Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 30 October 20:
Here is a short video overview of chapters 1-33 of Ezekiel: https://youtu.be/R-CIPu1nko8
Ezekiel 1:12 — “And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.”
Four different creatures had complete unity in purpose and action because they followed the Holy Spirit without turning to the left or to the right. Unity is only found in the Spirit. The words universe and university combine the words unity and diversity — many different things working together as one. God created the universe, and God created the church. The Church should be united in their diversity through their collective union with Jesus. Where there is disunity, there is a relational problem with Jesus somewhere. The four creatures described in today’s readings served God in perfect unity to God’s glory. We should too.
Many today extol the virtue of unity while others lift up diversity as most noble. Yet as people seek to rally around ideas which place their hope in the capabilities or attributes of humanity, divisiveness and destructiveness is inevitable as human history clearly reveals. Unity in our diversity is only possible when we are united in the One who created us for His universal purpose of fulfilling His will on earth and glorifying Him on earth. There can no peace apart from Jesus. In the 1700s our nation adopted the motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” (from many, one), but in the 1950s during the rapid spread of atheistic communism, there was no controversy surrounding legislation which changed our motto to “In God We Trust,” and which added the words “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance. If our nation seeks unify around the will of God rather than merely the virtues of mankind, we have hope; but if we seek to build another Tower of Babel, we have no hope for national peace, security, or prosperity.
- Jeremiah 6:14 — They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 — If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The Bible teaches us that unity in diversity, university, is another “fruit” of the Holy Spirit which should be clearly evident in Christian families and churches and which should shine as a bright light in a dark, divisive world, a testimony to the world of the power of God and to the new lives we live together in Christ. Before going to the cross, Jesus prayed to the Father that we would abide in this unity for His glory – “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:22-23)
Through the power of the Holy Spirit as we observe all that God commanded (Matthew 28:20), we have the supernatural power to have a oneness (first with God, then with others) which is impossible naturally in this sinful world. This supernatural ability displayed to others reveals Christ and opens the door for Gospel conversations as we seek to fulfill our calling on this earth as messengers and ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18, 19). How is your oneness with God and with fellow believers? Does your oneness cause people to ask you how it is possible so that you can naturally share the Gospel with them?
- 1 Corinthians 1:10 — I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
- Ephesians 4:1-6 — I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- 1 Peter 3:8 — Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 30 October 20: Today, seek greater unity with Christ and with others in Christ. Serve God in unity without turning to the left or to the right.