It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace.
2 It is as beautiful as olive oil poured on Aaron’s head and running down his beard and the collar of his robe.
3 It is like the dew from Mount Hermon, falling on Zion’s mountains, where the Lord has promised to bless his people with life forevermore. Psalm 133 (CEV)
Jesus asked, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”34 Then he looked at the people sitting around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.35 Anyone who obeys God is my brother or sister or mother.” Mark 3:33-35 (CEV)
The devotion today is one of those “no-brainers” I often hear from God. There is nothing I hear Him say that I question or argue…until I apply it in my daily life.
God is my Father. I am His child. My brothers and sisters are all who obey Him. Jesus made that pretty simple text, didn’t He? It is a wonderful thing to run into a sister/brother I’ve yet to meet in Costa Rica or Debrecen, Hungary. It is not about their name which sparks a feeling of familiarity but the knowing of the same Father and the same Son who was sent to save us both. It is standing in a place of worship and hearing a familiar tune like How Great Thou Art, and even if the words are in a different language, we sing the same love to the same Father.
The psalmist speaks about what a beautiful sight it is to see brothers and sisters working together in harmony. And here is where we, the children, seem to habitually drive God’s train off the rails with our petty bickering and jealousies. Like Jesus’ disciples, we bicker about who is the favorite child; who has their doctrines and beliefs the “most right” or righteous.
One day, shortly after my son, James was born, I heard the raised voices of my then almost 8-year-old twins. As I struggled to my post-operative feet and made my way out to the living room, I beheld my daughter holding her baby brother as tightly as she could while her twin brother had hold of the blanket swaddling James and one of his arms. They were playing tug-of-war on who was going to hold the new baby brother!
We in Christ’s Church spend too much time doing the same thing to Jesus! “We have Him in our on fire, Spirit-filled church!” – “No, we have Him in our Bible-believing church!”
This week there is a group of pastors meeting iin a retreat center who do not all belong to the same denomination. They aren’t coming together to argue or convince each other. They aren’t coming together because they all worship the same. They aren’t going to draft out some homogenized, lukewarm initiative. They are coming together to encourage each other and pray for each other. They are coming together to offer each other a hand of friendship. My husband is there at this retreat. Over the years, Henry has been blessed to be a friend to several pastors. God has graciously given Henry an opportunity to listen and pray and encourage these men and women. They know he can and will keep a confidence. And so it is no surprise to see how God has led him to this group of shepherds.
I believe one of the characteristics that marks the presence of God is a unity. God comes to dwell with those who let go of their own agendas and egos and keep their eyes on their Commander-in-Chief. They are truly God’s Army when they march to His cadence and follow His plan.
God’s blessings fall upon all His children. Let us rejoice in the Army of God and be open to the opportunities He creates for us to reach out our hands and take the hand of another brother and sister. Let us work together, encourage each other and utilize each other in gifts and service. Those who are lost will come into the fold when they see it as a place of safety and healing because we are washing the feet of each other as Jesus did.
Behold How Good and Pleasant It Is from Shalom Jerusalem with Paul Wilbur