08.30.2020 1 Kings pt 4 – How to Navigate a Time of Conflict and Divide pt. 2

Full message at https://gracesummit.org/Messages/20200830 Lord, thank You that You have defeated death! We pray for Lewis and Gigi – that You would help them to recover in Your healing power. Speak to our hearts – help us to understand the…

08.30.2020 1 Kings pt 4 - How to Navigate a Time of Conflict and Divide pt. 2

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Full message at https://gracesummit.org/Messages/20200830
Lord, thank You that You have defeated death! We pray for Lewis and Gigi – that You would help them to recover in Your healing power. Speak to our hearts – help us to understand the times we live in and what we are to do as Your followers – as witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
This is really part 2 of last week – you might want to go back to put things into context…
1 Kings 12:15 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite. 16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: “What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!” So the Israelites went home.
This division will be devastating to the nation. I’d like to take this same understanding and put it in our context. It is no secret that we live in a divided world and a divided country. It has probably been true for a long time, but the events of 2020 have brought us to a tipping point. This has created a lot of division – and an even greater problem – division in the Christian world. I’d like to talk about unity among believers – the blessings that God brings when we are united! There are many promises of blessing for that in the Bible.
Our challenge – as Christ followers – how to be witnesses in these times of turmoil. Unity among believers is essential for us to be witnesses to the gospel of Jesus. He said – By this – will all men know you are my disciples – IF – you love one another. If you don’t, you won’t!
I think we need to ask ourselves. If outsiders were listening to Christian conversations – about so many things – would they know – by those posts – those conversations – those blogs – that we are His disciples by the way we love one another? They ARE listening! The world is paying tremendous attention! Those outside the church talk about what they see and hear in Christians.
Unity and agreement on issues are NOT the same thing! Christians have disagreed on all sorts of things forever – and that does not mean that we don’t love one another. The easiest thing would be if everyone just agreed with ME! And you’re thinking the same thing!
I’m jumping from Kings – to the New Testament – to shed some light on some principles to help us live in unity:
1 Cor 1:10 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree together, to end your divisions, and to be united by the same mind and purpose.
NAS – is what I cut my teeth on – I urge you, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no division among you.
The problem with that – it caused people to think that Paul was talking about uniformity of opinion – but he is not talking about that at all
End your division! That is significant. What is the context? And if you just pull the words out, you go astray – it is a fatal flaw in understanding what it says.
NIV – an updated version – I appeal to you… that you all agree with one another in what you say!
All agree
Agree together
Agree in what you say
You might say – well these are all different! Do you know what that means? You need to dive deeper! I encourage you to use more than one translation! It is important to do that! At least read one, for sure!
If you were to look this up and see what this LITERALLY SAYS – that you all say the same – that you all talk the same!
In the deeper dive – you would discover that was a common saying used in their time for political communities in their world – urging those political communities to not have any factions within that community.
We just had two back-to-back conventions in our country. In them – And I only watched clips the next day – but everyone – whether democrat or republican – spoke with one voice, didn’t they? If you go back to the primaries – there was no agreement at all!
But in this time, they are speaking with one voice – that is what Paul is saying here.
Context – if we were to look at the very next verse – they were lining up giving their loyalties to three different leaders – I am of Paul/Peter/ or Apollos – and they are saying – no, no, no, we need to follow THIS one!…
That is what Paul is saying – stop the dividing. Then right after that – to speak with one voice – and what that voice should be – nothing except Christ crucified! That needs to be the voice the world hears from the church and no other! I am determined, he says, to know NOTHING among you – except Christ crucified.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

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