Read Acts 3
On the night before He died, Jesus prayed a prayer that is pretty amazing. You will find it in John 17. One of the highlights of that prayer is His request for the Father to help the disciples be unified: 20 “My prayer is not for them alone (meaning the apostles). I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Did you notice the power of unity? As the world witnesses the unity of the church, it will be one of the things that helps people believe the message of the Gospel. Think about it: folks of different ethnicities, different political convictions, different socio-economic and educational backgrounds, all coming together in unity around the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes, the Gospel is supposed to be that strong, and the reality of Jesus Christ that overwhelming.
The sad truth, though, is that unity has been an elusive thing in the church over the last two millenniums. We seem to divide over just about everything—and seldom does it have to do with actual doctrine. Churches unfortunately are usually marked by their homogenous nature. People just congregate with others that look and think just like them. This is not what Jesus had in mind.
So this Lenten season, can we pray and pursue something better? Can we pray that what would unify us would truly be Jesus, and not anything else? When we catch ourselves having a bad attitude towards a brother or sister in the faith because of some peripheral thing, can we take the time to look at them and remind ourselves—this is a son/daughter of my King. Could we pursue getting to know folks who aren’t anything like us except for the fact that they are totally in love with Jesus?
When it is all said and done, I guess the question is this: is Jesus really where we find our unity? If it is anywhere else, it can fail. But if our brotherhood is found in Christ it can never fail.
Prayer focus - take time everyday this week to pray
Monday: Unity for our church congregation
Tuesday: Unity for our staff and elders
Wednesday: Unity for our ministry and small group leaders
Thursday: Unity in our homes
Friday: Unity in our country