December 17, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 17 December 2019
A father once had a family of quarrelsome sons who had trouble with unity among each other. So he called them together and handed a stick to the strongest of his sons. “Snap it,” he said. The son snapped the stick with a gesture of contempt. The father then handed him two sticks. “Snap them,” he said again. The son did so. The old man handed increasing numbers of sticks to his son: four, five, six sticks. “Snap them,” he said each time. Soon was the son was having to strain to snap the sticks, until finally he had to admit defeat. The old man then gave his sons a valuable life lesson. “Unity is strength,” he reasoned. “A house divided cannot stand. Be assured, anyone can overthrow you one by one. However, stand together in unity, and your combined strength will give your enemies second thoughts.”
What is true in one’s physical family at home is true in the family of God. Unity is what God desires for his people to promote. Unity is what Satan dreads and works to undo. Unity is what Jesus prayed for his people, and what the Holy Spirit came to achieve. Unity is a precious commodity. Jesus said, “By this shall all know that you belong to Me: by your love toward one another, your unity in the bond of love and peace toward one another” (John 13:35).
How do believers strive for unity? The present devotion will give attention to four aspects of unity. In the book of Acts, one can easily discern the extraordinary unity of the first church in Jerusalem. The characteristics of their unity may be manifested today. Is it any wonder that they were so Spirit empowered? God’s power is outpoured upon brothers and sisters who meet together in unity. The first aspect of unity is to have one central purpose. The early church was united in one common mission: reaching the world for Christ. Consequently, they were all committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. God supernaturally empowers a people who are mutually committed to serve as witnesses for Christ in the entire world. Do you share this purpose?
The second aspect of unity is one common place. The first congregation came together regularly in one and the same place. First, they were united in the upper room in Jerusalem, then “they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1); then they were together in the temple courts (2:46) and in their homes (2:46). They were not isolated from one another. They met regularly together in one place. Do you regularly meet together with other members of the church?
The third aspect of unity is one corporate prayer. When the first disciples assembled, they prayed together. Moreover, they prayed for the same things. Acts 1:14 states, “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Acts 3:1 indicates that the church met together for appointed prayer times. Do you join other Christians in corporate prayer?
The fourth aspect of unity is one primary pursuit. The early believers all pursued the same things: the teaching of God’s holy and inspired Word, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42). They studied God’s truth together, proclaimed the atoning death and the coming return of God’s Son together, worshipped God’s glory together, and prayed for God’s grace together. They were joined together: one heart, mind, and soul. What a great encouragement and reminder to strive for biblical unity by means of God's grace and for his glory!
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.