In my personal devotion time this morning I was reading on brotherly love and unity within the body of believers. I could not help but to think on the condition of believers today. The condition of the body of Christ is steadily declining into a self serving, self preserving state of being. We no longer strive to put others before ourselves or to serves others, instead we mostly tend to go with whatever is pleasing to us individually; whether that is in the form of our material possessions, our jobs, our friendships, or our time.
In Psalms 133: 1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!
When we live in harmony we resemble the heart and life that is produced by the Word of God. Brotherly love is profitable and pleasing. Brotherly love brings abundance and blessings to our lives.
As brothers and sisters we must come together as one realizing that God is more important than we are as individuals and yield our life totally without reservations. We need to take on the mind of Christ. Christ became man and in doing so He taught us how to live the way God wants us to. His life on earth is our example of how we are to live our life on earth as children of God.
In Philippians 2:5 we are told “Let this mind be in you”; this is a command, it is not optional. Unity and brotherly love is a matter of attitude, motive, thoughts, conduct, conversation and community in our body. We can say we are living in unity as commanded but allow a test or trial to come, something to challenge our unity and see where our reactions are. Unity and brotherly love is the result of Christ manifested in the life of the believer. We recognize it by the appearance of the character and the attitude of Christ within each believer.
Let’s take a look at Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
When we go through a disagreement or quarrel with a brother or sister if anything comes about in our thoughts, actions or feelings that are not love we need to immediately “put them off”; dismiss them, put them down, set them aside. We must set aside everything personal and think of the body of Christ. Listen, the real test is when the devil gets involved and tries to stir things up among the body; how will we respond. Will we come together as one in Christ realizing that God and His plan and purpose is more important than ourselves.
There cannot be life in a divided body; it is unhealthy and it gives the devil a toe hold to jump in and start wreaking havoc within the body. Jesus Christ is our head and as the body we must do as the head does. Follow His example, his leading.
As believers we must understand that we are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in each of us. 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT) Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
We MUST get this – if we truly grasp that every believer is the temple of God and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit wouldn’t our attitude toward one another change. Listen, do we really understand this, our brothers and sisters are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we have bitterness, unforgiveness or strife against our brother or sister we are helping the devil out by hurting the temple of God.
Before we act or speak to a fellow believer realize that we are acting or speaking where the Holy Spirit resides. A temple means a holy place, the holy of holies. Friends we are God’s Holy of Holies and so is each believer. Does our life, love and unity with one another display this? The devils seeks to destroy believers, the body. God tells us not to give place to the devil. Friends, he doesn’t just come in and take over, we give him that place. We allow our pride or our hurt feelings to become more important than Christ’s command to love and live as He did. We are allowing the devil to come and take over. As believer’s we need to stop devouring one another and allowing Satan this place in our lives.
I want to go back in Philippians 2:1 and we see the word “therefore”. I was always taught when we see the word therefore we must find out what it is there for. So back up into Philippians 1:27 – 30. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Perhaps you are facing an issue with a brother or sister right now, if so remember that your fellow believer IS God’s temple, the Holy of Holies, treat them accordingly. Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.