UNITY SERIES - MONTH OF JANUARY 2017

Hey lovelies,

Let us pray,

Dear Father,

We thank you for everything we learn daily, we thank you for our lives, the air that we breathe, the peace that we have and so much more. Thank you Father for laying this unity series on my heart to share, thank you for all those reading this and those who took part in sharing what unity means to them, may we not just say what it means but act out what it means too, to be united, together, supporting and building each other up. We realise that unity is a meaty word with various parts to it. But my prayer is that we will all unite more, come together and not divide and continue to encourage each other daily. So help us Father to be doers of your word and together help build this kingdom, break down the dividing walls and come together as one, with the common aim to serve and know you.

In your precious, powerful, mighty name we pray. Hallelouyah

We want to thank you all for sharing what unity means to you, we have learnt a lot and been reminded of many important things, we can also apply to our lives. So thank you.

With that said we would like to leave you with part of the beautiful piece, an article from the founder and teacher John Piper- from desiring God speaking about unity. Below is the link for the whole article. Read and be blessed-

 

What Makes Unity Christian?

Article by

John Piper

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

“Unity among two or more people gets its virtue entirely from something else. Unity itself is neutral until it is given goodness or badness by something else. So if Herod and Pilate are unified by their common scorn for Jesus (Luke 23:12), this is not a good unity. But if Paul and Silas sing together in prison for Christ’s sake (Acts 16:25), this is a good unity.

Therefore, it is never enough to call Christians to have unity. That may be good or bad. The unified vote fifty years ago in my home church in South Carolina to forbid blacks from attending services was not a good unity. The unified vote of a mainline Protestant denomination to bless forbidden sexual acts is not a good unity.

Christian unity in the New Testament gets its goodness from a combination of its source, its views, its affections, and its aims.

Source

Paul tells us to “be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). I take that to mean that the Holy Spirit is the great giver of unity. “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Views

Paul says that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:13). In other words, the unity we pursue is unity in the truth. Of course, Christian unity is more than shared truth, but not less. Paul piles up the words for common-mindedness in Philippians 2:2, “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (see also Philippians 4:2). Everything is to “accord with Christ.” “May God . . . grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5).”
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-christian-unity 

 

GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU ALL

WITH LOVE-

EMPOWERED UNITED WOMEN MINISTRY
 

UNITY IN THE KINGDOM

Dear Father,

Thank you for our lives, thank you for your word, thank you for the gift of life, thank you that you love and care for us and never leave us, thank you that we have made it this far and pray for many more blessed years going forward. I pray over the kingdom that there will be change, more unity, more growth and togetherness in all that we do, show us your ways for us to learn and apply the importance of being relational beings in all that we do, may we never be led astray by our own selfish desires but to be selfless in all that we do so that we can be shining examples of your glory and works to others. So, help us Father as we trust in you to do and be better. In your precious name we pray. Hallelouyah

 For those of you who may know, this month EUW started its UNITY series, where we reached out to you ladies to share what unity means to you, as well as having a few of the brothers share too.

We are thankful so far to all the ladies and the guys yet to post, who have all taken part so far in the UNITY SERIES, it's beautiful to see your responses of what UNITY means to you. I am yet to share my response, but felt led to share something briefly which I will share in this post. We are a body and like the human body there are different parts which serve different functions - the ears, nose, arms, legs, hands, feet, stomach, eyes, mouth, shoulders etc. you get the point. All of them are different but serve a purpose to keep the body going.

Now linking to the kingdom, we are ONE body, different callings and gifts within us all to ALL COLLECTIVELY join with the purpose to build and serve God. BUT it is not for one person to do or one person thinking their group alone can build it. We are all relational beings and if really, we all knew and applied what UNITY is, there would be no I and just me and my team BUT US and how can we all help each other more?? There would be no confusion, no division no judging or leaving people out. We would all realise that whether on the stage or behind the scenes EVERYONE has a part to play, no one’s part is greater than anyone else's.

If you clean the church do it well, if you preach do it well, if you plan events do it well, if you lead prayers or any group do it well. SO, WHAT AM I SAYING WHATEVER GOD CALLS YOU TO DO NEVER SEE IT AS SMALL OR THAT ITS NOT MUCH BECAUSE YOU SEE OTHERS FUNCTIONING IN OTHER WAYS, YOU FEEL ARE 'HIGHER' that's where comparison envy and doubting comes into play. Because you are comparing their walk and calling with yours. Don't feel that everything must be glamourized. THINK KINGDOM AND DO YOUR PART WELL.

We say we unite - but a Q to all- me too, is ARE we really living what our words speak out. ARE we really applying the action to back up the words spoken??? The kingdom has a long way to go in regards to UNITY and it's by no mistake God placed it on my heart to reach out to you to share what it means to you as well as address it, because UNITY is indeed a meaty word. Let’s back up our words and live a life UNITED with others and not against and to ourselves.

As always when speaking about things we relate it to the word of God, below are a few examples of what the bible says about Unity-

When Brothers Dwell in Unity-

Psalm 133 - When Brothers Dwell in Unity

1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
    life forevermore.

I love how David spoke about unity and oneness in Psalm 133, he speaks about how it is pleasant and good to be united together, but sadly when we look at the kingdom this isnt necessarily the way it is, there is division and harmony is common everywhere, there are disagreements, there is the love of titles and excluding others, there is tension, comparison, envy and more that drowns out what should be harmony, peace and joy along with unity to division, grouping and excluding.

We should pray and strive more to live in unity because as opposed to division, unity serves many good purposes in the kingdom- Others are drawn to the Lord through Unity, there is cooperation in the body to help build and lift others up, there is less tension among us and the room to grow and develop individually as well as collectively. We may not always agree on everything but it is important to respect the fact that there are differences in us all and no two people are the same. Our overall main common purpose is to work together for God and not against each other, what we show on the outside is what comes from the inside-exposed.

Brotherly unity, shows that link of love, support, learning and growing together as one, it shows we are dedicated to serving to God wholeheartedly.

1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?’

Here it is highlighted that we are ONE flesh, not two or three but one in the body, to grow and support each other, to create peace, love and understanding of each other, but the moment that is absent comes in the jealousy, pride, envy and even hate. Those who are spiritually mature will not act in such ways because they understand and know what the word of God expects of them and nothing less, though they may stumble will get back up and ensure that God helps them to grow and do better. When division comes it distracts, the flesh is in control and there is no reasoning to doing better because the spirit is no longer what is leading but the flesh.

Many fall and lose focus of what God is saying and what they need to do. But when you are in the word and have that intimacy with God you will be led by Him and close to Him to see and know right from wrong and reflect that to others in the body. Do self-checks daily and let God purge you of ways that can only lead to your downfall and nothing more. Submit yourself to Him daily and let Him continue to do a good work in you.

Philippians 2:3-4 ‘Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’

Here God is giving us a command to not do anything from selfish ambition or conceit, but that we are to put others before ourselves, we are to be selfless and watch out for our brothers and sisters, be that helper, that praying partner, the support system needed and not to count on our own needs and ways to see ourselves through. Let God mould you to be someone who has compassion and care for others and their needs, not just concerned with yourself. How we see unity begins with how we see ourselves in the body with others, how do you treat others? Do you show care and love to others? Do you put others before yourself even when its hard to do so?

Disunity in the church comes in many forms, the main common theme is that people only think about themselves and what they choose to do for themselves not regarding how others can be helped too. Selfishness leads to destruction and not blessings, God is our father and is love so how do we show that love to others? Love does not come in the form of selfishness and if you can be honest with yourself to search within and see that you have some traits, not of God. Surrender them to Him and He will heal you and guide your path, you don’t have to face it alone when we have a living Father in heaven who is always there for us to help us on this journey.

***Conflict = Disunity, selfishness, turmoil, own desires, own ambitions, own selfish desires, division…. Yet sadly happens in the body of Christ.***

 

EPHESHIANS 4:2 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.’

Another good example that highlights the importance of unity and why it is important to work on this in the kingdom. To unite with others is to be humble, gentle, loving and patient with each other. To bear each other in love and not selfishness, to support each other, pray for each other, work together and get things done. Yes no one is perfect but it is important to love each other despite the wrongs and our individual faults.

This is where it is importance to exercise patience and love towards others because people won’t get it right straight away, everyone is a work in progress. Pray for people when they make mistakes but do not look down on them when they do, because just like you, people will and do make mistakes, and you will want others to be understanding and patient of yours, so extend the favour and do the same.

-       Consider others

-       Pray more over this for God to reveal to you how you can be used in the kingdom to illustrate this to others.

-       Do self-checks

-       Be patient

-       Be humble

-       Be gentle

-       Be selfless

-       Be wise

-       Be sincere

Someone who is humble and selfless will not point fingers at others when they stumble. Because they see in themselves that they too have done wrongs and need God’s grace and mercy as much as the next person. They study themselves and learn to be better, then go on to help others, and this is shown as a true image of Christ. To uphold Christ like standards to themselves and others, they see their own heart and faults first, and do not boast but seek to work on those errors and defects.

To finish off will leave you with this-  ‘As Christians it is important to see each other in light of the sacrifice God made for us all. As well as yourself, Christ died that painful, brutal death so that He might exchange His righteousness for our sins. So then it is important for us to always be reminded of the greatest sacrifice and extend love, compassion and grace of our Heavenly Father too.’

God bless you all