Undivided

The fragrance of flowers is everywhere.
Soft music and quiet conversation also scent the air in the chapel with anticipation of the entrance of the bride. Finally all the groomsmen are in place, the bridesmaids are in position, and a nervous trio of men: preacher, best man, and groom, are secretly glad the parade has ended. Suddenly the organist turns a page, the music swells and the whole gathering stands on cue.

Here comes the bride.

For Better or for Worse
Soon significant words are spoken that no one will remember and vows are exchanged that must be remembered forever. An official, legal declaration of marriage is pronounced followed by a kiss and a triumphant exit, arm-in-arm, by the newly-minted married couple. Legally, two hearts have been joined, no longer divided, but united in the sight of God and this company.

If all goes well every year these vows will be revisited: two hearts cemented together as one by a growing love and welded together by fires of devotion and the pressures of daily life. As long as their hearts remain undivided, so will their home, their family, and even their minds.

If all does not go well, something will divide these hearts. It may be work, inattention, or some other external force. Most likely it will be another person. There is no room for another man or another woman in the heart of a married person. A fissure such as this divides the heart, wounding it, often beyond repair. Too often, the divided heart divides the home. The hearts that were one in the eyes of God and this company are now two again, but now betrayed, broken and bleeding.

The marriage union is a picture of the union of God and His people.
This union is celebrated in worship.

  • Unity in worship brought the Glory of God down to earth at the dedication of the Solomon’s Temple and the power of the Spirit the Day of Pentecost.
  • The Psalms command all the generations to worship together.
  • Jesus prayed that we would be one—undivided.
  • Paul shared the secret of the church at Ephesus—Jesus tore down the walls between the cultures.
  • John saw a universal church from every tribe and tongue and nation gathered before the Throne of God and of the Lamb.

It is time to seek the Lord for an undivided heart of worship.
We should not be a reflection of the world, divided by conflicting goals and passions. We must rise in a unity that shines in brilliant, blinding light against the muddled, dark confusion of a world at war with itself, sliced like a pie into slivers of preference, race, income, education, age and taste. With undivided hearts in worship, we can lift Jesus high enough for the world to see Him in His glory.

We have yet to see the power of the church with an undivided heart of worship.

Scriptures:
Psalm 86 NIV
Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. …Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name… O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
2 Chronicles 5:13-14 NKJV
…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD,…saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.
Acts 2:1-4 NIV
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
John 17:20-22 NIV
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Ephesians 2:14-16 NIV
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
James 1:8 KJV
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You and the Father and the Spirit are One. On the night that You were betrayed You prayed that those who followed You one be One in the same way the Trinity is One. This can only be done by the Spirit of God. Lord, You know that by nature I have a divided heart with passions at war with each other and subconscious motivations of which I am not aware. Lord, unify my heart! Let my passion be pure and focused on You and Your Kingdom. Lord, the church today is divided often by our own plans. Make us One in the Spirit. Let the generations come together at Your Throne! Lord Jesus, only You can tear down the walls we have built. Lord, make us One! In Jesus’ name, amen!

Song:
They’ll Know We Are Christians
Words and Music: Peter Scholtes

1. We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord.
And we pray that our unity may one day be restored.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

2. We will walk with each other; we will walk hand in hand.
We will walk with each other; we will walk hand in hand.
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

3. We will work with each other; we will work side by side.
We will work with each other; we will work side by side.
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

4. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come.
And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son.
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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