Monday, July 6, 2009

Different Together

I am in the office for the first full day since my two week vacation. It was a great trip with a lot o fun with the family, but it is always nice to get back home to your own house, your own bed, your own dog and especially your own church.

The two weeks we were on vacation we worshipped with our families at churches that have very different styles than LifeQuest. They are a little more traditional, larger and in very small towns. They dress different, use different translations of scripture, and sing different songs. Yesterday, as I spoke at LifeQuest, I talked about how although we worship in different styles we have the most important thing in common: Jesus.

This morning I began reading the book of 1 Timothy in my devotional time. In chapter 1 Paul is instructing Timothy to have the church focus on the things that unite rather than things that divide. In verse 5 he says, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” That is what the church should be about.

In verse 6, Paul gives the other side of the coin: “Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.” This is, unfortunately, what the church is often about. We gossip, criticize, complain and divide. It is shameful.

Today we need to learn to live united. The enemy of our soul is out to destroy the work that God has begun in our lives. He not only uses our sinful flesh, but the sinful flesh of others to distract us from the eternal truth of God’s plan. As Christian leaders we must never give in to the trap of destroying the work God is doing in another ministry. There is plenty of work for us all.

Churches operate differently. They worship differently and they are structured differently. But any church that preaches Jesus Christ and him crucified and raised from the dead is a partner in our cause. We must not allow style differences to cause body divisions.

Today, pray for churches in your area. Pray for God to bless their ministries, their pastors and their effort to increase the Kingdom of God. That is how we demonstrate love from a pure heart.

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