dear Heavenly Father, open my eyes to areas of racial and cultural insensitivity in my life; show me what steps I need to take to model racial reconciliation and unity in my church and community.
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