The Ultimate Importance of Unity
When we pray in unity and agreement, amazing things happen.
The first prayer of unity is found in Genesis 1:26, when God said,
“Let Us make man in Our image.”
God the Father, the Word, and the Spirit were all present in creation with unified purpose.
Unity is powerful. Jesus promises in Matthew 18:19:
“If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
There is no bigger blank check than that—“concerning anything.” And He assures us in the very next verse:
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Gathering together in the name of Jesus means His presence is with us. If we come into agreement touching anything, it will be done.
In the early days of CBN, we prayed every day for our most basic needs. If it weren’t for God, we wouldn’t get the bulbs for the studio lights. We literally prayed them in. We prayed in every camera, every piece of equipment, and every payroll. There wasn’t anything more important to do. And frankly, there wasn’t anything else we could do, because it was all far beyond our power.
“The 700 Club” started because my father prayed that 700 people would give $10 a month so CBN could stay on the air. And asking for 700 people was an act of faith, because our TV signal didn’t reach past Portsmouth, Virginia. The Bible says not to despise the day of small beginnings, and that’s how we began.
The ultimate importance of unity is that God comes into our midst. Acts 2:1 says:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was fulfilling Psalm 133: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! … For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forevermore.
To have the power of unity, we must walk in forgiveness and love. Jesus tells us we must get rid of the log in our own eye before trying to remove the speck in someone else’s (Matthew 7:3-5). When His love flows through us and we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, it is evidenced in the love that we express to other people. And in that, we can have unity and achieve what the Lord has assigned us to do. God bless you.
Genesis 50:19-20 19But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Once Joseph’s father had died, his brothers thought Joseph might now get even with them. They pretended that their father’s last words were, “Please forgive your brothers.” The Scripture today is Joseph’s response. Joseph knew that only God could judge and reward men for their actions. He left all judgment to God and assured his brothers that he would not take any action himself.
Then he went on to tell us a wonderful truth. God can take what man intends for evil and use it to save lives. The brothers had malice, envy and greed in their hearts, but God used the action they took to get Joseph into Egypt. He used a lustful wife to get him into prison. He used an ungrateful butler to tell Pharaoh about a man who could interpret dreams. God does not author the evil, or condone it, but He uses the consequences of the actions to serve His purposes. All things do work together for good to those that love God and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).
In this story we see the omnipotence and sovereignty of God. He can use even the evil in the world to serve His purposes. What an amazing God! We do not need to fear that evil is out of control. God is on the throne of heaven. Though man sins against God and against us, our God can use it to bless our lives and the lives of others. Don’t be discouraged. Our God is over all and will use all things to bring glory to Himself. His glory fills the earth. Trust His all-powerful hand to bring about good in whatever situation you are facing.
Meditation: God is never caught off guard by the evil of man. He causes all things to glorify Him.
Streams in the Desert – January 27
Stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:10).
In taking Christ in any new relationship, we must first have sufficient intellectual light to satisfy our mind that we are entitled to stand in this relationship. The shadow of a question here will wreck our confidence. Then, having seen this, we must make the venture, the committal, the choice, and take the place just as definitely as the tree is planted in the soil, or the bride gives herself away at the marriage altar. It must be once for all, without reserve, without recall.
Then there is a season of establishing, settling and testing, during which we must “stay put” until the new relationship gets so fixed as to become a permanent habit. It is just the same as when the surgeon sets the broken arm. He puts it in splints to keep it from vibration. So God has His spiritual splints that He wants to put upon His children and keep them quiet and unmoved until they pass the first stage of faith. It is not always easy work for us, “but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered awhile, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
–A. B. Simpson
There is a natural law in sin and sickness; and if we just let ourselves go and sink into the trend of circumstances, we shall go down and sink under the power of the tempter. But there is another law of spiritual life and of physical life in Christ Jesus to which we can rise, and through which we can counterpoise and overcome the other law that bears us down.
But to do this requires real spiritual energy and fixed purpose and a settled posture and habit of faith. It is just the same as when we use the power in our factory. We must turn on the belt and keep it on. The power is there, but we must keep the connection; and while we do so, the higher power will work and all the machinery will be in operation.
There is a spiritual law of choosing, believing, abiding, and holding steady in our walk with God, which is essential to the working of the Holy Ghost either in our sanctification or healing.
–Days of Heaven upon Earth
Why Do Believers Still Sin?
Though we are saved eternally, the flesh has potential to sin until our lifelong sanctification is complete.
Once we’re saved, it doesn’t take long to discover that we still sin. This can be confusing because 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away.” If that verse is true, why do we have the same old sin problem we had before following Christ?
In today’s passage, the apostle Paul describes this struggle in his own life and at one point says, “If I do the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin that dwells in me” (Rom. 7:20).
Although we truly have been made new in our spirit, we continue to live in a fallen world and have a disposition toward sin. What we must understand is that our redemption, which began at salvation, will not be completed until Jesus returns and transforms these sinful bodies to be glorious like His own. (Phil. 3:20-21).
At our conversion, we were set free from the penalty of sin, through justification. Now, through sanctification, we are being progressively delivered from the power of sin. But only when we are glorified will we be free from the presence of sin forever.