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Is Your Church Unified?

Is that even possible?
We’ve been looking at how we please God. 
We must be in the Word. See Is Your Soul Happy?
Looking at the world through His eyes. See Looking for the God Moment.
Looking for His works so we can thank Him. See Those Aha Moments.
That involves praying—acknowledging our need, accepting His answer, and thanking Him. See Are You Needy?

By reading His Word, we know we are to be in church.
Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25).

We do that, not to have a nice lunch together or great activities. 
We assemble to worship. 
What did the early church equate with worship? 
Reading the Word was crucial.
So was praying. 
There was communion. 
It was a time to worship.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship and to breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42.

Remember why we were created?
To please and enjoy God.
At church, we do that as a united body.

In I Corinthians 12, Paul admonishes the church to be of “one mind” though operating as many parts of that one body.

How does that one-mindedness happen?
In marriage, when God says “the two shall become one”, that doesn’t mean we think alike.
My husband and I will never think alike.
Some of his priorities would not be my choice ever.
Sometimes I can’t even think, I’m just a bundle of emotions.
His perspective adds great depth to my thoughts.
​His explanations make clear my muddy ideas.
As the years pass, as we know God better and each other, God has wrought our thoughts together. 
Not the same, but together.
Different roles, same goal.​
But God has told us, we are one.

The one body in marriage takes work, from both sides.
I have counseled many wives  that their direction, if continued, will tear their marriage apart. 
She wants a career; he wants a family and a wife to support him.
Children hinder her career. 
He concedes to her wishes, and loses his own and everyone is miserable.
Or they separate.

The world sees plenty of not “one-minded” marriages.
They don’t have the same goals, dreams and wishes.

When a city girl marries a country boy, she has no clue what cleaning out a barn means. 
She better learn. At least watch her husband.
Because that is what he loves.
Women are made to be man’s helpmeet.
Not the other way around.
That’s a principle in the Bible.
By following God’s Word, we find oneness.

Same with the church.

Being of one mind, does not mean we compromise the Word, or ignore Biblical principles so we can get along.
We will never be like-minded when we are disobedient to the Word of God.

Except if you want church to be like a mob.
They are like-minded— committed to lynching someone in anger.
But that doesn’t fulfill God’s purpose.

What we believe, we live. 
If our beliefs are not God-based, they will fail.

The more we saturate our lives in Scripture, the more our lives will reflect Christ.
That’s His Spirit at work in our lives using His Word.

As a church, if we are not studying God’s Word, our church is merely a club for lunch and socializing and maybe instruction on current events or thoughts about the Bible.
Church must be a time to read His Word.
The Israelites stood for the reading of the Law.
This was just for the reading.
They stood for hours.
Why? Out of respect for Whose Words it was. 
Churches today have lost the respect for the Word.
It's no longer a priority.
It's not even a need.
Without the Word to convict us of our need, we can be like-minded in a lot of things, like the world.

But the Word brings conviction.
By reading it corporately, The Word of God makes us accountable to God and to each other.

Each member stands before God as equals.
(Although leaders are judged with a higher standard. 
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. James 3:1.)

When Peter did something wrong, Paul forcefully (albeit encouraging) corrected and rebuked him, with the intention they be united in one mind. 
But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. Galatians 2:11-21.
But that one-ness didn’t come until Peter changed his actions and repented.

Like “iron sharpens iron” we are to correct, admonish, encourage, and rebuke our brothers  and sisters in Christ in love.
How?
By being in the Word, the Spirit convicts of where we should change.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:15. 

The Word is given for our correction—
That helps to achieve that “one mindedness.”
We all have rough edges we don’t see.
Rebukes can be forceful, but done in love with the purpose of fellowship, to bring that sister back in fellowship with others.
That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt.
Correcting is never joyous.

When my boys do something wrong, I do not encourage them with “Good job!”
I do not ignore truth for the sake of unity.
I do not compromise what God has said, so we can get along.
I must remove the action that hinders their harmful godly development.
But I don’t enjoy correcting my boys.
I sometimes felt like I cried more than they did over the discipline.
But the results brings us back into fellowship with each other and God.

If I would let their wrong act go, I would be disobeying God. 
The Bible says, If I do not correct my son, I hate my son.

Same with those we call brothers and sisters in the faith.
When iron is rubbed against iron, sparks fly.
And heat.
But the instruments are made sharper.
And able to function as they should.

Sin must be dwelt with, before oneness can be achieved.

His Spirit corrects wrong thinking and wrong acting.
​And gives unity.

Oneness is not man-made, but God-made.
Even the title of this article did not set well with me.
It isn't "my" church, it's God's.

But I finally conceded to the title with this point of correction.

That oneness of mind is not our mind seeking to unite with another.
The world should look at us and say, “You're different. Why?”
They will know us by our love.

Know how we do this without the Spirit?
We know we should love. So we force love.
How?
We define love by certain actions, then do those actions. 
Like a rule-follower.
We shake everyone’s hands at church. 
We greet everyone.
We smile.
But we do it in our own strength.

We act loving.
But our thoughts are ugly.
That love does not come from God.
It is man-made.

God wants us to be so in-tune with Him that His love pours through us,
not spits out by our own struggle to do it.

The only way that will ever happen is to be in the Word and obeying it as His Spirit directs.

As we pour into God’s Word, we see more of Who He is. 
And what we are not.
We can’t love our brothers.
We must admit our need for God’s help.
And, just like in our personal lives, as we acknowledge our great need, God gives.

In the church’s example, God gives a Spirit of oneness.
Not man-made, but only from God.
We won’t have to tell anyone about it.
The world will know it.
And God will be pleased.


Ever experience that one-ness of Spirit in a body of believers that you knew had to be of God? Share with us.
 

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Faith
Find more articles about faith here:
Why Marry?
Consider the Robin
One Life Who Made a Difference
What Day Are You Living In?
Interrupted by God
Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?
Are You Beat Up?
What's Your Hurry?
Are You a Manipulator?
Are You Salty?
Are You Condemned?
Trying to Understand?
Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?
Do You Eat Your Stress?
Need Focus?
Going through Trouble?
Immanuel—God with Us
Looking for a Relationship?
When God Says, "No!"
What Do You Do with Left-Overs?
How Great Is Your God?
Are You Needy?
How Do You See Sin?
What Do Your Words Mean?
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Rules
Seasons
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the
   Underclass

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
alt
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained
    

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day
    Proclamation

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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