How do we maintain our unity in Christ our love in one another when all around us is the secular world and it is constantly calling us to do the opposite? How do we walk in the light how do we shine forth the light Of Christ when all is darkness? Because, even though all around us in the world is this darkness We have to remember that it is Satan that is propagating this evil and Satan always uses others to do his dirty work. The evil one’s favorite pastime is sowing doubt and descension he loves to make us question ourselves, our very reality. Because when we are confused, or doubt preys on our minds we are not focusing on the spiritual we are not focusing on God we are focusing on the flesh. We are not showing the love of Christ, we are not unified, our Hearts and minds are not one with God. When we are not one with God we leave ourselves open, we become vulnerable to all that evil in the world. That evil doesn’t just make a home in others it can and will seek you out first, remember as a Christian you are always in the line of fire. The more effective you are as a Christian the more certain it is that you will encounter trials and tribulation. No doubt about it that sucks, but that is why we are called to the church, because it is only in Christian unity that we can survive against the forces arrayed against us. Remember this is spiritual warfare but the physical is also involved so let’s unpack that as I said Satan will always use someone to do his will because it’s almost always degrading and belittling and Satan hates us because God made us only a little below the Angels, Psalm 8:4-5 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. By degrading us he thinks he’s proving to God that we are not worthy of His love. And to that end he will use anyone, but remember that person is not necessarily evil, recall the Gerasene demoniac? Mark 5:15 15 They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened. It should frighten us as well, that Satan can manipulate us so easily. So easily that we often do not perceive that we are being manipulated. Paul knew this well because he had been manipulated by Satan as Saul of Tarsus. But Christ Called forth Paul the Apostle from Saul of Tarsus just as he calls us forth to live our lives in Him. I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. That’s hard to do even with other Christians.
So how do we maintain our own patience and gentleness and humility bearing with love for one another when the other has no love for us. This is when we have to remember that while we are all different we are also all wonderfully and fearfully made by God and 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. One God, one father, one Holy Spirit, one Jesus who is above all and through all, in all, they are one in the same three in one the triune God. We are all a part of God’s plan and “7 each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” 9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) This part is kind of hard to get your head around but Christ descending meaning that he went below to the lower parts of the earth or to Hades or hell so that he might fill all things, so Christ is in all things, Christ is everywhere there is nothing that is beyond His reach there are none that cannot be saved and there are none that are undeserving of Salvation. There are many that will not be saved, many will be judged and found wanting, and cast into the depths for eternity just as He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19 Remember we are all beloved of God we are all God’s children and he gave gifts to all of us. 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. And here’s the tricky part we have to grow up we have to grow up in Christ we can no longer be children pulled this way and that way by doctrine that has no basis in Gods word, by false prophets and their lies or smooth talkers and their “just do it” feel good philosophy. We cannot as Christians succumb to popular opinion and political correctness when we defend our faith and values from an amoral society. But neither do we have to allow ourselves to be overcome by hatred and violence, we have no need to for these things as adults in Christ, we do not need to speak falsely or in hatred.
15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.  We to need to work together in harmony. We are all part of one body we are all children of God, even though we don’t necessarily get along with every part, and it is often very difficult to look someone in the eye and say I’m sorry, how can I make things better, especially when they seem to want to destroy everything you worked so hard for, but it’s Gods plan and we were created to fulfill that plan. We can do it for all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. Look at Paul and Peter they were most definitely not the best of friends however for the good of Christianity they got along. And it’s fortunate that they did if they had done as we do so often and continued to hate one another the church very likely would never have come into being but through the love of Christ they were able to resolve their differences between themselves and create God’s church on earth. We are that church, we are the inheritors of all that Paul and Peter created through Jesus, and along with that inheritance comes the responsibility to act like adults especially when we would rather not. Jesus modeled God’s plan for us on earth, we already know what needs to be done. We need to spread the gospel, the good news, repent for the kingdom of God is near and not everyone has heard the message yet and many who do are going to fight it like children fighting to stay up late, and as adults it is our Job to educate them to bring them into unity with us and with Christ. For it is only through our love of one another that we will be known as followers of Christ and that love is what defines us as Christians. I leave you with Jesus’ final prayer for us it’s not for peace or understanding but for our unity in one another. John 17:20-21 “And I ask not only for these disciples, but also for all those who will one day believe in me through their message. I pray for them all to be joined together as one even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one. I pray for them to become one with us so that the world will recognize that you sent me. Amen.