Valuing the Body - Unity of the Church
Like His many commands, the impossibility of the situation points us back to the obvious: it's only through His power that we're able to obey and live out the reality of His Word.

Valuing the Body of Christ

by IHOPKC Staff Writer
3/15/16 Christian Living

Every society wants it.
Every generation believes they can have it.
And politicians, in the midst of their campaigns, often promise it.

Unity.

It can seem elusive, unobtainable, and short-lived in our family functions, homes, societies, and world.

Sadly, the same could be said for the state of the Church. Masses of people from varying cultural backgrounds, differing stories, different denominations, and varying lengths of following the Lord . . . But as unlikely as it seems, unity is Jesus’ desire and the promised destiny of His Church.

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me . . . that they may be one even as We are one: I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:20–23)

It may seem impossible to some, far-fetched to others, and a few may even wish it were optional, but unity is a priority high on God’s list of desires.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)

Or another favorite:

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn. 13:35)

It may seem strange that the Lord would desire something that seems unrealistic, let alone set His reputation on a characteristic such as shared love. But like His many commands, the impossibility of the situation points us back to the obvious: It’s only through His power that we’re able to obey and live out the reality of His Word.

Maybe we can push ourselves to achieve casual acceptance of one another, but Jesus desires for His body to do more than plaster smiles on our faces and get along on the superficial level. And the One who sees all and knows all, including our motives at the heart level, is able to to help us work toward this level of unity with a joyful heart.

Unity with those we tolerate. Those we find annoying. Those we try to avoid. Those we think our always overstepping our boundaries. Even those we feel exhaust our reserves of patience.

Almighty God, the One who never grows weak or weary, is able to bring this about.

“For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the many parts of that one body are one body, so also is Christ . . . If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. . . So there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, those parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body which we think are less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor. And our less respectable parts are treated with much more respect, whereas our more respectable parts have no need of this. But God has composed the body, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacks it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that the parts should have the same care for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.” (1 Cor. 12:12–26)

Listen this recent message from David Sliker, a senior leader at IHOPKC, about the New Testament Church as the family of God. As one of a four-part message series on the Body of Christ, David draws our attention to Jesus’ intent and desire to bring about unity and how we can and will live out that reality.

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