"We Value This..."
"True spiritual growth can't happen to the fullest if we only gather with those who think and believe exactly like we do."
Unity resides in the heart of God.
Psalm 133:1 [TPT], How truly wonderful and delightful to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity!
John 17:11 [NLT], Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.
John 17:20-22 [TPT], "And I ask not only for these disciples, but also for all those who will one day believe in me through their message. 21 I pray for them all to be joined together as one even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one. I pray for them to become one with us so that the world will recognize that you sent me. 22 For the very glory you have given to me I have given them so that they will be joined together as one and experience the same unity that we enjoy."
Ephesians 4:11-13 [NLT], Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
He was talking to HIS church.
How do we begin to walk in unity?
1. Pursue His Presence
To pursue His presence is to pursue Him.
"Unity is the very atmosphere of heaven, because the Trinity is in perfect unity."
"A person with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an argument."
Acts 4:13 [TPT], The council members were astonished as they witnessed the bold courage of Peter and John, especially when they discovered that they were just ordinary men who had never had religious training. Then they began to understand the effect Jesus had on them simply by spending time with him.
2. Genuine Love and Affection
When His presence comes, so does His love.
"Christianity has become more about what we believe and doctrine we live by, not the love we walk in."
John 13:34-35 [TPT], "So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. 35 For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you're my true followers."
The great paradox of the kingdom is: family - army.
know they belong
listen and trust
speak and release life
3. Honest Conversations
"We should value relationships more than our desire to be right."
Don't be afraid of tension.