With Valentine’s day comes hearts and roses, chocolate and love notes! But the most satisfying Valentine gift must be the gift of Unity. Let me tell you why. We are so focused on ourselves and our own personal needs that we miss out on what really brings the greatest level of pleasure: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:3-5, NLT).
Jesus Christ put our needs ahead of his own. He came to bring unity to Christ-followers. That bond of putting others needs ahead of our own, serving and not looking for reward, we all need unity that binds us together and causes us to work for our ONE MAIN PURPOSE: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. THAT’S WHY WE ARE HERE ON THIS EARTH. Unity does not mean the absence of differing opinions but we have harmony that goes beyond our personal preferences and opinions, and puts the other person first. The work of God in our lives is never more evident than when you see a group of believers unified. Our foundation is Christ and He supplies the encouragement.
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose” (Philippians 2:1-2).
What speaks louder than LOVE? a unifying love! “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34 & 35). We cannot be unified without the seal of love upon our hearts. Loving others no matter the cost to ourselves. What does that look like? “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Is it easy? No! Not at all! But just as Psalm 133 paints the picture of how exciting, satisfying and motivating Unity is (thank you pastor/preacher/teacher/doctor-husband for preaching this little Psalm recently), the author wants us to know, it is God’s work in our hearts and lives even as great as eternal life. Bottom line: It is God’s work in us!
But that’s not all . . .
I believe there’s a prerequisite to the unifying spirit with fellow believers or our church family, and it’s the home. I want to say, “Behold” here! Just like Psalm 133 (NASB) opens with the word “Behold,” which means in essence, “Don’t miss this!” Our home life is more important than the life we portray to the world. When you feel at home you are relaxed and comfortable, at ease; in harmony with the surroundings (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/home).
Unity begins in the home. How we make our loved ones feel in our home matters. What we allow to control the atmosphere of our home matters. Our home life is the building blocks for all other relationships. When we have sacrificed and worked to live in unity with love fixed on our hearts in our homes, we will be more successful in extending it to the Church. BEHOLD: How good and how pleasant to live at home with love and unity flowing throughout, and rising as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
What is your home’s unity barometer reading?