We kicked off our new series Sunday Night titled, MAKE US ONE. GEN122 led us in worship before we got into the message. Our prayer is that God will use this series to help us move beyond our differences as our heart’s cry becomes, “MAKE US ONE”!
Everywhere we look— the news, social media, etc. we can see division. Some of the areas of division that exist in our culture today are things like racism, the American Flag, the National Anthem, marriage, homosexuality, abortion, etc. People have passionate opinions, which is fine because these are feelings that God created us with the ability to have. The problem is when we put our opinions above others. The truth is that people are important. People are so important that Jesus gave his life on the Cross for people who had other opinions and passions that him. As followers of Jesus, we are called to do the same.
Our Scripture passage from John 17 showed us that Jesus never prayed that we would agree on everything, but he did pray that we would be ONE.
John 17:21-26NIV says,
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Jesus’ prayer for future believers was that we would be “one”. Jesus desires for the Church and body of Christ to be unified as “ONE” so that the world will know world may believe in Jesus and know that the are loved by him. When the world looks at the church and sees division and arguments just like they see from the rest of the world, it really doesn’t give them a reason to want anything to do with Jesus. John 13:35 says, “…By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Matthew 12:25NKJV says, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand… A church that is divided by the different of opinions of its people will be defeated. Jesus us calling for this generation to work through their differences with a heart that cries out to God to “MAKE US ONE”.
Students were challenged to look at both sides of the current hot topic issue with the protests of the American flag and National Anthem. The side that says it is 100% unacceptable to kneel or voice a protest during the National Anthem is coming from a place of passion because of what the American Flag and National Anthem represent— the lives of the men and women who have risked their lives to protect our country and what the flag stands for. In their eyes, to kneel and protest during the anthem is disrespecting these men and women. Now lets look at the other side of things. Whether we want to admit it or not, racism still exists in our country today. Many of us don’t know what it’s like to hear stories from our grandparents about how they were discriminated against for no other reason than their skin color. Most of us don’t have to worry about how to act if we get pulled over so we’re not racially profiled because of our skin color. Many of us don’t know what it’s like when our parent or spouse walks out of the house in their uniform and badge, and pray that they return home safely. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to have a family member in a foreign country placing their life in danger as they fight for our freedom while wondering if they will ever see them again. The point of these last few statements is to show the different stances and positions that people come from, and why they are all passionate about their stance.
What would happen if this generation of believers would set a different example. Instead of taking part in the arguing and name-calling with their brothers and sister, what would happen if we sat down with each other and had a conversation that went something like this:
“You know I don’t agree with you, and some of your comments and beliefs on these issues can upset me. But I understand that we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and at the end of the day we need each other. The world needs to see us as one. Let’s pray that God helps us look beyond our differences, unifies in his love, and uses us to show the world his love and salvation. MAKE US ONE!”
The church is a lot like a puzzle. A puzzle is made up of pieces that are different shapes, sizes, colors, and purposes. When the puzzle is completed, you don’t see 1,000 pieces— you see one puzzle. We pray that the cry of our hearts to God is, “MAKE US ONE” so that the world sees one, united Body of Christ!
Make sure you check out some pictures from the night below:
Be Blessed and have a great week!