This mornings devotion is an excerpt from a Leadership Page. You can view this current study in its entirety by visiting this sites Leadership Page link. Leadership - Fellowship Baptist Church (fellowshipbaptistcarrabelle.com)
Spiritual Stability (Ephesians 4:3)
Ephesians 4:3, Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Napoleon's fleet was gathering off the coast of Spain. Britain immediately dispatched her best admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson, to command their fleet in battle. In a letter prior to arriving off of Trafalgar, Nelson wrote his friend Admiral Collingwood: "My dear Coll: I shall be with you in a very few days, and I hope you will remain as second-in-command. You will change the Dreadnought for the Royal Sovereign, which I hope you will like." Collingwood was unhappy with this change and argued openly with the captain of his flagship. Nelson implored them, "In the presence of the enemy all men should be brothers. We are one and I hope always will be." Prior to the battle, Nelson addressed his fleet: "In our several stations we must all put our shoulders to the wheel, and make the great machine of the fleet, entrusted to our charge, go on smoothly." On October 21, 1805, the British fleet scored a resounding victory at Trafalgar. Not all of those in Nelson's fleet agreed with each other, but they followed his encouragement to fight together against a greater enemy.
Divisiveness and a disturbance of the peace and spirit of unity is catastrophic for the church. This is the reason for this charge. The word "endeavor" means being diligent, working to take care and to do one's very best, and to make haste to do it. The only way to walk worthy of God's great calling is to work at keeping the peace and unity which God has given us. Nothing cuts the heart of God like divisiveness between His people, divisiveness which tears apart His church. The very thing God is doing is creating a new body of people to live together in the love and unity of His Son. He expects us to live in the love and unity of His Spirit now.
Paul commands them to “keep” this unity, not to “establish” it. This is God’s program. The church didn’t create the unity. God calls us to preserve what He’s already created (Ephesians 2:11-22). The purpose for walking worthy is the unity amongst believers. Believers are to work at keeping the peace so that they can stay bound together in the unity of God's Spirit. Jesus Christ has broken down all walls and barriers existing between men. There is a great spiritual bond of peace wrought by the Spirit of God between all believers. All divisiveness, differences, and prejudices are set aside; and a spirit of love, peace, and unity exist. Unfortunately, not every believer walks in the Spirit—not all the time. Too often, believers allow self and the old life to re-enter the picture. Such as pride, jealousy, quarrels, criticism, murmuring, etc. The Holy Spirit can override human differences and hold us together through the bond of peace. Unity, where once there was division, will act like a belt to hold us together.
Question to Consider:
How is your fellowship in the Spirit today affecting the way you see and relate to other believers?
point to ponder:
Ask the Lord for wisdom so you can find common ground to spread the good news about Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, I am so thankful that You desired to have a personal relationship with me. I know that it was only possible through the shed blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. Reveal to me anything in me that disrupts or obstructs the unity that Your Spirit is purposing for in my church. I desire to have a deeper relationship with You. I understand that the closer I walk with You the stronger my relationship with You and with others will be, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.