Jesus is a uniting force. A powerful uniting force.
The believers at this time were going through a lot of tough things that could have quickly ripped them apart.
Who would lead them now that Jesus was gone? There easily could have been a battle for leadership of the apostles. Remember James and John asking to sit on Jesus’ right and left in his heavenly kingdom?
What about the heavy persecution and stress on the apostles from the Jewish religious leaders? They were constantly threatening to have them arrested and barred from speaking about Jesus. The martyrdom of Stephen is not far in the future.
The rapid growth in the number of believers is creating stress and strain on the infrastructure, and on the apostles themselves. An argument is brewing between the Greek and Hebrew speaking widows about the level of care they’re being afforded.
Ananias and Sapphira are about to undergo God’s judgment for lying about their gift to the Lord. I wonder how the members of the church felt about God’s response to their dishonesty. Did some leave in fear?
Today also, there are many reasons for sinful members of an imperfect church to splinter into a hundred different factions. CrossWalk is no exception. We too have our challenges.
Should we purchase land and build a building?
How will we personally be part of God’s solution to our operating budget shortfall?
What about that person on my ministry team that wasn’t so kind or “Christian” to me recently?
How come my growth group can’t seem to stick together in tough times and help out where needed?
But our God is a more powerful unifying force than any of these issues are a dividing force. When we’re studying and meditating on God’s word together, then we can trust that the Holy Spirit will keep us bonded. When we’re enjoying the blessings of the sacraments together, the peace of Jesus will guide us through the divisive issues. Our Father has the love and the power that’s necessary when sinners like us try to pull together in one direction.
And our God is not just a unifying force! He is also a “sharing force.” He loves to help us share — our time, our talents, our treasures — so that all can enjoy his care, and be one in heart and mind.
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had” (Acts 4:32, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Monday, June 8, is 2 Samuel 13:1-39, Acts 4:23 – 5:11 and Psalm 71:9-18.
Father, you sent your Son Jesus to make all believers one in heart and mind. I thank and praise you for community, for my Christian family, for my CrossWalk family. It is an amazing blessing to have so many brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to work wholeheartedly and sacrificially to preserve community, to honor what your Son Jesus did to establish it in the first place!
Header image based on "Share!" by Juli Crockett, CC By 2.0
One thought on “One in Heart and Mind”
Our Bible reading for Monday, June 8, is 2 Samuel 13:1-39, Acts 4:23 – 5:11 and Psalm 71:9-18
When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. (Acts 4:24 NIV)
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. (Psalm 71:14-18 NIV)
Heavenly Father, truly you are creator of the heavens, earth, and seas. You created everything in them, that includes me, those I love, and the hope of Salvation. Father I will always put my hope in you. I will praise and worship you. Please bring your blessings to my church and to my fellowship. Lord help me to tell others of your righteous deeds. Lord send your Spirit to those who your words, but do not take them to heart. You are an amazing God, truly the Father of all.