Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. Philippians 2.1-4
What do you think Paul’s reaction would be to the religious world today? When writing to the Philippians, he told them to complete his joy by being of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Impossible, you say! However, it is what God expects of his children, of his church.
There is only one way to accomplish this. Only by returning to what God’s word says, will we be able to even come close. As long as each person picks and chooses what they want to include, it will never be done. When people add things not found in God’s word or conveniently forget that something is in God’s word, it will not happen. When you take a verse out of context and twist it to say what you want it to say, unity in spirit and purpose will remain out of reach. When the titles become more important than the service, the motivation is called into question.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians in 4.3 to make every effort to keep the unity. It can only be done if we faithfully follow what God’s word says. We are called to respect his word and to accept it as it is, neither adding or diminishing it in any way, Deuteronomy 4.2 and Revelation 22.18. Are you reading the Bible? Do you read with an open heart receiving what is contained in it? Do you promote unity based upon his word?