Monday, September 21, 2009

Develop Unity by Being Yoked!

This was in my inbox this morning for Command 25, Day 174 with the devotions from IBLS. It just reminded me again of God's perfect timing. We are in a time that there is a spiritual battle front and present. I pray that we all protect ourselves and not let our tongues be used to do satan's work. Protect yourself against being an open vessel. We know that in the end times family and close friends and the "church" being the entire body of believers will fall into pharisee like characteristics. Satan wants to divide and conquer, but we have a power bigger than that available to us. Stay in the word, stay in Christ, fight the good fight. Feel the burning in your muscles as you push through to that finish line. The closer we get to the end times, we will see good people fall and mislead and become false teachers. This is the time to know the scriptures, to know Jesus. So that you can separate the truth. This is the time when the emptiness of the non-believers will be searching and they will either find HIM through us or find reason to not want to know Him. Let us not be the reason another falters. II Tim 3:12 "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Be prepared. Be joyful that we are in the midst of His plan this very second.

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Develop Unity by Being Yoked!

As believers we are all members of the same Body “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (I Corinthians 12:12). Paul reminds believers that because we are yoked together with Christ, we must learn how to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Putting on Christ’s yoke means our love should be evidenced by our words and actions. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another, because “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
Conflicts with fellow believers may reveal that we are out of step with Christ and are acting on the carnal impulses of our own wills.

The purpose of yoking oxen together is not to restrict their freedom, but rather to increase the potential of what they can accomplish. When two oxen are yoked together, they can pull with greater strength than either one could pull individually. The same principle is true for spiritual labors. Scripture states, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow … . And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).

In the church of Philippi, believers were not getting along with each other. Not only were their conflicts damaging their fellowship with one another, but their conflicts were also hindering the spread of the Gospel. Therefore, Paul reminded them that they were yoked to Christ: “I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellows, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel” (Philippians 4:3).

Lack of harmony between believers encourages the world to reject the truth that Christ came to save them. (See John 17:21.)

The tendency among believers today is to be bound together by some minor doctrinal distinction rather than the bonds of Christ’s love and truth. Fellowship among ourselves then becomes a primary goal rather than being a natural by-product of teamwork in the Gospel. The result is that we miss the wonderful potential of walking with Jesus and the lasting fruit that comes from His work in our lives.

We are told to live “with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). This tremendous love and unity was demonstrated in the first century, as multitudes of believers were added to the Church daily. They were united in their love for the Lord and their desire to grow spiritually. They made sure that no one lacked daily provision as they sold their possessions and had all things in common. Rich fellowship and oneness of spirit were the results of this unity. (See Acts 2:41–47.) Let’s evaluate how we treat our fellow believers and purpose to show Christ’s love to one another.

Through Christ our Lord,
Bill Gothard

1 comment:

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

wow, awesome.
Women in particular seem to have a difficult time with this. Men tend not to be oversensitive, reading into things. You get what you see, most of the time.

Women, on the other hand, over-analyze and let minor things become huge. Then hurt causes a domino effect. And let's not overlook the gossip issue. If we could all just follow the golden rule, very few problems would arise.

It's a great article. God always provides comfort when we need it.

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