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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Making His Joy Complete

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2, NIV).

The phrase from Philippians, “make my joy complete”, is on my mind this morning, and I want to explore what it means for me. Being complete is being fulfilled. The Lord wants to experience His fulfillment in me. More than anything, He wishes me to discover fulfillment in my Christian life. My fulfillment brings Him joy. So how can I “make His joy complete”and bring fulfillment to Him? In these verses in Philippians, I find my answer. If I share the love He has given me with my brothers and sisters in Christ, then I bring Him joy by comforting and encouraging with His love, and by being unified in spirit and purpose.

Unity is absolutely necessary for good spiritual health in the body of Christ. However, it is so hard to find, and then it can be so hard to keep. We are all so different. We come from different backgrounds. We are different ages. We have different likes and interests, ideas, and preferences. But it absolutely possible to be united without everyone being unanimous in a vote or in a decision. Being like-minded doesn't mean having the same opinion, but it does mean having the same attitude and the same purpose. We need a team-attitude. A team works together to accomplish the same goal. We work together to accomplish the Great Commission. Having the same love and being one in spirit and purpose brings unity. Even if we aren't always one in our opinions, being one in Christ means means we seek His will instead of our own. It means that we lay down any agenda, and seek to come together in His purpose.

Kate, my artist friend in Greece, creates mosaics. She uses different materials to create a work of art―colored glass, stones, ceramics, and many other things. The materials she uses are of all different sizes, colors, shapes, and of different substances. From all these unique materials with different consistencies she creates a beautiful masterpiece. Just as she creates a beautiful unified work of art , Jesus Christ can take our unique differences and create something beautiful in the church. Our unity can only come from being unified with Jesus. He is the cornerstone and our anchor. As long as we regard Jesus Christ as our anchor and our reason for being―as long as we realize that our treatment of each other is the way that we treat Christ―as long as we put Him and His love first before any of our own ideas or opinions, we can discover this unity of spirit that binds us together in His love. “We will speak the truth in love,” Paul writes, “growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16, NLT).

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