When melted butter is needed in baking, it is usually recommended to cut up the stick in to smaller cubes before putting it in to the heat source. This makes it melt faster and who wants to wait when they are in the middle of making some gooey, chocolate brownies? Not this girl. Although while baking the other day, I placed my half stick of butter hastily in to toaster oven without cutting it. As I took it out to cut up because it was taking longer than anticipated, God reminded me that united we stand, divided we fall.
The division of the church and marriage and families and relationships cause the Christian community to falter. It is separation from God and each other. This is true spiritual warfare. This is the melting of the church.
Dividing makes the church melt faster. Partitions in denominations. Separation of husband and wife. Dissecting economic status. Division is so easy. It is easy to put up walls with a single comment that does not meet your criteria. It is easy to push someone way when they do not meet your standards or leave the church when it does not fit your life style. It is easy to tear down instead of build up.
But ultimately, it is not about who follows Paul or who follows Apollo (1 Corinthians 3:5-9) or whether worship is modern or contemporary or whether your spouse really just did that again. It is about love.
Love makes a shelter. Love brings us together and reunifies. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Love means you are never alone. Love makes life worth living and memories worth sharing. There is something so comforting in knowing the gospel and having a relationship with Jesus and seeing the purest form of love (1 John 3:16).
This is the love that Matt Maher is referring to in his song, Hold Us Together. Have a listen.
And love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I'll be my brother's keeper
So the whole world would know
that we're not alone
It is in this love that unity is made. It is the glue. People from all walks of life are bound together and rooted in the love of Christ.. United we stand. United as the body of Christ. United we are able to change the world for his glory and set the captives free. United we stand in lines at check out and greet the checker with a smile. United we love our neighborhood churches, not decimating because of denomination. United we keep loving our spouse or family or friend not because of anything they have done but because what has been done for us (Titus 3:5).
Praying that you would be united, first with Christ, and then with you spouse and family and other believers around you. Praying that you would not be divided because of denominations or manmade rituals but would stand united because you know the power of the saving grace that was freely given to you and those around you.
Praying that you would disregard those issues that lead to the separation of Christ and others - malice, anger, gossip - and focus on building up the beautiful, imperfect people who are so intricately placed in your life. Praying that we would be brought to complete unity to let the world know about Jesus (John 17:23).
Here's to grouping and building and growing in unity. Here's to keeping the body together and increasing in the strength and power of Christ.