08/31/17

READING: Psalms 132-134, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!”

Psalm 133:1

This is one devotion I love writing. I read Psalm 133, and I can think only of the Christian brothers and sisters in my life who’ve become my family. My welder deacon who was largely uneducated, but who became one of my best friends. The Sunday school teacher, a German refugee in World War II whose faith was incredibly real to her. My Ghanaian brother whom I met in his country, and who introduced me to ministry on the African continent. My Nigerian brother who complained about the cold in KY when the temperature went below 70 degrees. My sister in Christ who, along with her husband, paved the way for me to do ministry among single adults. My rugged, cigarette-smoking new believer friend who lived on the poverty line most of the time, but who was growing in Christ. My train engineer deacon who taught me the importance of small groups. The elementary, junior high, and high school teacher church members whose passion for teaching kept my passion ignited. The teenagers (and adults) who “toilet papered” my house, and yet I knew they did that out of love for me. The church secretary who introduced me to my wife-to-be. My Southeast Asian sister who translated God’s Word for me as I preached in my favorite country in the world. My Eastern European pastor brother whose faith challenged mine as he served God after rebels destroyed his church. All of my global brother and sisters with whom I can speak only through a translator. . . .

You might recognize that I could just keep writing. Honestly, I’m continually amazed by what God does as He puts His church together. Somehow, He takes us from different cultural backgrounds, different economic levels, different academic histories, different religious stories, different political positions, different family experiences, etc., etc., and He makes us one. The blood of Christ that saves us also unites us in a way that the world cannot understand (and nor can we, if we’re honest).

So, I can imagine what the psalmist saw and thought as he saw pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem to worship. Their diversity may not have been as great as that which I’ve described here, but still the psalmist saw the beauty of unity: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1). So beautiful is that unity that it is like the dew that falls on Mount Hermon – a most dramatic picture of refreshment and renewal. Unity and fellowship among brothers and sisters in Christ are refreshing indeed.  

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Give thanks to God for the Body of Christ.
  • Pray for two believers you know who are not living in unity.

PRAYER: “Lord, make me an instrument of unity within Your church.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 135-136, 1 Corinthians 12