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Posts Tagged ‘Unity’

In Unity

Scripture: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1 (KJV)

Observation: unity. Crucial quality of God’s people (John 17:11, 21), an agreement on the principles and purposes of life which makes relationships harmonious, lasting, and pleasant. People living in unity are committed and faithful to the cause and to each other. Outward unity is a manifestation of the inward unity. True unity is refreshing like dew, and such community God blesses (v. 3). [Andrews Study Bible Notes. 2010 (J. L. Dybdahl, Ed.) (776). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.]

Application: Today’s verse reminds us of the words of the Apostle Paul to the members of the church in Corinth, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV) Marriage is a partnership between two equals, and the happiest ones are those where there’s unity in at least several areas::
1. Spiritual unity – We must be sure we share common spiritual beliefs and values. If our relationship with God is the most important one to us, what better way to build intimacy with another person when we both have in common a deep, personal relationship with Him!
2. Emotional unity – As defined by Gary Chapman, emotional intimacy “is that deep sense of being connected to one another. It is feeling loved, respected, and appreciated while at the same time seeking to reciprocate.” (The Five Languages of Love for Singles).
3. Intellectual unity – the closer the educational level of both parties is the greater the chances they will be able to speak at a comparable level as well. But more than just the degrees you may have, look for ways to exchange thoughts and ideas. For instance, agree to read the same book or books and then discuss the ideas contained in them. You may also read new articles in a newspaper, magazine, or online and then discuss its content, implications, and where you agree and disagree with the report. This exchange of ideas will help build the unity you need, even if you don’t always agree.
4. Physical unity – one of the interesting things about sexual intimacy is that it cannot be separated from emotional, spiritual, and social unity and still be healthy or thrive. In fact, often the problems that arise in the sexual area of marriage have their origin when there are problems in the other areas.
5. Social unity – This does not mean you must have all the same interests, but you should be able to enjoy at least a good number of activities together as the foundation for a strong relationship. Of course, the establishment of this foundation should begin during the dating period. You may want to try some things the other likes to see if you would enjoy doing them as well.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when husband and wife dwell together in unity. Pray and work toward that end in your marriage.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to have the type of unity which will help us build a strong, lasting, healthy, and happy marriage.

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Twogetherness

Scripture: Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

Observation: Two are better. Two workmen engaged in cooperative effort can often earn more than double the wage of a single person. The word translated “reward” is the common Hebrew term for wages. It is used of servants (Gen. 30:28, 32, 33), of soldiers (Eze. 29:18, 19), and of the hire of animals (Zech. 8:10). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 3. 1977 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (1078). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application: In the book of Genesis, God told Adam and Eve that the two of them should become one; after all, the two had come from the one. That is what marriage is all about. Togetherness becomes “twogetherness” when two “me’s” join together, submit to one another, and become one “us” As a result, you become stronger, closer, produce greater results for the couple and for the family, and are less lonely, less stressed, less efficient.
It’s undeniable what you two can accomplish in your marriage when you work together. Among many things, you help each other in your weaknesses and benefit from each other’s strengths. Our text for today reminds that “two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. (Ecc. 4:9-12).
What areas will help you to maintain a strong, healthy “twogetherness?” First of all, and above all, your individual relationship with God. If both of you enjoy a strong spiritual experience, as you are drawn closer to Jesus in the process you will come closer to one another. In addition, I would suggest you should look for agreement on at least the following:
1. Commitment to your marriage
2. Communication
3. Conflict resolution
4. Finances
5. Decision-making
6. Goals for the future
7. Child rearing, education, and discipline
8. Household roles and responsibilities
9. Sexual relationship
10. Honesty and Openness
11. Spiritual, Physical, and Emotional Health
12. Relationship with the extended family/in-laws
Keep your marriage “twogether” for the long haul.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, bless us so that as we maintain our individuality we may live in unity and “twogetherness.”

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Scripture: When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. . . 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1, 4 (NKJV)

Observation: Jesus had ascended to heaven and His disciples were now left to continue the work He had started. The first days after Jesus’ departure must have been days of uncertainty and maybe even fear, but expecting His promise to be fulfilled they continued to meet together for prayer and mutual encouragement.
It was on the occasion of the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples were gathered, that they received a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and which resulted in their speaking in other languages.

Application: If God is everywhere, what we call His “Omnipresence,” then the Holy Spirit was already present with the disciples. In fact, His work on each of their hearts is what brought them to be together in one accord. At the same time, the result of being together in a spiritual unity allowed for a greater manifestation of the Holy Spirit which also resulted in greater witness. Once the Holy Spirit was poured on the disciples, they began to speak in the language of the people who had come from many part of the world and had gathered in Jerusalem gathered there for the festival.
The same Holy Spirit is also interested and willing to bring unity to us a s a family or as a couple. Conflict, stress, and the pressures of this world continually threaten to divide us. The divorce rate in the United States, and in every country in the world, attest to the fact that marriages are breaking apart. The witness of these broken marriages leads many to believe that if God can’t keep the marriages of those who believe in Him intact then what’s the point of following Him! On the other hand, when there is unity in a Christian marriage, or in the family, those within it are a living witness to its very members and to those outside the family circle.
Something else caught my attention in today’s text and story. The result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was that the disciples spoke other languages. Gary Chapman has become well known for his books on the Five Languages of Love through which he explains that we need to learn to speak our spouse’s love languages. When the Holy Spirit falls on us, as a result of us being in unity, we then can have the ability to speak our spouse’s love language with more regularity, ease, and comfort. What may be foreign to us, with the aid of the Holy Spirit it will become more natural and therefore our unity, our relationship will be strengthened, so not only does He bring us together but He keeps us together.
Let us submit ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives so He can strengthen our marriage and our family and speak to others through the life we live and through the love languages we speak to one another.

Prayer: Loving Father, pour Your Spirit on us as a couple and as a family that the unity You desire for us may be a daily reality. May Your Spirit enable me to speak the love language he/she understands and which shows him/her my love for him/her.

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