The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Get Together

Seen in a Peanuts cartoon:

Lucy demands that Linus change TV channels and then threatens him with her fist if he doesn’t.  "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.

"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they are nothing, but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."

"What channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can’t you guys get organized like that?”

The greatest hurdle the church of Jesus Christ faces in reaching the lost world is lack of unity. Jesus prayed in the 17th chapter of John for the unity of his followers. He proclaimed the unity of God the Father and God the Son in oneness. His passion was that all of those who claimed to be his followers to stand in this same unity with he and his Father.

Why such an emphasis, knowing that the tendency of mankind is to go separate ways, to argue, to fight and to divide? “Then,” Jesus said, “the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23b)

Satan’s goal from the beginning of the church has been to divide her. In the 6th chapter of Acts we learn that a feud flared up in the church concerning the distribution of food to the widows. It was a racial conflict. The widows of Greek (Hellenistic) heritage were unhappy because it appeared to them that the widows of Jewish heritage were getting plenty of food, while the ones of Greek background were often left out. The church had been growing at such a rapid rate; such distribution of food had become a chaotic process. Now an argument had broken out. Following serious prayer, the Apostles set their pride aside and asked the church to choose 7 spiritual men to take over the distribution so they could keep the priority of prayer and teaching the Word of God. Seven men were picked, all with Greek sounding names. The problem was diffused by a unifying decision.

Paul frequently wrote about the danger of false teachers and division. He wanted the church to be unified by clinging to the Gospel of Jesus Christ simple and pure.  Over the centuries divisions of doctrine and opinion have cropped up within the church. As a result we have more denominations than we can count. We have friction between churches and sometimes even within churches. Such friction is often created by strong and varied personalities. People want things the way they like them. Our goal should be to do things the way Jesus likes them.
Jesus wants us to pull together like Lucy’s fist so we can become the force Christ called us to be in the world. If we truly get together we will make a real difference in the lives of people and for the growth of Christ’s church.

One with Christ and you,

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