Nov. 1, 2020: Cooperation

PRINTED TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12:12 27

CENTRAL TRUTH: God has a special place of ministry for every believer in the Church, the Body of Christ.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson we should be able to identify one spiritual gift which we possess.

LESSON OUTLINE:
I. Unified Ministry (1 Corinthians 12:1 11)

II. Unified Diversity (1 Corinthians 12:12 18)

III. Diversified Unity (1 Corinthians 12:19 31)

2020-10-26T13:39:35+00:00October 26th, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Power of Unity

Read Nehemiah 4:7-9

“Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them” (v. 9).

Dad and I were constructing a deck at our home in Overland Park, Kansas. In compliance with the strict building codes of the city, we had to have some rather significant post holes into which we were to pour concrete, so we rented a powered post hole digger. It really wasn't too difficult to operate in the rich, black soil of Overland Park. However, we once encountered a problem. I could not seem to get the post hole digger to go any deeper and asked Dad what seemed to be the problem. He said, “Deeper? I've been trying to pull up on this thing!” We simply weren't communicating. Thus we weren't working in unity. Working in unity is not only a mark of maturity, it is empowerment for progress. Of course, unity begins with a common focus or goals. A number of things are desirable in formulating a course for common ground: mutual encouragement, a desire to please Christ above all, a desire to touch the lives of others with the gospel, just to name a few. Another significant goal is guarding against the enemy's encroachment upon the work of God. We can do that by maintaining fervency of spirit and dogged desire to please God. (Lonnie Witt)

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;

Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.

We are not divided, all one body we,

One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,

With the cross of Jesus going on before. — Sabine Baring-Gould

This devotional is the Monday, June 26, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.

2017-06-29T09:23:00+00:00June 29th, 2017|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: |0 Comments

Is Unity in the Church Possible?

In "God's Word for Today" David Woods writes:

There may be many reasons why local churches do not seek greater unity today. Some are paranoid that working together in the local church and with other like-minded churches in the area will result in everyone being deceived by a one-world false church. Others are so embittered against fellow Christians — in other nearby churches, or even within their local congregation — that they will not allow themselves or others to seek reconciliation and unity. Maybe an even greater difficulty is the inability of many to envision how unity might look in our post-modern context. How is it possible to achieve unity with churches around the world? How can we reconcile our doctrinal and traditional differences with other churches? The key to solving this dilemma may be to ask the question of how to experience greater unity locally instead of in a universal sense.

Source: Building Christian Relationships: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 19.

2017-06-15T09:18:00+00:00June 15th, 2017|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

Unity Is Blessed

Read Psalm 133:1-3
“As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” (v. 3).
A New York family bought a ranch out west hoping to raise cattle. Later a friend asked what they named their ranch. The new rancher answered, “I wanted it to be the Bar-J. My wife wanted it to be the Suzy-Q, one son wanted the Flying-W, and the other the Lazy-Y. We finally de-cided on the Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y. We have only had one problem. None of our cattle survived the branding.”
Sometimes making everybody happy does not mean that you have unity. The Moravian brethren discovered this in the midst of internal conflict in 1747. Count Zinzendorf arranged to have a conference so they could discuss the issues causing the controversy. When the representatives arrived, they did not immediately begin to have debates as they had assumed. Instead, he instructed them to first spend time in prayer and the study of 1 John. By the end of the week, they had realized again that one of the main lessons of the book was “love for all the brethren.” On Sunday they agreed they should observe the Lord's Supper, remembering that being many they were one Body. Compromise or debate would have failed. Looking to God for guidance, they once again became the unified functioning Body of Christ. They now experienced what they had forgotten they cherished — the blessing of unity. Prayer with purpose, submission to God's Word, and a humble spirit brought the blessing of unity to the Moravian brethren. It is time for God's people to use this simple formula today. (L Gayle Woods)

Whereas compromise and debate will usually fail, looking to God for His guidance, the people of God can once again become the unified functioning Body of Christ.

This devotional is the Monday, June 12, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.

2017-06-13T08:53:00+00:00June 13th, 2017|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: |0 Comments

The Unity of the Church

Lesson 3 - June 18, 2017
Focus Text: 1 Peter 1:22--2:10
Central Truth: Christians belong to each other because they belong to Christ.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify ways that unity can be demonstrated.
Lesson Outline:

  1. Children in the Same Family (1 Peter 1:22--2:3)
  2. Stones in the Same Building (1 Peter 2:4-8)
  3. Citizens of the Same Kingdom (1 Peter 2:9, 10)
2017-06-12T08:43:00+00:00June 12th, 2017|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: |0 Comments

Is it harder to get along with the Christian?

In "Doctrinal Discussion" Jason Lindahl writes:

A friend was describing conditions at his former place of employment. The picture was not rosy — bad attitudes, squabbles, childish behavior. The sad thing, he lamented in conclusion, was that the people who claimed to be Christians were the hardest with which to work. Those who made no claims to grace were, for the most part, the preferred co-workers. Too often, such an accusation has been repeated. “Christians” may be faithful at church attendance three times a week, be diligent in tithing and even verbal witnessing for Jesus, and wear three-quarter-length sleeves with fashionable ease; but whatever happened to graciousness, kindness, and consideration for others? What place is there for a chip on a Christian's shoulder, or a bite in a Christian's speech? Why doesn't anyone like to work with you, Christian? Are you sure it is just persecution?

Source: Building Christian Relationships: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 67.

2017-05-13T09:00:00+00:00May 13th, 2017|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

A Call for Unity

In "Word Focus" Glenn McClure writes:

The serious student of Scripture will often find himself confronted with the need for balance in applying the Bible to life situations. The opening line of our printed text today is a case in point. Without doubt Scripture demands that the sincere disciple of Christ take a firm stand for what is right (Jude 1:3). But in our lesson today the companion truth is emphasized, which is the requirement of unity in the Body of Christ. The text reads, “Be ye all of one mind,” or literally, “of one mind, united.” The exact form Peter used appears only here in Scripture. In Greek it is a compound word: the first word meaning “together,” and the second word meaning “mind or understanding.” In classical Greek it literally meant “to be of one mind, to have the same thoughts.” It was used of the unity of conspirators. It was also the word used to indicate that an issue was decided by “common consent.” Both thoughts and feelings were included in its meaning. The Church fathers used this word often. To them it meant “unity of mind, agreement, and concord.”

Source: Building Christian Relationships: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 64.

2017-05-12T09:03:00+00:00May 12th, 2017|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

A Focus on What We Have In Common

In "God's Word for Today" Gordon Snider writes:

Peter began by addressing the Christian's attitude toward fellow Christians. He was addressing believers who were living under persecution and the stress that creates in relationships. It is easy to be critical and defensive when you are constantly under attack. Peter urged his readers to resist that temptation. The focus should be on what Christians have in common, and not on their differences (“be . . . of one mind”). Attitudes of sympathy, compassion, and consideration were to be prominent. And if they are, Peter reasoned, it will affect the use of your tongue. Words of blessing will be more common than words of criticism. Your words will bring peace instead of division; healing rather than hurt. Your speech will be marked by transparency rather than deception. Verse 12 suggests clearly that such a person is the one who finds favor in the eyes of God.

Source: Building Christian Relationships: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 65.

2017-05-11T08:54:00+00:00May 11th, 2017|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

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