Sunday, March 19, 2023
Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Avoid Division and Strife
The message here is clear: as members of a church community, we must be vigilant against those who would cause division and strife. We must work together to build a united, cohesive community that is centered around Christ and his teachings.
Paul goes on to say that God will soon crush Satan under our feet, a powerful image of the ultimate triumph of good over evil. This reminds us that our struggle against division and strife is not just a personal one, but a holy one as well. We are part of a larger spiritual battle that has been raging since the beginning of time, and we must stand firm in our faith and our commitment to building a strong, unified church community.
To achieve this goal, we must be rooted in the Word of God and in prayer. In Colossians 3:16-17, Paul writes, "Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." This passage reminds us that we must constantly be seeking to grow in our faith, to learn from one another, and to praise God in all that we do.
Furthermore, we must be willing to love and serve one another, even when it is difficult. In Galatians 6:2, Paul writes, "Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ." This means that we must be willing to put aside our own desires and preferences in order to help those in need, whether they are members of our own church community or not.
Ultimately, building a strong, unified church community requires us to put Christ at the center of all that we do. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, "The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit." This passage reminds us that, despite our differences, we are all part of the same spiritual family, united in our love for Christ and our desire to serve him.
But, what happens if there is division inside of the church body? What happens to the body as a whole? In my years of service to church communities, I have seen how the church community can wither and die.
Just as a human body can become sick or dysfunctional if one part is not working properly, so too can the body of Christ suffer if we are not all working together in unity. That's why it's so important for us to recognize that we need each other and to work together to build a strong, healthy community that is centered around Christ.
In Ephesians 4:16, Paul writes, "He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love." This passage reminds us that, as we each use our gifts and talents to serve the body of Christ, we not only contribute to its overall health and functioning but we also help each other grow in our faith and love for God.
We must remember that every member of the body of Christ is equally important and valuable. In 1 Corinthians 12:22-23, Paul writes, "In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care." This passage reminds us that even those who may seem insignificant or overlooked in the eyes of the world are essential to the functioning of the body of Christ.
Romans 16:17-20 reminds us of the importance of building a strong, unified church community that is centered around Christ and his teachings. To achieve this goal, we must be vigilant against those who would cause division and strife, and we must be rooted in the Word of God and in prayer. We must be willing to love and serve one another, even when it is difficult, and we must put Christ at the center of all that we do. Let us strive to build a church community that is strong, loving, and united, a community that reflects the love of Christ to the world around us.
By working together to build a strong and united community, we can all stand firm in His grace.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.