Summary: We can always find differences, but if we will commit to working out the rough spots and learn to genuinely love and care for the spiritual family members God has put in our lives, then we will be able to glorify God together as we do life with each other
United We Stand!
Intro: A bus driver and a minister were standing in line to get into heaven. The bus driver approached the gate and St. Peter said, "Welcome, I understand you were a bus driver. Since I’m in charge of housing, I believe I have found the perfect place for you. See that mansion over the hilltop? It’s yours.
The minister heard all this and began to stand a little taller. He said to himself, "If a bus driver got a place like that, just think what I’ll get."
The minister approached the gate and St. Peter said, "Welcome, I understand you were a minister. See that shack in the valley?"
St. Peter had hardly gotten the words out of his mouth when the shocked minister said, "I was a minister, I preached the gospel, I helped teach people about God. Why does that bus driver get a mansion, and I get a shack?"
Sadly St. Peter responded, "Well, it seems when you preached, people slept. When the bus driver drove, people prayed."
-Well, I hope we have more praying than sleeping going on today. Just pretend I’m driving the bus and you’re on board.
-As we continue the topic of unity today, The story is told of a little boy sitting on the front steps with his face cradled in his hands, looking very upset. His father came home and asked him what was wrong. His sad son looked up and said, “Well, just between us, Dad, I’m having trouble getting along with that wife of yours.”
-A little girl who was forced to eat alone at a small table in the kitchen as part of her discipline for disobeying. As her parents tried to ignore her, they heard her pray out loud: “I thank Thee, Lord, for preparing a table for me in the presence of mine enemies.” (Brian Bill, sermoncentral.com)
-Well, every family faces times when it’s hard to get along. Sometimes families don’t communicate very well and when something questionable is said or done by one member, it becomes easy for the other family members to assume the worst and turn against him or her.
-Church families are not immune to this sort of thing, even if the members have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness. Let me just say that strife and disagreement will come to every church. The Roman church had it. The Corinthian church had it. Even the Philippian church had some problems between two prominent leaders. People who follow Christ don’t always see eye to eye with one another. Paul disputed with Barnabas so strongly that they parted ways. Paul rebuked Peter in front of God and everybody for being two-faced in his treatment of Gentile believers. So, the problems will come up in every church. Somebody isn’t going to like something! The important thing is how we are going to respond. Are we going to insist on our own way? Are we going to recruit people to adopt our point of view and gather a following, thus creating division, or are we going to find Biblical ways to work through our differences with other members in the family? Are we going to boycott the church and just stop coming, since we cannot agree with everybody on everything?
- Max Lucado in his book A Gentle Thunder, tells a story about a man who encountered
another man carrying a Bible. “Are you a believer?” “Yes,” he said excitedly. I've learned that you can't be too careful who you fellowship with, so I began to ask him some questions. “Do you believe in the virgin birth?” “I do.” “Do you believe in the deity of Christ?” “No doubt.” Could it be that I was face-to-face with a real Christian brother? Nonetheless, I continued my checklist. “Do you believe in the return of Christ?” “I believe it is imminent.” “What about the Bible?” “It is inspired,” was his immediate answer. I was getting excited. “Are you a conservative or a liberal?”
He was getting interested in me, too. “I'm a conservative.” I asked him as my heart began to beat faster, “What denomination are you a part of?” He said, “I am a member of the Southern Congregationalist Holy Son of God Dispensationalist Triune Convention.” I was excited, because that was my denomination. I asked him,
“Which branch of that denomination are you?” He said, “I'm a part of the pre-millennial, post-tribulation, non-charismatic, King James, one-cup communion branch.” My eyes misted over. That was my branch as well. I had only one other question. “Is your pulpit wooden or Plexiglas?” “Plexiglas,” he replied.
I recoiled in horror. “Get away from me, you heretic.” (Bob Joyce, sermoncentral.com)
-We can always find differences, but if we will commit to working out the rough spots and learn to genuinely love and care for the spiritual family members God has put in our lives, then we will be able to glorify God together as we do life with each other and with Him!