Name Tags: You Are... (Part 16)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the Image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
In John 17, Jesus prayed to God. It is His longest recorded prayer, and most of It concerned His followers. One theme of His prayer was unity:
'I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me' (John 17:10-21, NKJV).
Please reconsider the concluding phrase: 'That the world may believe that You sent Me.'
Could Christ mean our unity is crucial for lost sheep to follow us and come home? As in a house divided cannot stand?* As in who wants to join a broken home? As in bickering kin aren't attractive?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Whatever your denomination, I urge you to open your arms wide; to expand your mind and heart in God; to rise above manmade church dogma; to refuse to judge other Christians.
After I became a believer, I was warned about various groups who professed Jesus Christ as their Lord, but practiced their faith differently. But remember His far-reaching Words:
'I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My Voice; and they will become one flock with one Shepherd' (John 10:16, NASB).**
Bottom line: Look for the best in your Christian kin. If they love Jesus and so do you, then let the King be your agreement. Don't nit-pick, condemn or criticize. Maybe they won't be your closest friends. Maybe some of what they think is wrong.
But some of what you think is wrong, too. So show the world a united front. If not, you're making Jesus look bad.
To Be Continued...
* 'If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand' (Mark 3:25, NIV).
** Most Bible scholars agree that the 'other sheep' to which Jesus originally referred were Gentiles/outsiders/us. That being said, who are they today? Now that we're insiders, who are the outsiders? Could they be lost sheep, prodigals, outsiders, denominations foreign to us, or people with good hearts who are destined to meet Christ? Even if part of what they believe is wrong?
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.