Wednesday, March 26, 2014

There Is A Co-Operation Exhibited As A Christian

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;  Philippians 1:27

Paul had a heart for the Philippians.  He had a desire in his heart to see them grow spiritually, to progress in their faith and confidence in the Lord.  In Philippians 1:27-30 he gave them some principles on how a Christian should be a Christian.  The first principle from yesterday was:
·      There Is A Conduct Expected Of A Christian

The second principle Paul gave them was:
·      There Is A Co-Operation Exhibited As A Christian - I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel

Paul speaks of a unity that is important to the Christian body. This unity is to be exhibited and shown as a Christian. 

There Is An Undivided People - Christians are to stand fast in one spirit and with one mind. Christians are not to be characterized by division and disunity.

In the Priestly prayer of Jesus, He prayed in John 17: 21, " that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.."

Legendary New York Yankees and Mets manager Casey Stengel once gave what he believed was the secret to managing a ball team. He said, "The secret of managing a club is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the five who are undecided."  Christians should not have to be kept apart, but should be pulled together.  They should be in one spirit and one mind.

There Is A United Purpose - Christians should not only stand together, but also strive together. Paul said, "striving together for the faith of the gospel."  He said we have a common goal - the same purpose and cause and we should be united around that goal - the faith of the gospel.

The word "strive" is an athletic term that describes a team.  It is like a football team consisting of 11 men.  It is not 11 men doing their own thing, but 11 men working together as a team.  One man may be an all-star, but he'll not win the game alone.  He needs the other 10 men to block and pass.

One of Aesop's fables is about a father who had seven sons.  To each son he gave a stick.  Each was asked to break his stick, which was easily done.  Then the father took seven other sticks and bound them together.  He then asks the seven sons to break the sticks.  Not one of the sons could break the sticks that had been bound together as one.

Herman Ostry's barn floor was under twenty-nine inches of water because of a rising creek.  The Bruno, Nebraska, farmer invited a few friends to a barn raising.  He needed to move his entire 17,000-pound barn to a new foundation more than 143 feet away.  His son Mike devised a lattice work of steel tubing, and nailed, bolted, and welded it on the inside and the outside of the barn. Hundreds of handles were attached.  After one practice lift, 344 volunteers slowly walked the barn up a slight incline, each supporting less than fifty pounds.  In just three minutes, the barn was on its new foundation.

The strength of our work is our unity as a people and our being united around a purpose.  We should be drawn together and bound together around a common purpose.  In doing so we find strength.  The body of Christ can accomplish great things when we work together.  As Christians we should be a team and not a one man show.

Scripture to Claim:
…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Colossian 1:10

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