August 1 – One Voice

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, let’s 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 people… 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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19 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)

  4. Great article. I believe that Joel Olsteen is a preacher whose work takes some discrimination (some I’d say even skirts heresy when he talks about speaking things into being as if we’re little gods in control and not the Lord), but he provides needed encouragement when so many pastors place the focus almost entirely upon repentance and spiritual self-improvement. And he always ends his sermons with an invitation to Christ. My first exposure to Christian teaching was when a teammate on our High School track team gave me a book by Norman Vincent Peale, who is often vilified by modern Christians. It was a soft serve entry into the Christian faith. She started me on the right path. I was a disheartened teenager and this got me reading more of his books and gave me a more positive view of Christianity that I hadn’t been exposed to before, not having been raised in a Christian religion.

  5. Reblogged this on praise2worshipdotnet and commented:
    Amen so well said that I will just reblog this short article by BJ here. Few things hurt the kingdom work of reaching souls worse than complaining about each other. I saw a sign in the store where I work that says, “People who say it can’t be done are always interrupted by those doing it!” The sign is not meant as a Christian message but think how much more we could accomplish in pur churches if we followed that advice!

  6. Well said! Thank you for posting this! Unity in the body of Christ is essential for the advancement of the kingdom. I really appreciate the point you made about those that inadvertently become tools for the enemy.

  7. AMEN!! Love your format- especially references to Scripture and music. You clearly have a gift to speak to the hearts of people. May God continue to bless your reach into the community and speaking out on spiritual issues. God bless your week. Laura

  8. Amen-Amein!! Thanks so much for Sharing this above!!

    GOD BLESS ALL my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    I am Pro-Israel-Yisrael / Pro-Christian and Jewish People who STAND with the Holy Land of Israel-Yisrael and our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America / Pro-Zionism / PRO-LIFE / PRO-LIFE!!

    Our ONE True GOD’S LOVE 💕💜 is ETERNAL THROUGH HIS SON Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua for Today and Everyday Forevermore!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  9. Kind of funny! In my Bible study last night we discussed Matthew 5:6. Probably will do a post on that. The fellow who presented the lesson did a fascinating job. Never realized that verses 3-5 were preconditions for verse 6. How does that relate to this post? Somehow in our discussion of verse 6 we realized that Christians should not compete with each other. We should help each other. When someone believes Jesus died, Jesus rose, and Jesus saves, he or she is a brother or sister, not a competitor, not someone whose belief in Jesus is necessarily inferior to our own.

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