Illustration results for unity
Garth Wehrfritz- Hanson
Paul and the Philippians remembered and supported one another in prayer. A joyful, loving, and caring church is one which keeps each other in prayer. Oftentimes, we fail to be a joyful, loving, caring Christian community because we fail to remember and support each other in prayer. There are many missed opportunities because we are not listening to God with an open mind and heart in prayer. Christian community without prayer is not possible. Itís like trying to cook a good meal without the necessary equipment; or fix a car without the necessary tools and repairsóit is not possible. Prayer not only gives us the necessary resources to be the community God wants us to be and accomplish the tasks God wants us to do; prayer also changes our impossible situations into possible ones. More importantly, however, prayer changes us. Prayer works on our negative, doubting, critical, apathetic sinful attitudes and behaviours. It transforms such harmful attitudes and behaviours into a joyful, loving, caring Christian community. So as Paul would say, never underestimate the power of your prayersóGod works miracles through them. Also, pray without ceasing, as Paul instructs us to do.
Sermon Central Staff
Unity is not simply an intellectual exercise. We can believe the same things, recite the same creeds, belong to the same denomination, but that does not mean we have unity.
In his book Soul Talk, Larry Crabb writes:
"Which is worse? A church program to build community that doesnít get off the ground or one person sitting every Sunday in the back of the church who remains unknown? A Sunday school class that once drew hundreds but has now dwindled to thirty or a Sunday school teacher whose sense of failure is never explored by a caring friend? A family torn apart by the fatherís drinking, his wifeís frustration, and their third graderís learning disabilities or a self-hating dad, a terrified mom, and a lonely little boy, three human beings whose beauty and value no one ever discovers? A national campaign that fails to gain steam for the pro-life movement or a single woman on her way home from an abortion clinic in the backseat of a taxi, a woman whose soul no one ever touches?"
We may notice the unknown pew sitter, we wonder how the teacher of the now small class feels, we worry over each member of the torn-up family, and we feel for the guilt and pain of a woman who has ended her babyís life. But we do whatís easier. We design programs, we brainstorm ways to build attendance, and in our outrage over divorce statistics and abortion numbers we fight for family values.
These are all good things, but we donít TALK to the pew sitter; we donít ASK the teacher how heís feeling; we donít INVITE the dad to play golf, the woman to lunch, or the little boy to play with our children; we donít let the aborting woman know we CARE about her soul.
That response to hurting people, I would label disunity. Disunity is not just fighting over personal preferences. Itís not just leaving the church because someone hurt your feelings. Itís not just gossip that tears down other members of the body. Itís leaving needs unmet. Itís failing to love people the way God would have us love. Unity is lived out in caring concern for others.
(From a sermon by Bret Toman, Unity For the Glory of God, 1/3/2011)
Sermon Central Staff
IF WE'D ONLY JOINED HANDS SOONER
A number of years ago in Canada, a little two-year-old girl wandered away from her neighborhood. It was a cold, winter day. Her parents alerted the neighbors and they saw some tracks in the snow, but there were a lot of other tracks, so for several hours the searchers went in all different directions calling her name. They didnít find her. A little before sunset one of the men said, "Instead of all working separately, letís join hands and form a long line and walk through the field together. That way we cannot miss a square foot."
Thatís what they did. They joined hands and together walked as one long line calling that little girlís name. Tragically, they found her frozen body curled up. One of the men said with great anguish, "Oh, if we had only joined hands sooner.
(From a sermon by Bob Joyce, Like Lucy, 8/4/2011)
Two taxidermists stopped in front of a window where an owl was on display. They immediately began to criticize the way it was mounted. Its eyes were not natural; its wings were not in proportion with its head; its feathers were not neatly arranged; and its feet could be improved. Just when they had finished w...
Sermon Central Staff
A.W. TOZER: THE POSITION OF CHRIST IN THE CHURCH
The present position of Christ in the gospel churches may be likened to that of a king in a limited constitutional monarchy. The king is in such a country no more than a traditional rallying point, a pleasant symbol of unity and loyalty much like a flag or a national anthem. He is lauded, feted, and supported, but his real authority is small. Nominally he is head over all, but in every crisis someone else makes the decisions. On formal occasions he appears in his royal attire to deliver the tame, colorless speech put into his mouth by the real rulers of the country. The whole thing may be no more than good-natured make-believe, but it is rooted in antiquity, it is a lot of fun, and no one wants to give it up. -- A.W. Tozer
(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, The Kingdom of Heaven, 8/24/2011)
D. Greg Ebie
We can see in our national headlines the power of unity to fulfill a common goal. Each of us will never forget what happened September 11, 2001. Out of that terrible day we saw our nation join together in unity. President George W. Bush had the support of the nation as he led the nation into the war against the terrorist who murdered so many innocent Americans. Letís go get íem!
But now nearly 9 month later weíve started pointing fingers. What did our president know before the attacks? What could the government have done to prevent the terrorist attacks? The unity that was born through terror is unraveling. We have forgotten who our enemy is.
The same happens within the church. We can so easily begin to point fingers at other "sheep;" we become critical of the "shepherd." All the while we forget that we have a common enemy outside the walls of the church. Satan seeks to "steal kill and destroy". Letís not forget who the enemy is.
Josh McDowell writes, in his book, Answers To Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About The Christian Faith;
Lest anyone think this isnít something marvelous, weíd like to give you this challenge. Find ten people from your local area having similar backgrounds, who speak the same language, and are all from basically the same culture. Then separate them an ask them to write their opinion on only one controversial subject, such as they meaning of life.
When, they have finished, compare the conclusions of these ten writers. Do they agree with each other? Of course not. But the Bible did not consist of merely ten authors, but 40. It was not written in one generation, but over a period of 1,500 years; not by authors with the same education, culture or language, but with vastly different educations, many different cultures, from 3 continents and 3 different languages, and finally not just one subject but hundreds.
And yet the bible there is unity. There is complete harmony, which can not be explained by coincidence or collusion. The unity of the bible is a strong argument in favor of itís divine inspiration.
Have you ever wondered what makes the difference between a spotlight and a laser beam?
How can a medium-powered laser burn through steel in a matter of seconds, while the most powerful spotlight can only make it warm?
Both may have the same electrical power requirements.
The difference is unity.
A laser can be simply described as a medium of excited molecules with mirrors at each end.
Some of the excited molecules naturally decay into a less excited state.
In the decay process they release a photon, a particle of light.
It is here that the unique process of the laser begins.
The photon moves along and ďticklesĒ another molecule, inviting another photon to join him on his journey.
Then these two photons ďtickleĒ two more molecules and invite two more photons to join the parade.
Soon there is a huge army of photons marching in step with each other.
It is this unity that gives the laser its power.
A spotlight may have just as man...
The Sunflower is probably the most amazing flowers God created. They literally follow the sun. No I donít know about you, but one the most amazing things I have seen is a field of sunflowers. Watching one follow the sun through is cute. Watching hundreds in absolute unison follow the sun is actually quite incredible. Something I found out recently, is that Sunflowers continue tracking the suns direction long after sun set. Through 360 degreeís they ensure that they are always oriented in the direction of the sun. Their unity is totally dependant on one thing. Their relationship to the sun.
We know we have a healthy body when each and every member is working together and looking out for one another. Paul uses a lot of analogies comparing the human body and the church. There is not one part of our body that is not dependent on another part.
Behold, a team went forth to play a game of baseball.
Just as the umpire was saying, ďBatter up,Ē the catcher for the home team arrived and took his place behind the plate. The center fielder didnít show up at all but sent his regrets. The third baseman likewise failed to come to the game, having been up late the night before. The shortstop was present, but left his glove at home. Two of the substitute fielders were away on a weekend trip but said they were there in spirit.
The pitcher went to the mound and looked around for his teammates. But his heart was heavy, for their positions were empty. The game was announced, the visitors were in the stands, and there was nothing to do but pitch the ball and hope for the best. But in addition to pitching, he had to cover first and third base, as well as short and center field.
When the absent players heard that their team had lost, they were very upset. They held a meeting and decided to get a new pitcher.
So this is how the church is to function.
We work together for the same purpose, looking out for one another. When a weaker part is suffering, we suffer with them and offer support.
When another part rejoices, we rejoice with them. We are many, we are individuals with individual gifts, but we are all apart of One body.