Monday, May 20, 2013

The Same Love


Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15:5-6

I love going to Christian music concerts.   There’s no feeling like being in worship with hundreds or sometimes thousands of people who want to worship so badly that they sacrificed time and money to be there.  People are kinder there, and smiles are everywhere.  Though everyone wants to get to their seat, you don’t see people rushing through and stepping on each other to get here.  People don’t get angry at the long lines to get in.  Everyone has the same goal – to glorify God. 

Yesterday at church we were singing a lyric that I’ve sung hundreds of times, but this time God connected me with its true meaning.  I got choked up because I knew God had delivered a sweet nugget of understanding to me.  The lyric, which is from Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God”, says:

“How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God”

Here’s the nugget: When we all sing together of God’s greatness, which is worship, THEN we will all see His greatness manifested in us, and around us. 

Romans 15:5-6 says Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When with one mind, one mouth, all together, like-minded, sharing the same goal, we come together to glorify God - the room changes. 

Have you ever been in a situation where a certain person walks into a room and suddenly everyone is happier, brighter, and more joyful?  It may have been at work when a person who had retired comes back for a visit.  It may have been when a joy-filled, loving person shows up at a ball game to cheer on her favorite team.  It may be the newborn baby that comes into the room, or the one that’s been desperately sick and returned from the hospital.  What causes that feeling of joy and comfort?  Is it not that we are feeling love and all feeling it together?

James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  Worship brings Him near, even if it’s your individual worship alone in your own quiet time with God.  But let a group of His children worship together, and His presence can be felt filling the room.  Looking around at those worshipping yesterday as we sang, it was evident that God had drawn near.  It’s a beautiful thing to see people loving God, and His love shining on their faces. 

This is His will for us, to be united at heart in love for Him.  When we all love God, then we have true fellowship with Him and each other.  There’s an old hymn that says “Bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love”.  It’s what Jesus prayed for us in John 17:20-23, saying “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.  Three times Jesus prays that we will be ONE – united.  The tie that binds us together is love – our love for Him, His love for us, and our love for each other.

Philippians 2:1-2 says, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, FULFILL MY JOY by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” This is how we fulfill His joy – by being like-minded, having the same love, being in one accord and one mind.  And when that joy fills a room – you can feel it in your heart as your heart grows warmer with that awesome feeling of loving and being loved.  That is the greatness of God – His overwhelming love.

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