Last week we finished this series by talking about the "together" part of our Core Values. One of the points we highlighted is the temptation to think that "together" is just a necessary thing to stick on the end to make it more, well..."churchy". This could not be farther from the truth. The New Testament makes it clear that this is an essential part of WHO and WHAT Christ desires us to be and do as His people. Take a look:
In John 13:34-35, Christ tells His disciples that "Your love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples." He goes on in John 17:20-23 - as He is praying for those of us who would choose to follow Him - and says to the Father, "My prayer for all of them is that they will be ONE, just are you and I are one." Christ is direct and clear. His desire for His people is that we walk through this life and journey toward Him TOGETHER!
In Philippians 1:27, Paul exhorts the church to be "standing side by side, fighting together for the Good News." He tells them that "We are in this fight TOGETHER!"
TOGETHER is not an afterthought.
TOGETHER is not a really nice practical ending to some a more powerful biblical principle.
TOGETHER is an essential! It can't be compromised! It is part of the DNA and character of the church of Jesus Christ.
God's people are called to FIGHT FOR UNITY! It doesn't just fall out of the sky or magically come to us. We fight for it! This takes work. It takes loving those you might not find to easy to love. It's messy. It requires patience and persistence. And with everything it costs us and demands of us...it is worth every bit.
Worship. Grow. Serve. TOGETHER!