Grace makes three proclamations.
First, only God can forgive my godlessness...
Second, only God can judge my neighbor...
Third, I must accept who God accepts...
Easier said than done.
God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has only one purpose--to carry us safely to the other shore.
This is no cruise ship; it's a battleship. We aren't called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.
Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call. He found us among the shanties of the seaport and invited us to follow him...
Though the battle is fierce, the board is safe, for our captain is God The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern.
There is concern, however, regarding the disharmony of the crew.
Unity creates belief. Disunity fosters disbelief. Who wants to board a ship of bickering sailors? Life on the ocean may be rough, but at least the waves don't call us names....Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?
"Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love. You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way. There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything." Ephesians 4:2-6
"Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. " Ephesians 4: 31-32
* List some things that cause tension and disharmony among Christians.
* How has your personal encounter with God changed the way you relate to others?
* What kinds of disagreements cause people to give up on their relationships.
* Describe in practical terms what it means for Christians to live in unity.
* How does receiving God's grace enable us to practice Christian unity and love?
* Why is it often more challenging to love the people closest to us?
* What can people outside of the church learn from the way believes get along?
* If we are the army of Christ, what does division among the ranks cost us?
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers