Tuesday, July 5, 2011



That was the title of our Sunday message.

I think it's a good subject to consider the day after we celebrated America's independence. So, here's my *takeaway* from Sunday.

We're in the book of Ephesians.

"Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace." (Ephesians 4:3)

You know, we've got a unique bond as believers.

We used to be a motley crew of ragged sinners until we accepted God's free gift of salvation. And then, God gave to us His very own family.

We became the Body of Christ.

What a privilege this is – to be connected to the King and to each other!

But, oh! How we mess things up…

Here in Ephesians, Paul is exhorting us to live a life worthy of our calling. He is NOT calling us to be worthy – for we know that we can never do anything good enough to earn salvation. But, once saved, we are to live according to our new identities.

And UNITY is an integral part of worthy living.

Here in the beginning of Ephesians, Chapter Four, Paul lists several qualities that ought to characterize the Body of Christ. For we are to be unified one people, healing together.

1. Humble – willing to step down and serve, to lift another person up
2. Gentle – strength under control – not strength that overpowers, but
3. Patient – longsuffering, "spreading out" the passion before we act, or
react, in frustration or anger
4. Making allowances – giving room to others, embracing the differences
in people, being non-judgmental
5. Love – love casts out fear, treats people as valuable, loves them as they are
loved by Christ

The Body of Christ should be a place of safe acceptance.

"The Hub" has a song that he loves from the Robert Redford movie, "The Horse Whisperer." It’s called "A Soft Place to Fall." I was thinking about that – the community of believers should be a soft place to fall. A place where we are accepted and welcomed, embraced and loved.

Now what's the foundation of this unity and healing?

Certainly it can't be based on our innate ability to get along ('cuz we know that ain't true, right?!) It has to have its foundation somewhere else.

Know any solid foundations anywhere? A good Rock to build on?


"For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all."
(Ephesians 4:4-6)

I don't know about you – but that's sounding downright *granite* to me.

So, it is God who provides this family, and who adopts us into it by the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. And the Spirit, living in each believer, binds us together.

So, do we act like we're bound together in love?

Paul says in verse 3 to make "every effort" to find and keep this spirit of unity in the body of believers.

It's not gonna come naturally – but it's crucial.

I'm going to date myself with this one, but do any of you remember these song lyrics?

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. 

And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. 

They will know we are Christians by our love.

Just going to close with some challenging thoughts – for you…AND me.

Am I living a life worthy of my calling?
Am I making every effort to keep myself united with other believers?
Am I seeking peace and healing?
Am I patient and non-judgmental?
Am I humble, and gentle – do I make allowances for other people's faults?

Do I really love others like Jesus loves me?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Another good Word, milady! Have been challenged in this very thing this week, as a matter of fact. Praying peace to the situation and hoping I've made the right choice. The Lord has given me a word for this year: Graciousness. And I have already seen the vast quantities of Granite Graciousness I shall need to hold up my end of the "preserving unity" - apart from God I can do nothing.


  2. Great post - and good message - and I'm glad I have you in my 'together'.

  3. Jesus prayed for unity. It was very important to Him. We used to sing that song at camp about 30 years ago - We are one in the Spirit. I hadn't thought about it in long time. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  4. I think that sounds like a great series your church is doing, Sharon, and a great timely message. We must have unity in the church; I always say we are Jesus' ambassadors, we need to present Jesus to a hurting world and we need to make sure that hurting world isn't looking at us not getting along in disunity; then they wonder if Jesus is really worth it? Know what I mean? So we need to put aside sometimes little differences (never key differences in doctrine, we must be united in that) and strive to continue to get the gospel out!


  5. Hi Sharon,

    Yes I know the song. Yes, I am convicted along these lines too, my prayers on Sunday, started with Make me a Channel of your peace and also featured being Gracious. I am being called to be gracious in a situation happening in our fellowship at the moment. It isn't easy, but I know it is how God wants us to be.

    God Bless - Nita

  6. This was such a timely post to read this morning, thank you! Our church is entering into a very historic period of transition and unity is crucial. FYI, we still sing that song ''We Are One...'' and I'm pretty sure it's on the play list for tonight!

  7. Thanks, dear friends, for stopping by today and leaving such great comments. You know how much I appreciate them.

    This message gave me so much to think about. Unity is such an important thing to have - as Melissa said, it's rather crucial. I like also how Kathy called it "preserving unity." That gave me the idea that we are called to be the salt of the earth - and salt is used as a preservative. So, the unity of the church is so necessary right now.

    Betty had a great thought - reminding us that we are indeed ambassadors of Christ. And disunity does NOT make the Good News very attractive to the "outside" world. She also accurately points out that we must be united in doctrine, while putting aside "petty" differences. Sometimes it scares me a bit - this trend toward putting aside key doctrines in an effort to be "inclusive." There is a big difference between being unified, and compromising truth so everyone feels part of the party. Don't you guys think so?

    Nita brings up the idea of grace (as did Kathy) - and that of course is the overarching concept behind unity. Graciously loving one another as we have been graciously loved by our Lord.

    Charlotte pointed out that Jesus prayed about unity. So, obviously He felt it was very important. He cared about unity within His body - I think He knew how much the enemy would work against it.

    And, like Sandie said - I am tremendously blessed to have you all in my *together.*

    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord...


  8. Blessings Sharon and so blessed by UNITY in the COMM UNITY! Good SON day message and beautifully shared by Sharon here... I'm so thankful that we're all in this together! If we follow Jesus as we should and care and share with one another as a BIG FAMILY when one of us is hurt, we all hurt; when one of us is praised...well,... however let us encourage one another . we the church should be a soft place to fall or fail, since we're all sinners, but far too often, it's not and sadly we feel judged, ostracized and not able to share our weaknesses with the Body! Too often people think that the church is for saints but it was meant for sinners, and we are more sinner than saint...especially with how we treat the hurting (on the whole, for the most part). Of course, there are exceptions. The Body was meant to function together and one part is not as effective without the rest of the parts.

    The questions were excellent as the rest as usual.

    We will walk with each other... Peggy

    Yes, I could sing that one with you! In fact taht's what I though of when I read this too! Or the new contemporary one by Casting Crown, "If We are the Body..."

  9. Peggy - It is one of life's joys to meet other believers along the way. You have become a very special sister in Christ to me - I'm thankful for you. Yes, I so love how you said that the Body was made to function together. It's a unity that can only be achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit - left to our own human nature, we tend toward pettiness sometimes. (I also love that song by Casting Crowns - !)



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)