Posts Tagged ‘unity service’


Under Gods Command

1 Samuel 1:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

Samuel “ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.” In other words, Samuel was Eli’s helper or assistant. In this role, Samuel’s responsibilities would have included opening the tabernacle doors each morning (3:15), cleaning the furniture, and sweeping the floors. As he grew older, Samuel would have assisted Eli in offering sacrifices. The fact that he was wearing a special linen garment like those worn by the priests (in Hebrew called an ephod) shows that he was a priest-in-training. Because Samuel was Eli’s helper, he was God’s helper, too.

Lets Bring it Home: When you serve others—even in carrying out ordinary tasks—you are serving God. Because ultimately we serve God, every job has dignity.


Under Gods Command

Final Greetings     

1 Corinthians 16: 24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen

16:24 The church at Corinth was a church in trouble. Paul lovingly and forcefully confronted their problems and pointed them back to Christ. He dealt with divisions and conflicts, selfishness, inconsiderate use of freedom, disorder in worship, misuse of spiritual gifts, and wrong attitudes about the resurrection.

In every church, there are problems that create tensions and divisions. We should not ignore or gloss over problems in our churches or in our life. 

Lets Bring it Home: Instead, like Paul, we should deal with problems head on as they arise. The lesson for us in 1 Corinthians is that unity and love in a church are far more important than leaders and labels.


Under Gods Command
Unity and Diversity in the Body                                                                                        

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 

Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose, and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors: (1) being too proud of their abilities, or (2) thinking they have nothing to give to the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we should use our different gifts, together, to spread the Good News of salvation.

The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth. But despite the differences, all believers have one thing in common—faith in Christ. On this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church. We don’t lose our individual identities, but we have an overriding oneness in Christ. When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence, and he or she is born into God’s family.

Lets Bring it Home: “We were all given the one Spirit to drink” means that the same Holy Spirit completely fills our innermost beings. As members of God’s family, we may have different interests and gifts, but we have a common goal.
 


Under Gods Command

PAUL ADDRESSES CHURCH PROBLEMS (1:1-6:20)

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no division among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 

Paul founded the church in Corinth on his second missionary journey.  Eighteen months after he left, arguments and divisions arose, and some church members slipped back into immoral lifestyle.  Paul wrote this letter to address the problems, to clear up confusion about right and wrong, and to remove the immorality among them.  The Corinthian people had a reputation for jumping from fad to fad; Paul wanted to keep Christianity from degenerating into just another fad.

Lets Bring it Home: By saying “brothers,” Paul is emphasizing that all Christians are part of God’s family.  Believers share a unity that rounds even deeper than that of blood brothers and sisters.


Under Gods Command

Romans:  16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ Amen.

As Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life, Rome was the world’s political, religious, social, and economic center.  There the major governmental decisions were made, and from there the gospel spread to the ends of the earth.  The church in Rome was a cosmopolitan mixture of Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free people, men, women, Roman citizens, and world travelers; therefore, it had potential for both great influence and great conflict.  .

Lets Bring it home: Paul had not yet been to Rome to meet all the Christians there, and of course, he has not yet met us.  We too live in a cosmopolitan setting with the entire world open to us.  We also have the potential for both widespread influence and wrenching conflict.  We should listen carefully to and apply Paul’s teaching about unity, service, and love.