United in Christ

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I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are One — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. — John 17:23

When God speaks of unity, what does He mean? 

Is it being “on the same page,” and having shared ambitions, goals and rules that each member strictly adheres to? Many gang members possess and are bound together by these qualities without giving a message of love and holiness. 

Could it be doctrine? All who belong believe the same thing and think the same way. We often refer to organizations that succeed in this as cults. 

So how is unity in Jesus different? And how do we become unified in Him? 

One clue given in the passage above is that, when speaking about the disciples being unified, Jesus does not speak to the disciples. He speaks to the Father. This special unity in Christ cannot be developed by men and women. It must be received from God. But how? 

2 Peter 1:3 in The Message Bible makes the way clear. “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately the one who invited us to God.” True unity will only come as fruit of a true and pure relationship with Jesus. The surest way to be truly unified with each other is to make intimate knowledge of Jesus our highest priority. 

What I love about the First 20 initiative is that it started with no agenda other than getting to know Jesus and daily growing in our knowledge of who He is. As we continue in this pursuit, we will see our unity with each other grow and strengthen, and the Kingdom of God will be among us.

Our God Hears,
Joe Halpin