Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.’ Philippians 4:21-23 (NIV).
Paul, while awaiting trial in Rome, writes to the church in Philippi sending his greetings and those of the Roman Christians. The gospel had spread to all strata of society, linking people who had no other bond but Christ. The Roman Christians and the Philippian Christians were brothers and sisters because of their unity in Christ alone.
Believers today are also linked to others across cultural, economic, and social barriers, but our belief in Christ makes us all one family. A model church is one that is varied and diverse, yet comes together as one united body in Christ. Like the church in Philippi, our churches are also made up of many different kinds of people who are learning to work together.
Paul knew that with so many different types of people together, problems would arise. He instructed the Philippians in how to avoid conflict and disagreement. Only as we focus on Christ and practice His teachings of grace and love, will we learn unity, humility, joy and peace.
We can live together because we have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ with us. And we can live together with joy and peace as we imitate Christ and serve others before ourselves.
‘Heavenly Father, help me to be full of your grace, mercy and love. I want to see my own local church become a model church that reflects who you are to outsiders. Thank you.’
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
Does dissension and conflict seem to be prevalent in our church community? Are there threats of division within the church body? Paul’s wise words in the book of Philippians are specifically directed to a diverse church community and offer wisdom in how to avoid these disagreements that could disrupt healthy church life.
What is God asking of us just now as we face difficulties within our own church? In what specific way can we as individuals enhance church unity and wholeness? Who needs our prayers in our church at this time? May our lives be overflowing with His grace and love in these challenging times.
Be Greatly Blessed!