August 1 – One Voice

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May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

Read: 2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21, Romans 15:1-22, Psalm 25:1-15, Proverbs 20:13-15 

Relate: I recently read an article from Relevant Magazine pointing out how some major theologians of the past would not be considered evangelical if they were  around today. To be honest it was not a very well written or researched article, I am surprised and disappointed that it made it by the censors of what at one time in the distant past I considered a great (shall I say… Relevant?) magazine. That said, the sentiment of the article was spot on. We today are far more (and far too) concerned with orthodoxy where we should be focusing on unity.

Honestly, I do not like a lot of major big name influential preachers these days. Joel Osteen… he preaches far too much about blessing and not nearly enough about repentance. But he has a message of love and encouragement that many desperately need to hear. Steven Furtik… I am not a fan sometimes of his analogies or illustrations. But man, that guy can preach and people are clearly getting saved and lives changed through his ministry. The Gospel Coalition… they are coming dangerously close to making an idol out of the concept “the gospel” (No, it isn’t the gospel that saves it is Jesus who saves. No it isn’t the gospel that convicts, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts). But they have some great online resources I have used over and over again. I could go on and on nitpicking both current figures like Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels… and historical ones like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Soren Kierkegaard, CS Lewis, George MacDonald… but does all this focus on differences really do anything at all in advancing the Kingdom. If the devil is the accuser of the brethren, how often are well meaning complainers little more than tools of the devil?

React: Jesus died. Jesus rose. Jesus saves. Those three things I will go to bat for. If you cannot recognize the historical veracity and theological significance of those three things then you are not my brother or sister. But if we can agree on those three things, then let us sing together. If that for you means lighting incense and listening to Gregorian chant, lets do it. If it means jumping around with flags and blowing the shofar, let the noise blow out. If you would rather not wash your hair for weeks on end and sing around a campfire in the woods with an acoustic guitar and some 60’s tunes… why not? Whether we are high church or house church, hillsongs or hymns, multi-site megachurch or a tiny country church that rarely hits thirty… so what? You are my brother. You are my sister. One day we will all join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why not start now?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Help me to love even those I have a hard time liking. In my desire to learn and know and study more and more of You, help me not to turn against those who know less or understand differently who You are. Even as my mind grows and strives in obedience to the call to learn more of You, help my love and heart to remain simple and my desire for unity among Your family remain wrapped around the most basic of truths. Let my voice join in with the global, diverse, multifaceted song of worship to You.
Amen 

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12 thoughts on “August 1 – One Voice

  1. Beejai,
    I agree with your premise. In today’s society, the Art of teaching a full concept is much too difficult for the listener to grasp. We have failed in offering critical listening and in depth thinking, with the current educational systems. Like all things worthwhile, a few will grasp the concepts and find their way. Great stuff.

  2. Excellent!

    Because only Jesus Christ is perfect, there is no such thing as a perfect Christian Church. Jesus explained two thousand years ago we should not be too proud to admit we are sinners.

    Matthew 9:10-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

    10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

    12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

    Our perfection is in our Lord; it is not of ourselves or in any of our preachers..

  3. Good post! In the name of Unity, even those who do not recognize your truth of died/rose/saves actually are still your brothers and sisters … we are all continually growing in awareness/beliefs, and we are all in this together albeit at different points … which can create the illusion of separation.

    • It isn’t my truth, it is God’s Truth. Big difference. While virtually anyone can *become* a brother and sister, only those in the family already are. Scripture is clear over and over again what gives one the right to be called a child of God:

      But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:13)

      For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. (Romans 8:14,17)

      See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love his brother does not belong to God. (1 John 3:1,10)

      For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)

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