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Before going to the cross, Jesus prayed His incredible prayer on our behalf recorded in the Gospel of John. His main petition was ‚Äúthat they all may be one‚ÄĚ (John 17:21).
But how is this oneness possible? Will it happen if we all think the same thoughts and, as a result, respond to one another with great kindness, love and understanding? And can we achieve these same thoughts by some deeper-level education that eliminates all differences between us and causes us to live above such things?
You already know the answer.
Humanly speaking, that is impossible. Even in a small local fellowship, the believers come from different family backgrounds and upbringings. All have different personalities, behavior patterns, levels of education and spiritual understanding.
However, one key to love, unity and following the Lord is my willingness to take responsibility for my sin. When my heart is tender before God, I will no longer accuse my brother or sister for my failure.
Instead, I will say, like the prodigal son, ‚ÄúFather, I have sinned.‚ÄĚ And that attitude will open the way for God to unite us as His people and fulfill His promises. Blaming others became part of our human nature with the fall of man. Imagine this: While Adam and Eve were sinless, they daily walked hand in hand with the Almighty, who dwells in light no man can approach.
But when they sinned, everything changed. God came to Adam and asked, ‚ÄúWhat on earth have you done?‚ÄĚ and Adam answered, ‚ÄúMe? I didn‚Äôt do it. If You want to know the real problem, it‚Äôs this woman You gave me‚ÄĚ (see Genesis 3:9‚Äď12).
Here God had just caught Adam red-handed. The man stood there totally naked, except for a withering fig leaf. He had just lost everything, yet he was unwilling to admit his sin. Instead, he protected and defended himself and shifted the blame to his wife.
And then when God questioned Eve, she responded, ‚ÄúWell, what can I say? The serpent deceived me‚ÄĚ (Genesis 3:13, paraphrased). There will never be unity or rivers of living water flowing through our lives until we come to a place where we take responsibility for our sin.
The thief on the cross experienced this truth in the last minutes of his life when he said, ‚ÄúI deserve this punishment for what I have done.‚ÄĚ And Jesus immediately responded, ‚ÄúToday you will be with Me in Paradise‚ÄĚ (Luke 23:43).
Unity only happens when we yield our rights and admit our failures. If we desire the oneness with our brothers and sisters for which Jesus prayed, then keeping a tender heart is not simply an option, but it is our highest priority.
Whom does the Lord want you to talk to? Don‚Äôt put off His best for your life.