Get It Together

Get It Together

Romans 12:3-5 (ESV)  For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

One body. One Spirit. One church. Oh, so many members. The human body has many components that somehow can figure out how to work together in one fluid movement. Our brain tells our organs how to function, our limbs to work in unison, and somehow there is a coordinated effort it all work together. A handicap is when there is a component of the body not properly functioning according to its original design. The word “handicap” means a disadvantage. It makes success more difficult. It is considered a disability or burden to the bearer. It creates a challenge to the proper function of that which it impairs. To some this word is considered offensive. I mean nothing of the sort. Our body was designed by God to function a certain way. Sin introduced certain disadvantages that Christ has overcome. The Body of Christ suffers certain handicaps that the Spirit works in us to overcome. I am encouraged today that I serve the Living God who gives resurrection power and life to all His People.

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Everything created by God works in the realm of relationships. Even our bodies were designed with many members and one brain that works together. Right down to cellular regeneration within us, everything has a purpose in the grand scheme of our natural bodies. When a part of the body is not fully functioning, it may be considered disabled or handicapped. If our immune system is not successful in overcoming an attack, our body becomes sick or infirmed. If an organ ceases to function, life is compromised by the adverse condition. This is all in the natural AND spiritual realm of relationships. Our body’s ability to coordinate all its members into a fully functioning operation is what perpetuates and propels us through life. We are not only a physical body but a member of the Body of Christ.

Within our participation as a Child of God, believer and even Christian – we are part of a body. We have a purpose and place within the Body of Christ meant specifically for us. I have five children. Two boys and three girls. Each one has a special place in my heart and in our family design. It would be ridiculous to think that if something happened to one of them that it would be okay because we have four other children. There is no such thing as collateral damage in a household. If a family member passes, they will be missed. It will create a void. It should be so in the Body of Christ. He is a Good Shepherd. He will leave the ninety-nine to find the one who is lost. We must learn to place value and worth on the Body of Christ that we belong to. It is vital to our successful prosperity in life. To be a fully functioning member produces the promises of God not only in our life but for those around us in relationship with us, too.

The early church came together. They became a body. A functioning unit that added to the Kingdom daily. They spent every day in close fellowship with one another. None too busy or self-involved, these believers experienced miracles, signs and wonders as God’s Power flowed through them. His Breath is life to us. When we breathe together, it becomes a source of power. God loves unity. Harmony is precious anointing that He is ready to pour out over the Body of Christ. Are we ready to receive it?

Romans 12:9-13 (ESV) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

In Romans 12, the believer is encouraged to become a living sacrifice. To live a holy and acceptable life that promotes a fully functioning body. It is called worship. We must not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Hence the war of self begins. It is human nature to survive. Yet, we are called to thrive. No one will prosper if they are not willing to invest. There is no return where there is no investment. It’s Biblical for a man cannot reap what he has not sown. With this in mind, to become a living sacrifice means something must be fully surrendered. To say, I surrender all means nothing if not accompanied by change. Sacrifice is not generally a comfortable effort but completely worthwhile endeavor.

I am led a ladies small group the other night. I am challenged to do so. Women are tough when it comes to relationships. I should know… I am one. However, I know that God desires us all to maintain healthy, loving and trusting relationships with those around us. We struggle because of past experiences. Trust forsaken is tough to recover. Yet we must find a way to overcome our differences, and forge strong bonds together to see the Body of Christ become healthy again. To see a Body fit for our soon and coming King!

Let love be genuine.

I Corinthians 13 lays out the guidelines of God-like love and commitment that characterizes genuine. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. This is genuine love. This is the love that God places in us and is the kind of love that He wants us to have for others. Lord, let my love be genuine.

Abhor what is evil.

I Timothy 6:11-12 (ESV) But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

We must flee from evil. Do not entertain it. Our minds are like sponges the things we permit to remain will assert dominance in us. You cannot love God and love sin at the same time. There is no meeting of the minds when it comes to the Goodness of God and every kind of evil. We must learn from God’s Word what He defines as the sin that defiles us and permit the Holy Spirit to change our mind from loving sin to loving God more than sin. This is how we combat evil in us. Our flesh wants to live. It wages war against the Spirit. There will be no unity in the Body of Christ if each member seeks its own way and allows sin to have dominance in their life. The word “abhor” is a strong verb. It means to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion. To detest and loathe something. Sin is rampant in our world. Violence at an all time high. Love has grown cold and there is complete disregard for others. Lord, show me the sin and evil in me and around me. Teach me to abhor it as much as you do!

Hold fast to what is good.

God is good. He is always good. No matter what is happening around you He is still good and His Goodness is for you. It doesn’t matter your present conditions or situation. God is still good. His Unfailing Love and Goodness are pursuing you. On those days when nothing is going right, Lord I challenge me to still sing, “You are good!”

Love one another with true affection.

We are all members of one body. Mic drop. The first commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and body. The only other one is to love others. Loving one another is non-negotiable. By choosing to remain offended and unforgiving, we are the ones who are limited. Love is expendable and thereby expands into full satisfaction and inexpressible joy, not in its reproduction or reciprocation, but as the Lord fills more and more of our heart with His Love.

Outdo one another showing honor.

Comparison is a joy killer. I need my right and left hand equally to type these words to you each day. My left and right hand are both appendages but they do not fight for superiority. They were created with a job to do and they do it seemingly unaware of the other hand doing essentially the exact same thing. The Word of God tells us who we are in Jesus Christ and promises to make us a new creation in our abiding relationship with Him. My purpose and promises are not your purposes and promises – this is not a competition for the Father’s Love. We care brothers and sisters in Christ with an equal proportioned inheritance. It already belongs to us. There is nothing to do but remain in a righteous relationship through Jesus to secure it. Lord, help me to look for my value and worth in Your Word. There is no competition. Hands down! I have victory in You!

Do not be slothful in zeal.

Praise the Lord! No seriously! We have to live in a constant state of praise and worship to maintain life in His Presence. It creates enthusiasm in our spirit person when the Holy Spirit responds to the close proximity of God. The Lord inhabits the praise of His People. Get excited. Stir up the Gift of God within you. You have every reason to celebrate even on your worst day knowing that all things work together for your good!

Be fervent in Spirit.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Jesus Christ has given you His Spirit. Resurrection power and life live in you. The Holy Spirit is our helper. Teacher. Mentor. Guide for life. Utilize this power gift imparted to you by God through His Son – Jesus.

Serve the Lord.

Wow! This fell so far down the list. Love. Be loved. Finally, we come to service. Serving God must be precipitated by a deep and abiding relationship of love for Him and other people. We owe no man anything but love. To serve God we must be lovers.

Rejoice in hope.

The hope that has been given to us never leads to disappointment.

Be patient in tribulation.

Tests and trials are temporary. Do not make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. If I break a toe, I am not likely to cut it off.

Be constant in prayer.

Communication with God is essential to maintain a right relationship with Him.

Contribute to the needs of others.

The blessings in my life are not just for me. God provides seed to the sower. He gives to us in the name of generosity so we can pour it out on others. The Body of Christ needs each member to become united. To live looking after one another so the Body will thrive again. The fractured, dysfunctional unit presented to the world today does not offer anything any different than another group of people. Where is the power? Where is the difference? What happened to the Light? Why aren’t we salty anymore? Could it be that rather than considering God and His Purpose to love others – that we have become lost in ourselves?

Seek to show hospitality.

Church of the Living God and Members of the Body of Jesus Christ, I am challenged today. I am moved in my heart and soul that we need to get it together. God has set forth characteristics for Christian believers. One thing is clear. It is not about me. Or you for that matter… It is all about Jesus. His Body is hurting, broken and fragmented. I can do nothing other than be sure that my “member” is ready. I must examine my own heart. I must allow the Holy Spirit to change my mind. I must remove myself from the throne of self and put Jesus back in His Rightful Place. The early church was exciting. Charismatic. There were signs, wonders and miracles. Life was a party in the midst of terrible tribulation. They were murdered for believing back then yet risked it all to be together as one. What will you give up to assemble the Body of Christ again? What am I willing to sacrifice for unity? We have to get this together before Jesus comes for us. We must put aside our differences and find commonality and community in Christ.

I Peter 3:8-9 (ESV) Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.


A Single Heart


Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT) And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

I love this promise. “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.” I don’t really care for the process. Brokenness is never fun. Change is uncomfortable. To take out the familiar and replace it with the new and unfamiliar is not easy. However, how could I pass up getting rid of the stony, stubborn heart overwhelmed by sin and pride for a tender, responsive one ready for God and all His Promises? The Lord offers us a new heart and new mind each day. His Mercy comes like a giant eraser to eliminate all the ways I let Him down yesterday and chose my way over His Way. His Grace pours over me removing every spot and blemish so I can enter His Presence and be made new again. His Love for me is overwhelming sometimes too good to be true.

The problem with our stubborn and stony hearts is the absolute necessity of brokenness. A believer can never experience the Love of God fully and all of His Precious Promises locked in the proverbial dungeon of an overloaded mind. Our heart must be soft and pliable to receive from the Lord beginning with His Word. I believe this is the promise hidden in Psalm 65:10, “You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops.” A harvest is many and abundance way more than I am able to produce with weak hands and wobbly knees. It is the heart that keeps us engaged when our flesh falls short and things go from bad to worse. Faith produces hope that does not lead to disappointment but how does one discover such a thing outside of hard times. God wants to melt our heart today. He desires for a heart so in love with Him that it responds to His Every Whisper.

Too often consumed with a roaring lion or the voice of the taunting giants in our life, the sound of the still small voice is drowned out by all the noise. The Lord whispers His Promise. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” The Lord has a humble and gentle heart. It is full of peace and rest that is continually offered to us as believers and rejected just the same. Why is there no peace? Where is this elusive rest? Why are we so divided? Is it our stony hearts? Are we stubborn people? In our need to be right, have we somehow rebelled? Choosing religion over relationship is always rebellion against God. The church and Body of Christ must be challenged today to examine our heart and mind. To feel the weight of our heart. To press it a little. To discover what is the mass of that thing beating in our chest. Is it soft and responsive or stony and rebellious?

Ezekiel 11:18-21 (NLT) “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those who long for vile images and detestable idols, I will repay them fully for their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Our church is experiencing some growing pains. If your church is not feeling the same way, it is time to seek the Face of God. As believers, there is growth potential in each moment of each day. God sows His Word in our heart. The intent of seed is to grow. If it is not growing into deeper love, admiration and devotion – it is falling on hard ground. It should spark a fire on the inside of us that will make its way to the outside – it only happens when something is placed on the altar. Everyone has parts and pieces in their life along with certain weights and burdens ready to be bound on the altar. It is in that moment God can do a new thing and give us new hearts and minds.

I have asked the Lord what is needed to overcome the pain to get to the promise. His Answer simple and direct – one heart. Our identity in Jesus Christ is to have His Heart and His Spirit. We cannot fully experience the Holy Spirit without completely yielding our heart. Pride builds walls around our heart that even the Spirit cannot permeate. The Lord will not force us to love Him or make us follow Him. He will give us ample opportunity to repent and pursue Him. God pursues us with His Goodness and Unfailing Love every day for the rest of our natural lives. (Psalm 23:6) What is keeping me from experiencing it? I am. My stubborn heart given to perfection rather than grace. The works of my hands rather than the working in my heart that says, “I can doing nothing apart from Him.” Lord, I ask you today to give me a new heart. I want a new mind. Is this your prayer today? If not, you will never experience the greatness of God but remain stifled by self.

Singleness of heart makes us God’s People. When the confession of my mouth to seek Him agrees with the intention of my heart to have Jesus alone, something changes. We pray for many things. There are unmet expectations thrust daily at His Throne. The Lord is waiting for those who want what He wants. Those who will love like He loves. Those who will stop at nothing to have His Heart and His Mind today. Is that you? It is definitely me. Please hear me today – an outpouring around us means nothing unless it does something inside of us. We can cry out to God for revival but until our hearts and minds are ready – it simply will not come.

As the modern day church cries out for revival, it is under attack. The enemy does not want God’s People to get it right. If they unite, he is finished and he knows it. He doesn’t have to tear us apart. Truth is that he cannot touch us so he roars loudly breathing hot air on the back of our neck and yells from the battle field like the giant with taunts and lies against our God. Such an obnoxious opponent but powerless presence. The enemy is not very smart but pays close attention. When the people were building the Tower of Babel, it grabbed God’s Attention. This is what He said, “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! If the Body of Christ could establish one heart and one mind – nothing would be impossible any longer. Imagine the fear that this must strike in the heart of the enemy. He produces confusion and is the author of lies. This has cast many churches into a state of chaos that is causing congregations to implode. Christians devouring other Christians and waging war within the Body that is tearing it apart. We must cry out for one heart and one mind. We must love the Lord more than ourselves. We must forsake comfort, complacency, pride and fear to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly knowing it will lead to brokenness along the way.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT) “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. This is the first and greatest commandment. Our heart is too small to hold the Love that the Lord bestows on us and must constantly be broken, reshaped and remolded over and over again. Our hearts must be humble to receive anything from God. A humble heart is indeed a broken one as what I want desire and need matters less and less to have Him more. The second commandment is equally important or so the Word implies here. Love your neighbor as yourself. Neighbor is anyone who is in our sphere of influence including those who are considered our enemy. These two commandments sum up the entire law. Can we stop for a moment and consider this fully? Just let it sink in for a moment. The only requirement on my life is to love. Love God. Love People. This should be the mission statement of every church. I wonder if for a single day what if every church made this their agenda and primary goal. Forget giving to the community. Inviting new people. What if for just one day it was our global to love others unconditionally and completely – what might happen?

Acts 4:32-35 (NLT) All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

I believe this is exactly what it would look like. Believers giving their life away in honor and service to Jesus Christ. Loving others unconditionally and not judging their worth. Forgiveness would give way to new relationships and restored friendships drawn and quartered by rebellion and sin. For just a second, it wouldn’t be about me, my hope, my promises, my desires, my blessings, my purpose, and my flesh but fully and completely about Jesus. Oh Lord, give me a new heart and new mind that understands and embraces your new covenant. Write it on my heart and in my mind as you have promised. (Hebrews 10:15-17) Forgive me for making it about me and forgetting sometimes that it is all about You, Lord. Your Kingdom come Jesus Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

John 14:26-27 (NLT) But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

It is easy for believers to get caught up in “doing” and “serving” the Lord. But today, I must ask myself am I caught up in loving the Lord as He desires. He has a new heart ready for me if I will simply allow mine to be broken. Letting down walls of pride and selfishness so the stubbornness can be exposed and swiftly dealt with. I want a new mind. He will give it to those who take captive rebellious thoughts and subject them to His Word and Way. See God is still pursuing us even when we think we are following Him with a new heart and new minds so His Unfailing Love and Goodness can make its way to us. Our heart must be responsive. We can do nothing apart from Jesus. We need singleness of heart today. In our self, our home, our workplace and church.

Those who decide today to bind their heart and mind to God’s Altar allowing His Spirit to do the rest are giving a precious promise. The Lord will give you peace. No longer will you live at odds with God or mankind but find in that moment peace that passes understanding, produces forgiveness and rights our way. Lord, give me a new heart today please. The kind that is consistently responsive to You and not reactive to my conditions. Lord, give me a new mind that is set, focused and determined to experience your Great Love and expose others to the same. I can give people pieces of my heart. I can give others a piece of my mind. It is when I give all the pieces to Jesus that it produces singleness of heart.

Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.