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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

September 11, 2013 - The Unity of the Spirit

By Patty Kennedy

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3, NIV).

If you have been part of a body of believers for any length of time, you are well aware sometimes unity seems hard to come by. We seem to forget we are not our own, that we were purchased with the precious blood of Jesus. We're tempted to push and shove and gossip and try to cause dissension when we don't get our own way.

The apostle Peter reminds us we are "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession" (1 Peter 2:9). Our mission is to "declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light." The knowledge of who we are in Christ Jesus should bond us together in holy, brotherly love. What can be done to foster unity of the Spirit?

Nothing is more vital in this endeavor than to commit ourselves to lives of prayer. Remember the Upper Room? Christ's followers stayed there for 10 days and "joined together constantly in prayer" (Acts 1:14). Jesus had exhorted them to not leave Jerusalem, but to "wait for the gift my Father promised" (Acts 1:4). I sense that in those 10 days of united prayer, the disciples' hearts were knit together as one.

Unity to some people seems to be a distasteful thing; they are not happy unless they are churning things up. Perhaps they don't understand how vital unity is. Or maybe they think it means they will lose their identity as they join with other believers. On the contrary, unity is indispensable if we hope to live Christ-centered lives that "produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matthew 3:8).

I recently read an Andrew Murray devotional that painted a vivid picture of the importance of unity:

"Because of the many mountains in Natal [a region in South Africa], the streams often flow down with great force. The Zulus join hands when they want to pass through a stream. The leader has a strong stick in the right hand, and gives his left hand to some strong man who comes behind him. And so they form a chain and help each other cross the current. When God's people reach out their hands to each other in the spirit of prayer, there will be power to resist the terrible influence that the world can exert. In that unity, God's children will have power to triumph with God."

Are you forming a chain today in your relationships with other believers? Or are you yanking and pulling and stubbornly trying to go your own way? The world will not know we are believers in Jesus when all they see is bickering and jockeying for position. "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:35, NLT).

Let's do what the disciples did as they waited for the Holy Spirit. In the communion of loving, believing, faithful prayer, our hearts can be united for the one purpose of living for and glorifying God.

— Patty Kennedy describes her life as "a powerful illustration of God's matchless grace and redemption." She lives in Springfield, Mo., with her husband, John, who serves as news editor for the Pentecostal Evangel.




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