Right now in our nation, there has been upswing in anger, outspoken racism and political strife. As the Body of Christ, we have the responsibility to stand in faith against those strategies of the enemy. Instead of contributing to the division, we should be examples of love which produces unity.
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)
The spirit of division focuses on differences, the spirit of love focuses on oneness.
Here are some areas of difference we must reckon with in today's world.
RACE: Red – Yellow – Black – White (All Are Necessary)
RELIGION: Baptist – Methodist – Presbyterian, Unity, Charismatic, Word of faith.
POLITICS: Democrat – Republican – Independent ( Remember, we are the U.S. United States.)
Here are four ways to stand against division in love:
1. Renew Our Minds to the Love of God
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
One way to renew our minds is to regularly speak 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 over ourselves:
“I am patient and kind. I am not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. I do not demand my own way. I am not irritable, and I keep no record of being wronged. I do not rejoice about injustice but rejoice whenever the truth wins out. I never give up, never lose faith, am always hopeful and endure through every circumstance!”
2. Respond in Love With Our Words
We must recognize that responding in love is not the same as agreeing with a position. Instead, it is responding with a gentle answer (Proverbs 15:1). Instead of lashing out at an opposing position, we should stop, listen and ask questions that probe the speaker to think critically about his or her position. Then once we’ve shown that we value him or her as an individual (and as a person), we can share our positions respectfully. This kind of approach is much more likely to keep the lines of communication open.
3. Respond in Love With Our Actions
James 2:17-18 says, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.’”
We can produce good deeds by standing against racism and economic inequality. Examples of this are:
• Volunteering with community organizations like a local food bank, or a clothes distribution center.
• Starting an outreach to help single parents buy back-to-school supplies, clothes, etc.
• Provide car repair services for senior citizens, or helping underprivileged kids.
• Holding a neighborhood canned food drive
• Writing letters to our local newspapers in support of equality or against unfair practices.
• Serving food to or providing job skills training for the homeless in our cities
4. Respond in Love by Praying For Your Enemy
Jesus taught us to love and pray for our enemies.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. Matthew 5:44-47 The Message (MSG)
There is no substitute for praying in love. When we hear a disturbing news report, we need to pray. When our family members espouse a negative position, we need to pray. If our employers adopt a position with which we disagree, we need to pray. We need to pray for wisdom, for revelation knowledge to come to them and, above all, for their salvation through Jesus Christ.
We can beat the spirit of division by responding in the power of unconditional love! Love never fails!
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