Winners & Losers, Part 1

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. —Ephesians 4:1-6

Everywhere we look, our culture separates sides on the basis of these two designations.  From the grade school spelling bee, to the grandstands of the Olympics, from television ratings between program or anchors, to the best and worst dressed at some gala event, from the Monday Night Football score, to the stocks you’ve secured for your retirement portfolio—you’re on one side or the other. A winner or a loser.

Two sides to any and every given scenario. 

Two potential outcomes for every situation. 

Two.

But this isn’t just the world, some protest, it’s the Bible. What about the wheat and the chaff, the sheep and the goats, the wide road and the narrow?

Good point.

But I’d suggest that those distinctions are outcome-based realities, not agenda-setting objectives. That’s the difference. 

When a football team takes the field, their goal is not to tie or all have a nice time trying their best—it’s to win. That’s their job. That’s how their “success” will be evaluated. Did they or didn’t they have the most points on the board when the time was gone? 

God’s intent, however is not two, but one.

One.

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”(Mark 12:29) 

“I and the Father are one.”(John 10:30)

“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as we are one.”  (John 17:22)

And in marriage, we’re reminded that “they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  That’s further accentuated when Jesus says “What therefore God has joined together, (can you finish it?) let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Unity, oneness; that’s our goal. That’s where we start—not with an adversarial or defensive posture—not with an understanding that in this disagreement or marital tiff there will be a winner and a loser, but instead, that we might maintain oneness. No separations. Not two, one.  —Joel Anderson

Journal:

  • Where in my life do I display the least amount of unity with others?
  • Why is that? What can I do about it today?

Prayer – Father, Your Word says that You desire for Your children to live in harmony with one another. I know that when I obey You, You are glorified and magnified. This draws the unsaved to You. Forgive me for the times when my goals in life are not for Your kind of unity, but for my kind of desires. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.