As I watched, I was reminded that this is Jesus’s intentions for the body of Christ—Unity with the purpose of advancing the kingdom. As believers, we were created with our own unique gifts and talents. More importantly, we are meant to use our God given gift to spread the message of Christ. In scripture, we hear Jesus’s prayer for his disciples as the hour of His crucifixion came near. After walking with his disciples and equipping them, He prayed for their safety as they would continue on their journey to spread the Gospel. He also prayed for those who would believe in Him because of their teachings. He prayed for oneness. In John 17:21 Jesus says, “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.” Jesus makes it clear that unity in the body of Christ further advances the kingdom.
As clear as Jesus’s prayer is, it seems we have forgotten His command. Dissension in the body of Christ seems to be on display more than ever. Political disagreements, racial tensions, and our own personal preferences have dismantled the unity that Jesus intently prayed for. As tensions in the body of Christ persist, unbelievers question why they would want to follow Christ if those who believe can’t even love each other well. It is impossible to further the Gospel of Christ to the unsaved in the absence of unity.
How do we display biblical unity as believers? We do so by standing on God’s truth and not our feelings. We also do so by praying for those we don’t agree with and extending God’s unconditional love. The word of God never changes, and remains the only foundation for truth. It is imperative that we use His word as a guide for how we view the world around us. Also, what would it look like to pray for those in the body of Christ we disagree with and extend unconditional love? Oneness is only possible when we set our personal feelings aside and turn to God— our final authority. When we are united and walking in step with God’s truth, it is there that we reach lost souls. I encourage you to take time today to pray about areas in your own life where you could display unity in your community of believers. God has given us all unique gifts and we were made to use them to spread the good news of our salvation!
“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 17:21 (NIV)
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes