Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 3 September 21:
[Note: Here is a link to a video overview of Titus: https://youtu.be/PUEYCVXJM3k%5D
Titus 1:4 – “To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
When you were saved, you were saved into a family — “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) Do you see and treat other Christians as your true family in Christ? How close are you with the members of your Christian family? Do you continually pray that your family in Christ would more fully realize the grace and peace of Jesus, and do you seek to be God’s instrument of grace and peace in their lives? Do you have a heart to serve fellow Christians with joy and contentment, without complaint?
Today’s focus verse reminds me of some things Jesus said –
- Mark 3:33-35 — And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
- John 17:22-23 — 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 13:35 — By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
- Hebrews 10:24, 25 — And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8) The mark of a true Christian and a truly Christian church is unity in Christ, the unity for which Jesus prayed before going to the Cross (John 17:22-23), a unity which supernaturally overcomes all of the social stratifications which commonly divide people, a unity which is so visible and amazing that it serves as a great testimony to the world of the truth of Jesus Christ (John 17:22-23). Note the sort of unity displayed in the early church – “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” (Acts 13:1) What an unlikely crew to lead a church, people from diverse ethnic, social, religious, and political backgrounds, now united in the only thing which can really unite, faith in Jesus Christ. Are you actively sharing life and the Gospel with a small diverse group like this? Do you and your close Christian companions stand out to others because of the unity you share in your mutual love for Christ? Abide in Christ by abiding in Christian relationships, working together to bring others into the family of Christ too.
- 1 John 4:12 — No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
- 1 John 3:14 — We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
- 1 John 2:10 — Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
- Psalm 133:1 — Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 3 September 21: Pray that God will help you grow in love for your church family, that you would be one with them in Christ and that your love for them would be a powerful testimony to the world.