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When I began working on this study it felt like the Lord literally downloaded the outline into my spirit.  I was writing it out as fast as I could, hoping not to forget or leave anything out.  This segment on unity in the body was especially interesting to me.  I love when the Lord shows me something new; something I’ve not heard taught before. 

Over the past few years I have become very disillusioned with various so called ‘Christian groups’ on social media.  It seems that rather than promoting unity many just want to debate.  It is very disturbing to me to see the venom they spew at one another.  I can’t imagine how it must grieve the Lord’s heart.  Once, when I tried to address the issue, I was mocked and ridiculed and one response even read … “Oh no, did she just pull the WWJD card on us?”  At that point I decided it was better to leave than become offended.   My point in bringing this up is not to gain your sympathy … but rather to shed light on the impact such behavior can have on unbelievers. 

 “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].” ~ John 13:34-35 (AMP)

According to this scripture the test of a true disciple is their love toward fellow believers.  Unless our love for others outweighs that of the world how can we draw all men unto God?  People are starving for authentic love!  Do they see it in us?

On another note, unity comes when we know our place in the body.  We can’t all be fingers or toes.  God has given each of us a specific purpose.  What role do various ‘spiritual body parts’ play?   Could it be that …

  • The Fingers…grasp and point/give direction
  • The Toes…give us balance
  • The Nose…sniffs out/discerns the truth
  • The Mouth… speaks the Word
  • The Eyes – see visions and dreams
  • The Ears…Hear the Holy Spirit
  • The Brain…Retains knowledge/memory (teachers)
  • The Heart…pumps the life blood into the body (Pastors)
  • The Nerves…revolve around feelings (Encouragers/Exhorters)  

 Use your imagination.  What else can you come up with?  Do you grumble to God about your part?  If so, you might want to take the following scripture into consideration.

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, what do you think you are making? Or, Your work has no handles?” ~ Isaiah 45:9 (AMP)

Personal Revival will come when you bathe yourself in the love of the Father and learn to truly live the 1st commandment.  National Revival, the next Great Awakening, will come when we, the body, learn to live the 2nd commandment. 

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”   Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’   This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~ Matthew 22:35-41 (NIV)

 

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But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. Romans 6:22 (AMP)

The word slavery brings images of cruelty and suffering. Add to this, an exaggerated sense of self-importance and individual ‘rights’ we Americans have come to expect and the negative image is compounded.

Submission to the Lordship of Christ is the complete opposite of bondage. It is in fact the only way to experience true freedom from the power of sin and death. We have a new master.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14 (AMP)

Jesus paid the highest price to purchase us and He deserves our complete surrender. Luke 16:13 teaches that we cannot serve two masters.

Let’s look at this from another perspective. We are the bride of Christ. What man or woman would be willing to marry someone who was not completely committed to the relationship? Why then should our Bridegroom settle for a bride who is not willing to submit to His authority?

Our servitude is a privilege not a burden. Yes, He must be Lord of all or not at all.  Anything less is spiritual adultery.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. (I Corinthians 13:1-8 NIV)

 If we want to see true revival in our lives, the kind of revival that will not only transform us, but will spread like wildfire throughout mainstream America, we must be willing to love others as God loves them.  When I read the example of true love portrayed in I Corinthians 13 I am saddened at the realization that most people have never seen this kind of love in action.  Counterfeit love has left people angry, bitter, unable to trust and without hope.  

What shocks me most is the behavior of believers who will cut each other to pieces with their words because we are more concerned about being right than behaving right.  God help us to open our eyes and realize that Satan has lulled us into believing it’s about us!  God has called us to a ministry of reconciliation.  The lost will never want our God until they see the reflection of His love through us.  

So you see, it’s not about me (self-seeking) and yet it’s all about me, because God has placed us here to be salt and light to the World.

You don’t have to be around someone long to know if they are hot or cold in matters of faith.  I remember a popular question years ago that asked, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  I certainly hope so, but honestly I know there are times where my behavior does not reflect Christ.  It grieves my heart to think there may be souls who would have come to Christ if my life had been a better witness. 

 God will not tolerate a lukewarm believer.  In fact, according to Revelation 3:15-16, He would rather you are cold than lukewarm.  Let’s face it; someone who is lukewarm has no desire to change.  They think things are fine just the way they are.  Someone who is cold, doesn’t pretend to be something they are not in terms of faith, they just don’t care.  Those who are cold are less likely to be labeled a hypocrite by unbelievers and less likely to be someone’s excuse for why they don’t want to be a Christian.  They fit right in with the crowd.    The only way to make a world of difference is to be on fire!  Light it up and watch people pursue you for spiritual warmth.

Anyone who has ever fallen in love knows the joy that new love brings. Our hearts soar with delight and our thoughts are consumed with our beloved. You can’t wait to see your love again. You can’t wait to share the news with your friends and family. But, over time, if not properly nourished, those “feelings” begin to subside as the newness wears off.

This can happen with our spiritual love as well, if we do not continually nourish our relationship with The Lord. In Revelations 2:1-5 the spirit warned the church of Ephesus that they had forsaken their first love and admonished them to repent and to do the things they did at first. Think back to your days as a young believer and the fire that burned in your soul.

We cannot take our Lord for granted. We must constantly stir up our spirits and strive to fall deeper and deeper in love with our bridegroom, never allowing complacency to set in.

Most of us know what we need to do to grow spiritually, but knowing and doing are two different things. We think nothing of spending a few hours watching a movie, or being on our computers, but how much time do we actually spend with our heavenly Father every day?

For the next 30 days I challenge you to set aside one hour each day; get alone with God and do the following, in this order

(1). Spend twenty minutes listening to praise and worship music.
(2). Spend twenty minutes reading the Word of God.
(3). Spend twenty minutes praying.

Don’t make excuses! Do whatever you have to do to make it happen. We all have the same numbers of hours in a day. The truth is, we make time for what we value most. I promise you, if you do this, it will change your life! You will experience personal revival.

Most of my life when I heard the word “revival” I associated it with a series of meetings, held within a church, that were geared toward evangelism. Recently however, I began to contemplate something very different. Is there a difference between being born again and being revived? personally I believe revival is for the believer and evangelism is for the lost. My logic is that you can not revive something that has never been alive. Could you use a little spiritual CPR?

America desperately needs another Great Awakening. The moral decay of the last century will never be reversed by legislation. In fact, without righteous transformation it will only continue to decline. Only God can change the heart of man, but He is waiting on us to do our part.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV). “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

If we want to turn this country around, we must first turn our own lives around. That begins by getting back to the basics of spiritual growth.