Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/11/2017

Randall Caselman

 

Family Unity

 

On the Plain of Shinar, people dreamed of building a tower that would reach into heaven. Genesis chapter eleven tells us that the Lord came down to see the tower and made this observation: "Behold, the people is one, and they all have one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined."

Today, the power of our Christian witness has been severely reduced by religious disunity. Satan has divided family and church into fighting factions by hurt feelings and trivial gossip. It was James who rhetorically asked: "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?" Just imagine what believers could accomplish for Christ, souls saved, the poor cared for, good works done, if all were one, united in Christ. "Nothing will be restrained that they imagine." Well, what are some of the desires that work within us, keeping us from being united?

 

Selfishness. Our American culture is into "Me first." Narcissism, the world is about me. We see it every day on the streets and interstate, drivers cutting one another off, road rage, people jostling in checkout lines to a better position. I've noticed in church fellowship gatherings, people wanting to be first in the eating line. We have allowed the world to "squeeze us into its mold" rather than being transformed people. We must start thinking differently. We must restore the practice of "placing the interest of others before our own." 

 

Laziness. Unity is difficult to achieve. Unity is work! "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." A log is split by driving a wedge. Hit the log as frequently as you like and it's still one log. Tap the wedge a few times, and you have division. Are we tapping Satan's wedge? Some of us are. Get to work! "Make every effort to keep the unity."

 

Hate. We are to be "members one of another." Shallow love, childish immaturity, decides it will not overlook the fault of a brother. Instead, it will point out the weakness. Division results. Agape love does not uncover sin within others. It covers them, "a multitude of sins." We need fewer detectives and more love. "Love is not self-serving. It is not easily angered. Keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

 

The power of unity can be seen in the first church family. Their influence spread through Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and beyond. People were touched by the ironeness--souls won, poor cared for, good works done. "And all the believers were one in heart, one in mind." Here it is church, each of us individually is responsible for family unity. Amen?

 

—Randall Caselman